This year I decided to – hold onto your hat – wrap all of my gifts by December 1. Oh, and get my Christmas cards out by November 29 (so they’d arrive on December 1). Please know that this has never happened to me in the history of holiday madness, and only came about because my family went on a camping trip a few weeks before Thanksgiving, leaving me with 48 hours to play the role of Santa’s elf.
Now that I’m done, I can take a moment or two to wish upon a gift for myself. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or your favorite foodie, here are a few ideas to get you going:
Mauviel Roasting Pan
This is not something I technically need, since I have a perfectly functional roasting pan that I bought at Macy’s a thousand years ago, which lives in the garage until called into holiday duty. Oh, but the heft of the Mauviel! The way a turkey would obviously roast soooo much better than in my old pan! Le sigh.
Staub Crêpe Pan
My mother always made crêpes for us growing up, using a recipe from her Aunt Dottie. She’d dollap pats of sweet butter into the center, then roll the crêpes and drown them in warmed maple syrup. Presumably she made do with a standard skillet, but the name Staub alone makes me swoon, not to mention the gorgeous wood handle.
I just finished reading Kathleen Flinn’s excellent book The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and am seeing whole chickens in a new light. With this knife I could cut chickens and turkeys like a pro and enjoy not just better tasting meat, but the means (by which I mean, the bones) to make my own stock, virtually for free.
Jelly Roll Pan and Cooling Rack Set
I am in love with the jelly roll pans I already own and know a cooling rack fit to size would only make me fall even deeper in love. With this set, I picture myself making bacon in the oven, thereby eliminating the mess and time it takes to make on the stove. Plus I could make the baked chicken nuggets from The Kitchen Counter Cooking School for Little GG and finally erase the shame of boxed chicken nuggets once and for all.
Olive Wood Salt Keeper
I love olive wood, it reminds me of our trip to Jerusalem a few years ago and it’s gorgeous to look at. I’m absolutely positive my cooking would be that much more efficient with this little salt box next to my stove. No more pouring salt directly from the box into my hand, wasting countless flakes of salt. See, it practically pays for itself!
Marble Mortar and Pestle Ever since I positively drooled in envy as Stanley Tucci’s Paul Child plunked down the world’s largest marble mortar and pestle on Meryl Streep-as Julia’s kitchen counter, I’ve wanted one, too. I’ve never found one as humungous as the one in Julie & Julia, but the tones in this Crate & Barrel version are like owning a piece of the earth.
Cast Iron Tortilla Press
Chicken tortilla soup would become even more homemade if I could make the tortillas myself. Plus I’m a sucker for anything cast iron.
How to Cook Without a Book
Learning to cook without a recipe is a goal I set for myself early on in blogging. I finally arrived a few weeks ago when I made this soup without consulting even an iPad cooking app. But I don’t want to stop there. This book by Pam Anderson, plus The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef’s Craft for Every Kitchen, by Michael Ruhlman, would definitely help me reach that goal.
These are just a few of my favorite things. What’s on your wish list this year?