December 2, 2011

A FOOD-LOVER'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Generally, we keep it really low key for the holidays. Feeling so fortunate in our lives for family and friends, we don't want for much else when the holidays roll around. That said, I do take great pleasure in picking just the right gift, so I thought I'd mention a few of my favorite things that would make great gifts for the food-lovers in your life. We might as well share ideas around here, right?

(Note: Bay Area folks, I list local stockist in the footnotes. Please buy local, when you can!)


#1
For years I have been on the lookout for the perfect cutting board - by far the most used item in our kitchen - and I couldn't find a good one. Recently, I discovered Josh and Kelly at  Blackcreek Mercantile and Trading Co. and I knew I had found the dream cutting board, made by really nice people. All crafted by hand, with stunning American woods, and tons of love, Josh's boards are the kind of heirloom item your grandchildren will fight over someday. Note: To get a gift in time for the holidays, order it right away, or check with their stockist. Each board is made by hand. (Bay Area folks, Blackcreek goods are sold at March in SF 415.931.7433)


#2
 
I came across these adorable white enamel lunch pails at Kaufmann Mercantile's awesome online shop, and had to have one. Just big enough to hold a single lunch serving, you can take this cutie with you and reheat it directly on a stove top or in the oven. According to KM, "The surface doesn’t harbor bacteria like a crack in ceramic, and doesn’t have any harmful chemicals to leech like BPA in plastic." A stylish, eco-friendly, durable, and re-heatable lunch pail... I'm sold.


#3
I'm really into the hippie-scientist vibe of these Chemex coffee pots with leather and wood detailing (oh yeah!). Invented in 1941 and now part of the design collections of the MOMA and Smithsonian, this little coffee pot is calling your name, right? (Local folks, they sell Chemex at Peet's).


#4
My favorite gifts are always those that are homemade or homegrown. Even if you aren't a craft-master, you can bake a couple of batches of granola for your loved-ones. Put some chunky granola in a nice Weck Jar (see gift idea # 9), stick on a handwritten label, and you're good to go. If granola isn't your thing, maybe Homemade Caramel Sauce is calling your name?



#5
Talk about old school - you should be able to pick up good cheap cast iron skillets at your local hardware store. These beauties are the beloved work horses of our kitchen.



#6
The recipes in this book strike just the right note for me. Heidi's food is nourishing, fresh, and local. Heidi is a vegetarian, yet her recipes are hearty enough for meat-lovers like us. We are always trying to eat a little less meat and thanks to Heidi, we have no excuse not to cut back a bit. Plus she is a local author! Super Natural Everyday should be available at your neighborhood book shop.



#7
When we were away from home last year, I missed our California fruit. Now that we're home, I cannot seem to get enough fresh fruit goodness and Frog Hollow Farm always makes me happy. If you don't live in a part of the country where you can buy good local organic pears this time of year, Frog Hollow ships their fruit. I know I would be stoked to get a box of beautiful fruit for the holidays!


#8
Wild harvested teas are available at the Juniper Ridge. I cannot get over the delicious, lightly floral flavor of this Douglas Fir Tea. (Local folks, I bought this tea at Berkeley Hort.)


#9
We use these jars for just about everything: beans and grains get stored; leftovers are transported. And of course any time P gets the jamming bug, he uses these jars to preserve his preserves. I do love a good old mason jar, but somehow these Weck jars make the simplest thing special. Weck used to be really hard to find, but now they are available at most specialty kitchen shops. (Local people, Heath Ceramics has a nice selection.)


#10
I am completely smitten with Canal House and their beautiful little books. Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton are the magic duo behind this series packed with tempting recipes and lush photos. You can buy each book individually, get a set, or a even a subscription. I cannot imagine a food-lover who wouldn't love subscription to Canal House!


If you have other gift ideas to add, please feel free to leave a comment and share with the rest of us. I'd love to hear what's on your list this year, and I'm sure everyone else would like your ideas too!



29 comments:

  1. Great gift ideas and lovely clicks!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Thanks Rosa! I figure everyone can use a little shopping inspiration these days:) Happy Holidays to you!

    -E

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  3. Wonderful holiday ideas! We have to ship almost all gifts so fruit from Harry & David work well. This year, I ordered W&Sonoma's frozen brioche dough for some relatives (free shipping 'til Dec.4!!). I ordered most of my daughter's gifts from Etsy!

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  4. Hey Sarah, Thanks for sharing your ideas! I love hearing what other people are getting (it feels kinda like that joy in hearing about what other people are cooking for dinner.) And Etsy is amazing. There is so much good stuff to be found!
    -E

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  5. Such a fantastic guide...perfect for those of us looking to get a little bit of San Francisco under the tree (a nice respite from currently damp, cool Chicago).

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  6. Your photos are just exquisite. I am blown away.

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  7. Love, love all of these fab ideas! Especially love that quite a few are local goodies. I just bought round ice cube molds. I put pommogranite seeds and mint leaves inside, filled with water and froze. Will use for a special martini for my party tonight. Thought it was a cool idea and the possibilities are endless with what you can put inside. Here is the website I found them at: www.prepara.com and look for "ice balls". Have a great Sunday!

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  8. Love this list - truly inspiring! and the pictures are amazing!

    One more beauty for the list: Michael Pollan & Maira Kalman's, "Food Rules" - a quirky condensed version of his common sense around eating & food, gorgeously accompanied by her soulfully illuminating illustrations. Check it out.

    xoxox, Renee (jasper's mama)

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  9. Wow, very nice gifts! So photogenic!

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  10. chemex coffee pot is definitely calling my name :)
    great list! love everything on it!

    and you did an awesome job photographing it :)

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  11. Some wonderfully beautiful and inspiring gifts there. I seriously want Heidi's book, I have that on my Christmas wishlist. :)

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  12. TKTC, Thanks! I keep wanting to come to Chicago. I keep hearing about all the great food you have there. Maybe when it's not winter;)?

    P :)

    Lisa,Yummy! Sounds like you will have a good party tonight. Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

    Renee, We miss you guys so much. We were just talking of Jazzy today. We don't have "food rules". Sounds like a good stocking stuffer;)xxxxoooo

    Kelvin - thanks! It was fun to mix things up this post.

    M, isn't the Chemex rad! I've been eying them for years and I felt I "needed" one to photograph for this post. Good excuse, right?

    Jennifer, Thanks! Yes, Heidi's books is so good. If no one buys it for you, maybe you should treat yourself;)

    xxxooo
    E

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  13. So many great ideas!! I just got a copy of Heidi's book and I am loving it! And my cast iron and I have spent wonderful hours together.

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  14. A treat -- each and every one. The Frog Hollow pears, especially, as that farm grows THE best ruit around.

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  15. Love the gift ideas. They are filled with love and purpose, just my kind of giving. I also wanted to comment on the beautiful use of the font and design orientation to the pictures. My boys and I loved looking at them.

    Gorgeous!

    Ames

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  16. Love this and love your blog! The enamel lunchbox and granola are awesome ideas.

    I made up a gift guide for the girl or guy foodie on my blog as well....love to dream about new kitchen and food stuff!

    http://www.perennial-blog.com/2011/12/foodie-gift-guide-xx.html

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  17. This is such a gorgeous list of gifts. I think it's hard to beat homemade presents at christmas, especially of the foodie variety, and love the suggestions you've made above, along with your gorgeous photos. Feeling very festive now!

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  18. Thanks Lia! Isn't Heidi's book yummy? And I know how you feel about your cast iron... like an old friend, right?

    Carolyn, I agree about Frog Hollow - always delish!

    Thanks Ames! So sweet of you.

    Kosberg, Thanks for linking to your lists. They are fantastic and your blog is beautiful!

    thelittleloaf, Thanks! I'm glad to stir up that festive feeling;)

    One more tip for local folks... my friend Cecile who owns Cecile Moochnek Gallery on 4th street reminded me to suggest the gift of ART. So true. And she has great gift suggestions. If you are local, check her out.

    Happy holidays to all!

    xxxooo
    E

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  19. Love all the ideas. I also like that you buy local. I am trying to buy only local and American from now on. Support your peeps! Our families need jobs too!

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  20. I've been giving Granola as a Christmas gift for the past couple of years now. Delicious, and easy on depleted wallet:)

    I love those Weck jars more every time I see them. I'm also incredibly curious about the douglas-fir tea, it sounds very interesting. We're re-watching Twin Peaks right now so I feel a need to boldly and gloriously complement doug-fir trees. Ho-hum:)

    Everything is beautiful here. I feel fortunate to have a few cutting boards made by my father in my kitchen. It's comforting to have his work surrounding me every day, even if he's spatially far away !

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  21. Oli, I'm glad to hear that the local/American thing resonates with you. It feels so good to support good peeps and we have a lot of power with our shopping dollar. There are amazing crafts people out there making wonderful things and I love how giving a gift is an opportunity to feel doublelly good. Happy holidays to you!

    Emma, I can just imagine you with your dad's cutting boards.... I bet they instill a little magic in your cooking. Twin Peaks? I love it:) And you of all people would totally dig the Doug Fir tea! The Juniper Ridge folks make beautiful natural products - check them out. Though I am wondering if you can simple harvest and dry the needles and make your own brew. Hmmmmm. Happy holidays to you!!!

    xxoo
    E

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  22. Erin, your photography rocks! I love the styling on this one. I've made granola before and they are awesome. And I agree, nothing beats a homemade gift (though that enamel lunch box is so cute :)).

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  23. What a fantastic short list of gift ideas- thank you! I love the idea of making granola for people. The gift that keeps on giving...

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  24. Great gift ideas Erin and I loved the links. Thanks for sharing these terrific kitchen items.

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  25. What a great list of good things! I've been on the lookout for a great cutting board, and the ones you mentioned look perfect. Love handcrafted, local items.

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  26. Jenn, you are so sweet:) Thanks for the compliment. And I love to hear that other people are baking up granola - it's so much better than most of the stale store bought stuff.

    Tori, thanks!

    A Palate and a Passport, I'm happy to be of help:)

    Renee, You would love the Blackcreek cutting boards - they are dreamy.

    xxxooo
    E

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  27. No doug-firs here in New England to sneak some tips from unless I were to visit a Xmas tree plantation; that would be a bit naughty of me. But... I've made tea with various plants before (especially wintergreen), and I had a friend who made spruce beer with fresh spruce tips in the springtime.

    Lots of great options - I will definitely check out Juniper Ridge! Happy holidays to you too:)

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  28. These are great gift ideas--and ones I would be thrilled to receive! Love the cutting boards.

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  29. Emma, Ohh wintergreen tea sounds good and spruce beer! We heard about Nettle beer an may give that a try and I like to brew up gingko and lemon verbena tea. There is so much good stuff out there in the woods to eat. Yum!

    Lisa, Thanks! Aren't the cutting boards stunning? Happy holidays to you!

    -E

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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