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Favorite Food & Cooking Gifts


Heather
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Like you, it was a knife - my 8" Henckels chef's knife that I still use every day. It was a gift, a few (or more) years ago, from some good friends that don't live in the area anymore.

Writing this, I was just reminded of the lovely birthday dinner we had together when they gave me the gift (cue the sappy music - sorry!) :P

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Mandoline, baby. A nice solid Good Grips model from Crate & Barrel. French onion soup and potatoes au gratin for everybody!!

That was last Christmas... maybe this Christmas I'll get the glove. I'm still terrified I'll get careless and take off some finger.

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My wife and I scored big time on the wedding registry. All kinds of All-Clad, Le Creuset, Wustof, a Kitchaid mixer, coffee/espresso/cappuccino maker, various serving dishes, flatware, dishes, martini glasses, champagne flutes, wine glasses, ramekins, and steak knives. :wub:

Now I just need a proper kitchen to use it all in. :P

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I got a 10" Shun knife for my birthday.  I love it.  Two years ago, I got a 14" stainless saute pan, and last year some cookbooks I had my eye on.

What's your favorite food-related gift?  Was it new or an family heirloom?

Kewel. Is it the Shun with the angled blade that comes with its own stand?

I have to gift myself because my wife and daughter feel that I already have too much kitchen stuff and too many cook books.

I recently acquired a panini grill which has provided hours of gustatory enjoyment

eat.gif

Edited by FunnyJohn
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I know most wives do not want any sort of appliances for christmas, but my husband got me a Braun immersion stick blender/chopper/whipper. I love it!!

He also got me two small Staub enameled crocks recently at the Reading Terminal Market in Philly. I use them for salt cellars.

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I made out quite nicely in the kitchen department for my birthday. Granted it was a big one but I still did better than I expected.

I came out with my first Le Cruset, Cuisinart and a dozen Lenox champagne flutes. Now if I only had reason to use them all at once :P

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Happy Belated, Heather! I'm doing Thanksgiving at my house this year - last year after the big dinner at her house, my mother gave me a beautiful roasting pan and all the gadgets. Cooking for one means it's still in the box. :P

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Two years ago, jenrus surprised me with an ass-kickin' stainless gas grill that I had been looking at longingly for a while. The delivery people for Barbecues Galore showed up on Christmas Eve like my own cool Santas.

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Every year, my husband gets me a nice big box of Leonidas chocolates, always a tasty treat. This year, I also got a gift certificate at Sur la Table. I used it to buy a Cameron stove-top smoker, which is way cool, and a Furi Japanese-style chef's knife, which I enjoy using when I want a break from my Globals.

Edited by zoramargolis
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I've gotten lots of food-related gifts...my first chef's knife is 13 years old. I have a red Kitchen Aid mixer with all kinds of attachments. I've got this thing and that thing, but my favorite thing is brand-new.

It's a Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven (model #175BC) that was recommended to me by Squeat Mungry (you may know him from other food boards). It retails for $250 but Bob found it on eBay for under $150, and bought it for me as a sweet thank-you gift for all the extra babysitting I've been doing with our little grandson.

This thing is the best appliance I've ever had in my life. I've gone from having to heat an entire oven (and the house) for simple dishes, to using it on an almost daily basis. Today I learned that a 9" Pyrex dish fits in it, so that made me even happier.

Happy? I'm ecstatic. I lo-o-o-o-o-o-ve it. The best part is this: our electricity is covered in our rent. The oven is propane, which we buy. Looks like I won't have to use the oven often at all. Yay!

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My favorite was the one I got this year, not as fancy or expensive as those mentioned, but it was just what I wanted ---- an acrylic cookbook stand. It's adjustable for all size books and covers them entirely (except for the really large ones). Now my pages won't stick together if I've become too sloppy!

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I just treated myself to a Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5.5 cup rice maker. A little pricey, but can handle any rice you can think of. Just tried sushi rice last night and it came out perfect. I bought mine on EBAY for about $20 less than what Amazon was selling it for.

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My favorite food-related gift was my late grandmother's vintage 4.5 qt. avocado green Kitchenaid mixer-she was a woman ahead of her time, I also have a copy of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1', given to my Mom while I was still a child & a few other great old cookbooks, that were hers.

I have that same 10" Kai Shun, my only regret is it's too heavy for my knife magnet strips. A few years ago, I got 'into' knives in a big way, have a variety of Spyderco kitchen knives, the 'Homemaker' & a neat sashimi knife, as well as my all time favorite, the K05, a 4" serrated blade. I love this knife, use it daily, & when it turned up missing after a family party about a month ago, I had to immediately order another one, as well as the K04, a 6" serrated blade. I also have a couple of custom knives, a Ray Rogers spalted juniper handle, & a carbon steel blade from an NC knifemaker with a dogwood handle. It's such a pleasure to prep with cool knives-now I just need to pick up some more of those cheap plastic cutting boards (I use them on top of my wooden boards).

Edited by thistle
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i'll just have to ape everyone else, my favourite gift was my dark blue kitchenaid 5 qt. mixer. while i got the mixer for my birthday a year ago, i recently got married and put all my wildest kitchen dreams on the registration. . .got all the le crueset, but none of the knives. so, looks like i'll have to treat myself to the wusthof set i've been eyeing.

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I treat my red Kitchen Aid birthday-gift mixer like a harley -- I polish 'er up real good after each use so she shines like new. :P

All my beau wanted last birthday was a giant cutting board. I went with the biggest Boos block I could find. It serves us well. I hate tiny cutting boards.

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i'll just have to ape everyone else, my favourite gift was my dark blue kitchenaid 5 qt. mixer. while i got the mixer for my birthday a year ago, i recently got married and put all my wildest kitchen dreams on the registration. . .got all the le crueset, but none of the knives. so, looks like i'll have to treat myself to the wusthof set i've been eyeing.

In many cultures it is bad luck to give knives as a wedding present, and I know the tradition, superstition, or whatever you want to call it has kept me from gifting them!

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In many cultures it is bad luck to give knives as a wedding present, and I know the tradition, superstition, or whatever you want to call it has kept me from gifting them!

When I got married 7 years ago, I was a poor grad student marrying another poor grad student. I registered for a set of moderately priced Henckels at Hecht's. Fortunately, one of my mother-in-law's best friends is a foodie and she convinced a few other ladies to chip in and get me my very wonderful set of Wustof knives.

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You can't beat a mortar and pestle (unless you have to ship it). I got a great 7 pound marble one for my birthday... it sits next to a ceramic one and another stone (some sort of volcanic) one. You can never have too many!

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For my birthday in June I got a Shun Wide-blade Santoku. This was a great gift.

Why do I mention this now?

Because it is for sale on eBay here starting well below retail - auction runs through next Sunday.

I really did never use it, even though I've just gotten around to posting it today.

I thought I'd like this one better because of my big hands, but I still love my regular Shun Santoku too much to give it up.

It would make a great gift for yourself or someone you love (or just like a lot).

End of advertisement.

Edited by bilrus
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What I really need is a house with a bigger kitchen, to accomodate all the whiz-bang tchotchkes that I'd love to be able to play with... :P
Totally second that one. I would even stay in this house, provided somebody else would put up with the rehab work to get me the bigger kitchen to store my tchotchkes (or, as the +1 calls them, my kitchen porn).
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Adorable Mario!

* * *

Anyone have ideas for a modest gift of something distinctly of the Washington, D.C. area?

Someone who lives in NYC & Italy just brought back a couple of Italian seed packets for me to give to a farmer at the FreshFarm Markets. As a way of thanking her, the only thing that comes to mind is Old Bay Seasoning. She doesn't care much for sweets (cookies, etc.), gives cooking lessons herself, and is a Slow Food member.

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Someone who lives in NYC & Italy just brought back a couple of Italian seed packets for me to give to a farmer at the FreshFarm Markets.
On a related note, I was interested to see that USDA APHIS has recently created a new procedure and free license, geared towards hobbyists and small growers, that facilitates the legal importation of small quantities (up to 50 each) of many plant seeds without the cumbersome and expensive sanitary inspection process.

This UK site has a nice FAQ about the process.

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FWIW, we've sent tins of Old Bay as small gifts to friends and innkeepers we stayed with in Japan. They've been consistently well received.

My favorite food gift has to be my 7.5 quart flame-colored oval Le Creuset, followed by a gift certificate to DiBruno Bros. in Philadelphia.

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Anyone have ideas for a modest gift of something distinctly of the Washington, D.C. area?

Someone who lives in NYC & Italy just brought back a couple of Italian seed packets for me to give to a farmer at the FreshFarm Markets. As a way of thanking her, the only thing that comes to mind is Old Bay Seasoning. She doesn't care much for sweets (cookies, etc.), gives cooking lessons herself, and is a Slow Food member.

What about some Virginia country ham, or some cured pork belly from Bev at EcoFriendly, some Firefly Farms aged goat blue cheese, some Toigo appleblossom honey, and a few heirloom apples from the friendly guy at the market (don't know his name) who has blueberry scones every Sunday, and who also makes and sells little jars of preserves...?

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What about some Virginia country ham, or some cured pork belly from Bev at EcoFriendly, some Firefly Farms aged goat blue cheese, some Toigo appleblossom honey, and a few heirloom apples from the friendly guy at the market (don't know his name) who has blueberry scones every Sunday, and who also makes and sells little jars of preserves...?

Yeah, the ham's a good idea as are apples! Some friends from Maine loved Gold Rush when they were down here, but this has not been the best year for that variety. For a number of reasons, I've also been thinking about a bag of White Lily flour unless there's a store down in Soho that specializes in groceries for the transplanted.

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Adorable Mario!

* * *

Anyone have ideas for a modest gift of something distinctly of the Washington, D.C. area?

Someone who lives in NYC & Italy just brought back a couple of Italian seed packets for me to give to a farmer at the FreshFarm Markets. As a way of thanking her, the only thing that comes to mind is Old Bay Seasoning. She doesn't care much for sweets (cookies, etc.), gives cooking lessons herself, and is a Slow Food member.

I know it is not gourmet or anything, but Route 11 potato chips are fairly unique to this area.

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On a related note, I was interested to see that USDA APHIS has recently created a new procedure and free license, geared towards hobbyists and small growers, that facilitates the legal importation of small quantities (up to 50 each) of many plant seeds without the cumbersome and expensive sanitary inspection process.

This UK site has a nice FAQ about the process.

Having pulled out many, many invasive strawberry guava and brazillian pepper plants, all I can say is noooooooo! (But thanks for the info -- we'll incorporate it into our educational materials)
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FYI, Dean & DeLuca's sells White Lily flour.

* * *

Getting back to the topic, one of the best stocking-stuffers I've found was at the small cutesy home store in the U Street area (drawing a blank; on street with theater, furniture stores, next door to funky import store) that features kitchen and bath supplies. At any rate, it was a digital kitchen timer to wear around one's neck.

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FYI, Dean & DeLuca's sells White Lily flour.

* * *

Getting back to the topic, one of the best stocking-stuffers I've found was at the small cutesy home store in the U Street area (drawing a blank; on street with theater, furniture stores, next door to funky import store) that features kitchen and bath supplies. At any rate, it was a digital kitchen timer to wear around one's neck.

I believe the store you are talking about is Home Rule. I love Home Rule.

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That Mario doll is much better groomed than the original. :P

AB, that's a tough call.

I was reminded by a thread at eG that Mayhaw Man has a website that links to various New Orleans products. Gourmetfoodmall.com.

Heather, we were thinking on the same page...I thought I'd ask the Louisiana crowd for more recs than what was listed on the Post. Here's the link to that thread...on eg There are some more recs, but I am surprised by the lack of response. I ended up ordering from southerncandymakers.com via telephone, instead of the web, and was very impressed with the service. (There are always lots of questions when sending gifts to Hawaii!)

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