A Dozen Gifts for Cooks

Having the right tool in the kitchen can make the difference between joy and frustration. We have been in many home kitchens, and have used many tools, over many years. Some quality tools are inexpensive, some are investments.

Do you need some recommendations? Here are some that add pleasure to my day.

Some are available locally, some are harder to find. Buy local when you can. I have included links to our Kitchen Hardware Store if you can’t.

For the cook

Microplane zester for fine citrus zest, zingy fresh ginger root, fragrant nutmeg, airy mounds of parmesan… I am found of saying “add zest to your life”.

Silicone spatulas so your scraper will not melt into your sauce. You will only need to purchase these once. One piece models are the best, so the scraper doesn’t separate from the handle. And get several sizes, for big bowls and skinny jars.

Scoops in many sizes, makes portioning muffins, cookies, and meatballs easy. And less messy.

Citrus reamer for fresh juice, to enliven dull dishes. Wood is the best. I have owned fancy schamcy ones, but none better.

A good, sturdy peeler. Get it in red so you find it in the jumble of the tool drawer.

Pretty ramekins for individual servings. These make you feel special.

Custard cups for super quick gluten free Wonder Buns.

Pressure cookers for slow cooked tenderness, fast.

For the cook and the gardener

Excalibur food dehydrator for dried tomatoes and cinnamon apple slices. Next year we will also dry sage and blackberry leaves for herbal teas.

Water bath canning set for pickles (beet, beans, cauliflower, cucumber, peppers) and jams (plum, ground cherry, raspberry, tomato, tomatillo).

The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. This is an updated version of the book we used repeatedly this summer to “put food by”. Vincent made eight different kinds of pickles that are going to be holiday gifts this winter.

For the cook and the reader

Hungry Planet What the World Eats by Peter Menzel. For those who want some anthropology with their food. IMHO, everyone should read this book. It includes beautiful pictures of families in 24 countries, and what they eat in a week. And notes the average health care cost per person for each country.

What do you want for Christmas?