The best gift is the giving

December 4, 2012 § 12 Comments

Hi guys!  I’m still in Boston for work, but all the visiting of friends (not to mention our department holiday party last night) has left me with holiday gifts on my mind.  I’m not a particularly good gift giver.  As soon as I start trying to figure out what to give to someone specific, my mind goes blank.  Kind of like when someone asks what the word for (fill in the blank) is, and I immediately can’t remember even though I totally know it.

So, I love gift guides because they get my wheels turning, and now and then I’ll see something that makes me think of someone, and I get that blissful aha! moment.  And I know what to do.  Because, even though I’m not particularly good at giving gifts, I do enjoy it immensely.

Anyhow, with that in mind, I thought I’d put together my own little gift guide of things (mostly food related) I’ve seen here and there that I really love, and therefore am inclined to believe that at least a couple other people in the world might love as well.   Also!  A few of the things below are from the Food52 shop.  They’ve started to curate a collection of wonderful, high-quality products from artisan producers and make them available to home cooks through their website.  I am a big, make that HUGE, fan of collections of things that have been pre-assembled for me by people of remarkable taste.  It saves me a lot of aches and pains caused by the choice paradox.  You should go check them out particularly because they’re letting me share a promotion with you.  Woo!  Holiday promotions!  If you enter a code you can save an extra 10% on shop items.  The details of the promotion are at the end of the post.

And now, some things I love…


One of my best friends gave me these coasters for my birthday.  She knows me too well.  They’re wonderful and you should get them for someone too!


Heidi’s pop up shop Quitokeeto is full of painfully gorgeous objects.  It’s no surprise it’s pretty much all sold out.  But as soon as she restocks, try jumping on some honey dew.  It’s like honey on steroids!

chocolate figs

While in Seattle we picked up a ganache stuffed fig from Fran’s chocolates.  I still cry a little inside each time I think about the fact that we only bought one.  I recommend a whole box for someone you love.  Words can’t describe…

cocktail glass

Any mixologists, hosts, or perhaps – ahem – you’s, in your life should  be thrilled to have a Japanese etched mixing glass and spoon-fork stirrer thing.  Have you ever seen anything more elegant?

remedy quarterly

For the reader, a subscription to Remedy Quarterly, full of wonderful stories, recipes, memories, and interviews.

saurkraut crockWilliams Sonoma’s new agrarian line – sporting everything from chicken coops to gardening supplies – is almost a parody of itself, it’s so hipster-urban-agrarian-idealist.  And yet…and yet, it’s pretty awesome.  And since nobody should be without homemade saurkraut (or other fermented pickles), why not make the investment in a proper fermentation crock?!


And speaking of DIY, I personally, would be giddy to receive a kit allowing me to grow my own mushrooms!  Seriously.  So, so cool.

elephant ceramics

The colors and textures of everything from elephant ceramics are insanely gorgeous.  Just a single piece can pull together a table setting.

jerusalem cookbook

On a visit to the Twin Cities, Joel and I stopped in at Garrison Keilor’s bookstore to browse around.  I got completely lost in flipping through Jerusalem, the new cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  I wanted to cook everything in it!  This book is at the top of my own wish list.


Admittedly, you have to procure some hard to find ingredients to make your own bitters, but just think what an awesome friend you will be being when you hand over a bottle of homemade fig-orange bitters.

sliver coon bracelets

And, not at all food-related, but a friend of my family makes crazy awesome jewelry and I am currently obsessing over her wooden bracelets.  I mean, just look at them!  I’m not sure you can find them outside of Minnesota, but who even needs an excuse to make an impromptu trip to Minnesota, right? 😉

Finally, a little info on the Food52 promo: 

Use Code FandS10 and Save an Extra 10% Off* in the Food52 Holiday Shop
*Offer ends December 31, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Excludes past purchases. Limit ten discounts per customer. Excludes travel and copper offers. Minimum $20 purchase. Offer is subject to change without notice and is not redeemable for cash or cash equivalent. May not be combined with any other offer or promotion. Void where prohibited by law.

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