2011 holiday gift guide
Friends, it’s December! Which means that the holidays are imminent. Which means that there are all kinds of gift guide permeating the interwebs. Cool Gifts for Dad? Gifts Every Geek Will Love? What Not To Give Your Husband/Wife? [Hint: not a vacuum cleaner.] Currently, I’m searching for “Gifts For a Weather And Climate Enthusiast Who Also Loves Aviation And Politics”. If you have a list to send my way, I’ll be much obliged. For the moment, I’m still trying to memorize various cloud names: alto-stratus, cumulo-nimbus, etc. etc.
However, should you be looking for “Gifts for Kitchen Geeks” or “Gifts for the Culinary Inclined”, look no further. I’m going to attempt to help you out. Emphasis on attempt. Here goes. And happy giving!
“Brooklyn Butchers” Butcher Block:
I’ve been sighing over these for a year now. Beautiful, handmade butcher blocks. They are end-grain, made from walnut or cherry, lightly oiled, and of sturdy build. These will last you forever and are guaranteed to be beloved by anyone you bestow them upon. Bonus: they are handmade in Brooklyn – tres cool!
For those folks who are obsessed with all things coffee, the Chemex Coffee Maker might just make that superlative cup of coffee. There’s no bitter aftertaste, sediment, or contact with plastic – all while working without electricity or moving parts. We even registered for one! I should also add that I want one of everything at Kaufmann Mercantile, one of the stores that carries this contraption. When they emailed me early this year about their store front, I had to hold myself back from ordering everything. And I had to wait a whole year to tell you about them – I am one patient cookie!
Roost Apron from Terrain:
I have this thing for cute aprons. And by cute I don’t mean frilly, flowery, or lacy. The ones that steal my heart are more rustic and austere looking. And the apron from Terrain above is one of the most handsome ones I’ve seen. Of course, this is coming from a girl with six aprons and counting. But, like with shoes or handbags, one can never have too many.
Enameled Bowls, Serving Spoons, Etc.
Another item from KM. I’m currently obsessed with all things enameled. And this set is just darling – white enamel looks good with any kitchen style, decor, or color scheme.
Simon Pearce Ceramics:
I recommended Simon Pearce pie dishes last year, and they saw my post and generously sent me one of the pie dishes. That was amazingly thoughtful and totally unnecessary, but I was very grateful. This year, when Andrew and I got engaged, we registered for dishes and ceramics there. We loved the middle oval bowl, which we ended up getting as an engagement gift from Andrew’s brother and sister-in-law. It has a beautiful, simple, classic look – it already seems to act like an heirloom and will be beloved for years, nay decades, to come.
I think that just about everything at High Street Market is just striking. I’ve bought many gifts for friends and family in the past and this month, it’s featuring a stunning porcelain platter that will be a lovely addition to any home. But then again, just about everything there would.
Rustic Table Accessories:
We are not fine china people, Andrew and I. Which is probably why we skipped the matching 16 place setting flower print on fine bone china, and registered for some less fragile plates, bowls, and other dishes at Heath Ceramics. Besides dishes, they offer all kinds of beautiful, lovingly-made things for the home, among which are these elegant Commune Napkins. Yes, friends, we registered for these too. These will weather and age beautifully, and will last you forever.
My future belle mere (aka MIL) gave us these Rae Dunn napkin rings and now all I want to do is throw a dinner party. Aren’t these adorable? Whimsical and perfectly capturing the job of gathering at a table, these are really, really pretty. Don’t you agree?
French Market Tote:
I’ve been wanting one ever since my first trip to Paris, years ago. I’m always jealous of all the ladies at the farmers’ market with these, and this year, I’m totally getting myself one. It holds all your groceries in place – the rigid structure keep things from sliding around and getting squished. And did I mention it looks so Parisian-chic? My favorite ones that I found are from an Australian site here. Alternatively, should you want something plus Americain, Lands’ End totes, in my humble opinion, leave other competition in the dark. With inside pockets, key clip, and a sturdy construction, it makes carrying groceries (or anything else for that matter) a more structure affair than if you were to just throw them into a plastic bag. Environmental awareness AND unbruised produce – a win-win in my book!