The big-ticketest item I'm going to mention is this: a Nutrimill grain grinder.
|I am the big, big grinder! I live in the basement and crave daylight.|
|Then you get to buy whole spelt at the store! And you can smile beatifically when you notice someone noticing it in your cart. "What, this old spelt? I'm just milling my own flour, is all."|
|But don't argue with the loaf, because it is a beautiful thing.|
Now, that said, if you have a Kitchen-Aid, I would recommend the Kitchen-Aid grain-mill attachment, which cannot produce flour as fine as the Nutrimill, but which is more economical an investment, and also smaller. I really, really like it, and if I'm not grinding tons of flour, it's still my go-to grinder. I've had this one for a while, and it is a friend to me.
If those seem like kind of severe, Russian-work-camp gifts--and they're not--you might consider a seltzer maker. This one. We do, like good Jews everywhere, drink tons of seltzer, and this gadget has revolutionized our beverage consumption. Plus, and you knew I would say this, even with the cost of the cartridges, it costs a third of what store-bought seltzer costs. I'm just saying. Superfun to use, and you can even get flavors and syrups to go in it.
|I would guess that making seltzer is one of his top-ten home activities.|
Next up: pasta roller. We use ours for pasta and also for crackers. Older children can be taught to use it, and then you can leave them with a blob of pasta dough (eggs and flour, that's all it is), and you will come back a half an our later to skeins and skeins of fresh, tender noodles. Russian work camp and fun! Yay! The one you see here I have been using for over twenty years. It is as well-made as any tool I own, and it cuts two widths of noodles.
Finally, a stocking stuffer: the perfect rubber spatula. It is beautiful. It is heat-proof. And it is one piece.
If the "one piece" detail doesn't move you, then you have not shared our typical spatula experience.
|It's a good thing I have never accidentally baked the head of this spatula into a sour-cream bundt cake.|
Two last things: a subscription to ChopChop, the cooking magazine for kids that I do a lot of work with, makes a fantastic gift for families or children who like to cook, and it's a non-profit with a healthy-kids mission, so you can feel good about supporting it. Plus, sometimes Birdy and Ben are in it!
And a reader recommended the recipe-studded cooking memoir An Everlasting Meal to me, and I am halfway through and loving it. Tamar Adler the kind of bossy I love, with lots of unfussy opinions about food and feeding people that really speak to me, including her imperative that you put lots of parsley in everything and that, when in doubt, eggs. I am also intrigued by her suggestion that you cook all the vegetables you have at once, and then keep them in the fridge to eat and add to dishes you're cooking throughout the week. I will report back. (Thanks again, Janet Lee!)
Enjoy your weekend.