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SIL Wants Unique Food Items for X-mas- Thoughts?


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Ok, so my SIL is on the verge of being a cool foodie.  She likes good food, she eats at good restaurants, he is a good home cook, she bakes on occasion, but she wants to take her cooking to the next level.  She asked me to get her some cool food items for Christmas.

My struggle is 3 fold- 1. they are in Richmond and I am not sure when we will get down to see them. So no goods that need refrigerated.  2. where I can get some cool food items without really going into a bunch of stores.  But still support small if possible. (I went to Russian Gourmet the other day and was the only person in there) 3. what are things someone else would find interesting.  

I am on the level where I find pigs feet and ears interesting.  But I know she isn't there.  So I am trying to think of things that would be for a solid cook who wants to branch out a little.  They don't eat super spicy food, so I can't get her angry grandma chili oil and gochujang. 

I have bought her some things from Penzey's because good spices make all the difference.  I also got her some dulce de leche in a can, and some rose water from the Russian Gourmet. I thought about miso, but am thinking that would need to be refridgerated, and honestly you can get that at most grocery stores these days.  Any ideas?  Anything I don't get her now I could get her later.  This could be an ongoing thing.

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How about kitchen tools/utensils?

I use my wand mixer a lot more than a lot of things.  Or go for a real souped up version and get her a Vitamix?!?!

A big stock pot with a heavy duty bottom will serve her well and last forever.

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At the Falls Church Farmer's Market on Saturdays, there is a fellow that sells olive oil pressed here but from his dad's farm near Sparta, Greece.  He also sells a really good balsamic from their neighbor's farm, in the 15-20 year range. I always get a bottle of that balsamic for a friend for her December birthday....which means I need to get a bottle next weekend.

 

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5 minutes ago, weezy said:

At the Falls Church Farmer's Market on Saturdays, there is a fellow that sells olive oil pressed here but from his dad's farm near Sparta, Greece.  He also sells a really good balsamic from their neighbor's farm, in the 15-20 year range. I always get a bottle of that balsamic for a friend for her December birthday....which means I need to get a bottle next weekend.

 

If it's Spartan Oil, second the recommendation. We've been using them for a while and the oil is very versatile. 

I've been listening to the Home Cooking Show podcast with Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway. They have a great unique resource page which might help with some new ideas for presents. 

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1 hour ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Guinea pigs?  She can fatten them up and eat the profit?

Anyone remember Pinchy from the Simpsons?

This is a more of a thing I would do.  Guinea pigs are pretty fat already, I wonder what the correct weight/age is on those bad boys.  I bet there are a lot of schools that whoever took those home as the class pet for Covid might be really sick of them 🤪

1 hour ago, Bart said:

How about kitchen tools/utensils?

I use my wand mixer a lot more than a lot of things.  Or go for a real souped up version and get her a Vitamix?!?!

A big stock pot with a heavy duty bottom will serve her well and last forever.

She's got all the tools, and has a small galley kitchen, so she doesn't really need anything more in that dept.

59 minutes ago, lion said:

If it's Spartan Oil, second the recommendation. We've been using them for a while and the oil is very versatile. 

I've been listening to the Home Cooking Show podcast with Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway. They have a great unique resource page which might help with some new ideas for presents. 

I think good olive oil and balsamic might be the win for this year, they went to Italy and Greece as their last two vacations, so that might fit well.  Although the home cooking resource page did make me think about doing a big anson mills order and splitting it up amongst my family, I have done that in the past with success. I have a few last things I need to finish off before I order more from them though, but that could be done.

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How about bottarga: cured fish roe? Since it is cured it well keep and it's usually sold vacuum packed.  A common use is grated over pasta, much like parmesan.

You can buy it on Amazon or specialty food shops, like Eataly or Gustiamo.

It's a little out there, but not too out there (like pigs ears!) 

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