A Pinch of the Holidays: Gift Guide 2017


Ya know when there’s something you really want to be good at, but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get there? Some things are just intrinsic to some people and not to others. That’s how I feel about giving gifts.

I know at the heart of it, being a good gift-giver lies in the thought and care, not in the material good. But I so want to be that person, that Leslie Knope, who gets the Iron Throne on loan for her husband or who calls in a bomb threat to Penn Station so her boss’s childhood crush can’t train back to Boston. Oops. I switched to Liz Lemon. Whatever, same principle.

But that’s not me. I need a list. It’s not romantic or special. The best I can do is notice when someone mentions something they specifically want from about August on and then I’ll hopefully remember to watch and see if they buy it for themselves. If not, there’s my present!


Oh well. We can’t all be great at gift-giving.

What I can do is tell you some nice things for the kitchen that I would want, and that some of my friends would want too. When in doubt, look inward, right? If I was better at blogging, I would have gotten this together for you earlier and maybe even told you when sales were coming up. Just another thing to add to the self-improvement list, I guess. Sigh.


  1. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – Samin Nosrat’s new book about the fundamentals of great cooking. Less a cookbook, more a culinary guide. All I’ve heard are raves and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
  2. A magnetic knife strip – Something to organize your knives. A knife block is nice too, or a knife holder for your drawer.
  3. Carbon Steel Fry Pan – Lighter than cast iron, with all the same benefits. A good old cast iron pan would be nice, too, though.
  4. Bee’s Wrap Sustainable Food Storage – Key word being sustainable. I have yet to try this, but it’s certainly on my list this year. Another real winner for the environment are these stainless steel straws. I use them daily and I don’t dump them in a landfill. Talk about feel-good kitchen accessories, y’all.
  5. Market Backpack – To wear while you Citibike home from the farmer’s market after spotting Melissa Clark. Ok, that was a very specific reason to get this, but whatever your market habits – the backpack component is a game-changer.
  6. Cloth napkins – Reusable and luxurious. Plus, if you go with a nice, neutral, handsome grey, it’s also forgiving if anything stains.
  7. Special flatware – For when company comes over or, heck, when you just want to make yourself feel special. Other options here and here.
  8. Serving platters – A must for any entertainer. You can never have too many platters. Never, do you hear me?
  9. Tea accessories – So you can make maple pecan sandwich cookies and serve them to your friends. Make it a little set with these cups and creamer.
  10. Spode dishes – Dishes to serve your parents dinner on. Dishes that don’t come from Ikea (no hate). Dishes that make you want to cook something nice, just so you can break them out.

PS. Bonus gift idea – a nice jar of homemade maple butter rum sauce, pictures at the top. Just an idea.



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