I love giving gifts, and I especially love picking out gifts for people who love to cook. So I’ve come up with a list of my would-love-to-get-my-hands-on gems. Take a look at my choices and then hurry out to the stores as soon as humanly possible. I’m telling you, if you’re buying for a cook, you can’t go wrong with any of these items.
1. Check out “Delancey,” the just-released second memoir from Molly Wizenberg, the blogger behind Orangette (http://orangette.blogspot.com). I’m betting that since I devoured “A Homemade Life,” I’m going to love, love, love this new read.
2. For devotees of Ruth Reichl (http://www.ruthreichl.com), the wait is over. Her foray into fiction, “Delicious,” was released a few days ago. If your special someone has read one or all of Reichl’s books, this one is sure to be on her must list.
3. Attention, egg lovers and those of you who know cooks who are egg lovers. Consider this brand spanking new book by Michael Ruhlman (http://ruhlman.com), who penned the fascinating “The Making of a Chef” among others. “Egg, A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient” is an homage and a how-to about the beloved, under-appreciated egg. It’s already on my wish list.
4. These next two gifts were given to me by a dear friend. First is “The French Chef with Julia Child,” offering up 18 episodes on DVD from the original iconic public television series (https://www.pbs.org/juliachild/). See Julia at her finest, creating her famous boeuf bourguignon and other specialties in the inimitable style that made her a household name.
Next up is “My Last Supper,” a collection of stunning portraits of 50 chefs from all over the world. Along with the photos, author/photographer Melanie Dunea (http://www.melaniedunea.com/index.php) asked the chefs the same five questions about their last meal. The answers are thought-provoking, offering a window into the personalities of these world-renowned chefs. This book is a lovely coffee-table addition and is sure to be a conversation starter.
5. Moving away from books and videos, here’s one of my favorite kitchen tools that make tough tasks a breeze. This ceramic peeler from Kyocera is super-sharp and makes quick work of challenging and time-consuming peels, from butternut squash to eggplant. To wit, I usually try to defer the peeling of potatoes to anyone who’ll take the job, but with this peeler, I zipped the skins off a 5-lb bag of potatoes in under 10 minutes, without rushing or nicking a finger. For an extra treat, pick out a pretty (but functional) apron, like the one above in denim stripes.
6. How about a small gift basket with some of your go-to condiments, spices, or cute food-related decorative item? I’d include some flaked sea salt, a bottle of Spanish sherry vinegar (my all-star ingredient in many vinaigrettes), agave nectar, and a bottle or two of infused olive oil (I like basil or mushroom flavors).
7. Of course, there’s nothing like a personal touch, so you can’t go wrong with is something from your own kitchen for your special mom/daughter/sister/grandma/aunt/friend. I’d whip up some lemon curd and include the recipe on a pretty card.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who bring their love of food to the table for their family and friends.
Tagged: agave nectar, apron, basil, ceramic peeler, egg, julia child, lemon curd, Melanie Dunea, michael ruhlman, Molly Wizenberg, mother's day, mushroom, olive oil, ruth reichl, sea salt, sherry vinegar, supper, the French Chef