All I Want For Christmas…
…is a brand new wood-grained Nakiri knife.
It’s coming. Can you smell it? It smells like eggnog and pine needles and open fire-roasted chestnuts. It’s Christmas. And it’s my absolute favourite time of year. November 15th hits and I wake up giddy almost everyday. And the first snowfall that covers the ground for more than an hour? Forget about it. You can’t rip the smile off my face if you wanted to. Go ahead. Do your worst.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love getting gifts. If that makes me a selfish little brat, then so be it. But it doesn’t compare to finding that perfect gift for someone awesome. I love gift buying. Especially now that I can do it online and stay out of the hot, crowded malls (with all those cheerful people you’d think I’d like to be associated with). I’m feeling good with my gift-buying progress so far this year. I know what I’m getting everyone and I’ve actually even bought a bunch of presents already. I’m ready this year. Which leaves me so much free to time help you out with gift buying!
I don’t exactly know what to get your Aunt Betty who scrapbooks, or your Dad who spends his time building model cars, but I’ve got your food-loving, kitchen-savvy friends and relatives covered with a list of both kitchen essentials and something for those who already have all the must-haves.
Kitchen Essentials for the Just-Starting-Out Cook
1. Spatula: preferably silicone.
2. Heavy wooden spoon: look for something with a long handle for better comfort
3. Flat and Balloon Whisk: used for everything from mixing sauces to whipping egg whites
4. Stainless Steel Tongs: I prefer stainless steel, but silicone are also great.
5. Zester/Grater: This is my favourite one for everything from zesting citrus to grating hard cheeses.
6. Mesh Sieve: I use this almost every time I cook. It comes in handy in both cooking and baking and I’d be lost without it.
7. Good set of Measuring Cups/Spoons
8. Chef’s Knife: I’ve gotten away with using a chefs knife for just about every cutting-requirement. Other are beneficial, but a good chef’s knife is essential.
9. Bread Knife: while not as essential as a good chef’s knife, it’s a close second.
10. Mixing Bowls: ceramic/stoneware bowls may be slightly more expensive but they double as serving dishes.
1. Large Wood Cutting Board: for everything from vegetables to bread
2: Plastic Cutting Board: for those who prefer to keep their meat cutting off the wooden cutting board, a plastic one is great!
1. Dutch Oven: Not one day goes by that I don’t use my dutch oven. It’s great for browning meat, caramelizing onions, making sauces, baking casseroles… it’s the single most used piece in my kitchen. Plus, they are so pretty that they go from oven to table top and still look elegant.
2. Saute/Sauce Pan: a multitude of uses in the kitchen.
3. Stock Pot: I use mine to boil pasta, make stock (dur!), soups and big pots of sauce to freeze.
4. Non-Stick Pan: essential to every kitchen if only for the perfect fried egg.
5. Colander: I’m not sure how I got along without my big colander for so long. Not only are they beautiful (check the link for a pretty vintage one!) but make easy work of straining pasta for a big crowd.
6. Casserole Dish: While technically a porcelain roaster, I use this more often for casseroles and bakes. Also works perfectly for crisps and other desserts!
Beautiful Gifts for the Has-Everything Cook
1. Salt Pig: keep your salt dry, dust-free and at your fingertips with Emile Henry’s beautiful ceramic salt pigs.
2. Vintage Pepper Mill: I’m a big fan of pepper mills. These pretty turquoise ones would make anyone squee with delight.
3. Stoneware Carafe: Whether it’s for water or wine, a pretty carafe makes every table look finished.
4. Japanese Tea Cup set: a great gift for the friend with a million types of tea
5. Kitchen Prints or Posters: if you can’t buy them kitchen wares, why not some decorations?
6. Recipe Illustrations: this woman from Paris sells the most beautiful watercolour paintings of recipes
7. Jessie Steele Aprons and Kitchen Linens: Jessie Steele has more vintage inspired kitchen linens than you could ever imagine. I also happened to have received my first apron ever from here. It still makes me feel pretty every time I wear it!
8. Edge Champagne Flutes: with New Years 6 days after Christmas, who doesn’t want to ring in the new year with new champagne flutes? Especially with these contemporary cylindrical ones!
Hopefully by now you’ve got some ideas for the food lover in your life. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably twitching and scratching trying to figure out how you’re going to afford all these things for yourself. Welcome to the life of a kitchen ware addict. I feel your pain and I’m around 24/7 for support.
Now get shopping! Spend spend spend! And don’t forget, Christmas isn’t about gifts. It’s about family. And gifts.