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DEC. '08 DISCUSSION: Best Gift Ideas For The Food Enthusiast
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:19 pm    Post subject: DEC. '08 DISCUSSION: Best Gift Ideas For The Food Enthusiast Reply with quote

The holidays are coming up (oh, really?) and this month's discussion gives us an opportunity to share our best food-related gift ideas -- from low-budget to mid-price to fancy.

What are you going to buy/make for the food enthusiasts around you, and what do you hope to find at the foot of the tree, or wherever it is gifts are placed in your family?

I'll start with these three ideas:
- An ice cream maker; not very seasonal, I know, but I adore mine, I use it all the time, and I don't think I would have gotten one for myself (it was a gift from Maxence).
- A one-handed pepper mill: again, mine was a gift, but every time I use it in front of someone I can tell they're dying to have one, too.
- A glass cake dome. That one is on my wish list: I would love to be able to keep homemade cakes fresh on the counter without covering them in foil, which is neither green, nor pretty, nor convenient.

What about you, any ideas to share? Please chime in!


Last edited by clotilde on Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have already delivered my pressies to family in Australia while there. They will open them together on the day.

I think my brother is going to love his. Foie gras, with a grinder of the salt and pepper and spice mix to sprinkle over it, a beautiful tea towel from St Tropez, fleur de sel, salty butter caramels, herbs de provence and a small bottle of sauternes.

My step father is getting a set of gourmet mustards packed into a lovely tin. 4 different flavours which I cannot remember now. Also chocolate and wine.

My sister has a thing for linen tea towels so I buy nice ones on my travels during the year and give them to her at Xmas. She loves it and takes them in to work to show a friend who loves them also.

Myself, there is so much I could put on a Santy Claws list, but I really have no room in my kitchen.

One of the best pressies I received were silicon spatulas from Rainey. They are used constantly (and have little Xmas motifs on them - so cute) and had an airing this morning when I made my fruitcakes. So practical and easy to use, plus cute and make me smile and think of friends when I use them.

My cookbooks from friends are also valued and I think they are a great gift. The pictures, the recipes and the fact that someone special gave it to me.

I am getting non food pressies this year, and that is fine.

I have a really old cheese platter and dome which I sometimes use as a cake plate and dome. Bought it at a brocante and have found it useful so many times for different things. Sometimes I just pile fruit or flowers inside it for my own enjoyment..... and so the cat can't destroy the flowers too of course.... Rolling Eyes
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually get a new piece of Le Creuset for Christmas or my birthday, which is always a hit. I am not a gadget girl, but last year I recieved my Japanese vegetable turner and am totally in love. Other than that, I'd want specialty food I can cook with, like the Edam a friend brought me from Amsterdam.

I am giving Christmas breakfast to my family with homemade butter and pannetone, homemade chicken apple sausages, clementines, my favorite coffee and cocoa, with pretty mugs, presented in lidless boxes covered in newspaper and tied with a big red bow. I had to do something different for my in-laws since I don't really want to ship raw chicken. They are geting 1/2 of a smoked salmon, some local chocolates and California pistachios.
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin, might you share a link to a picture of that Japanese vegetable turner? I'm v. curious!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our standard for holiday gift-giving are baskets we put together outselves. In them will be found fruits and veggies we've grown and canned, various mini-loaves of quick breads, and, for top of the list folks, maybe even one of my hand-built cheese boards.

These seem to be more appreciated than any store-bought gifts.
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CindyA



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 1
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the serious foodies on my list, I make a few things.

Sicilian fig bars - from my grandfather's recipe. The process is similar to making ravioli and it takes all day. We grow the figs, dry the figs, grind the figs and put Nonno's secret ingredient (ground black pepper) into the filling.

Fruitcake - using crops from our farm - dried peaches & nectarines, black monukka raisins and almond meal.
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foodwriter97426



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Food Gifts Reply with quote

I never buy gifts, they are always homemade and always food.

For my sisters it is a mix of dried fruit and walnuts from our trees.
This year I had enough cherries to make dark-chocolate dipped cherries, rolled in cocoa. I only give about half away, the rest are for me!

I also make liqueurs, but only for local friends. I usually bake dozens of cookies, but am not sure I will do that this year. I also sometimes make a stollen, but they need to be given the same day, or maybe the next day if I bake them in the evening.

Some of my friends may receive some chutney, jam or fruit butter.
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mandysu



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject: experiments... Reply with quote

I love to experiment, but, being a single girl, I can't always handle all of the results. I love pomegranate molasses (for the uninitiated, it's just the juice concentrated until syrupy--I buy mine at a middle eastern shop or gourmet deli), and had the odd idea in September that blackberries and pomegranate are a bit like cousins, flavor-wise... so could one not make blackberry molasses? One giant bowl of overripe berries from the park across the street, a few unavoidable scratches, a heck of a cleaup job, and a permanently mauve tea towel and I was the proud owner of three jars of blackberry molasses.

Mom's getting one. I meant to give one to my aunt, too, but forgot. She'll get it next time I see her, as I really don't need so much of the stuff (lovely and black though it is).
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clotilde, when I was typing before, something told me it would draw you out! I was wrong calling it a turner, that was the name I was introduced to it under, it is actually a spiral slicer. Here is a link to mine, but it looks like Kyocera has come out with a great looking version that I think I must have. http://www.amazon.com/Benriner-Cook-Spiral-Vegatable-Slicer/dp/B00012F3R2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1228159420&sr=8-4
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"It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."

"It's hot ham water."
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kyle



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: DISC. OF THE MONTH: Best Gift Ideas For The Food Enthusiast? Reply with quote

The one item that I cannot live without and the best gift that I ever received is my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. While not cheap it will last forever. I use mine most often for bread dough but it and can be customized with a wide selection of attachments.

In addition to baking, I'm also a homebrewer and find that a six pack afixed with labels bearing the recipients photo is always welcome.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I exchange gifts with several people overseas and use mail order which saves me standing in line at the post office, I can put the postage saved into the gift, and I help my carbon footprint. Clotilde thank you for the glass dome idea. I've just ordered it for a friend in the US and by adding an extra small $2 item to bring amount to $25, I saved $11 on shipping. I just know she is going to love it.
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Barbara
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kchocolate3



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Vanilla Extract: Homemade Reply with quote

This year I am giving my family homemade vanilla extract, based on Elise's recipe:

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/007340how_to_make_vanilla_extract.php

I'm making it on Christmas Eve because I am traveling to my parents' and shipped all the bottles there (to save on space in my luggage and so the bottles wouldn't break). My family will receive instructions on how long to wait until the vodka is infused (2mos), and a vanilla sable cookie recipe I am developing for them. This way they will be able to watch the process of vanilla extract being made, and then make a recipe designed specifically for them!

I bought the bottles at: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/

I bought the vanilla at: http://www.organic-vanilla.com/servlet/StoreFront
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic ideas all around, thanks so much for sharing! Also, I admit I have garden envy -- I wish I could grow stuff to can and dry and grind and brew and dip in chocolate...

Erin - How funny, I have this spiral slicer on my wish list! I'd never seen the model you have, and it's great to hear you like it -- from the reviews I've seen, not everyone manages to make these gadgets work for them.

Kchocolate - I've made homemade vanilla extract from Elise's recipe, too! I admit I plan on keeping it for my own use, but it's a lovely gift idea.
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Vicky A



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:32 am    Post subject: food gifts Reply with quote

We give candied orange peels dipped in dark chocolate. It's actually gotten to be kind of a major project here. I am cooking the last of the peels this evening from 50# of oranges. The first oranges were peeled about two weeks ago, and are already candied, dried, dipped, and bagged up. We end up with about 120 bags of candy, but there are many people who ask for it year after year. On the plus side, our house smells really great in December.
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Vicky A



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:35 am    Post subject: Benriner spiral slicer Reply with quote

I have one of these; I've probably owned it for fifteen years or more, and the blades are still sharp. I don't use it often, but it works quite well. The translation from Japanese in the manual is pretty quirky, so you have to be willing to sort out how to use it yourself.
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