It’s that time of year again.
For people like me, who leave things to the last minute. It’s time to think really hard – what gifts can I get for that difficult-to-shop-for [insert name]?
Of course, I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but through the years I’ve amassed some pretty cool kitchen & photography things. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite (and perhaps more unique and unusual) things I’ve gotten over the past few years. Perhaps it can be the perfect gift for some food-loving friend or relative you know.
The Inner Kitchen Chemist
I actually got this present for my birthday about a month ago from some good friends of mine. It’s perfect for my inner chemist who likes to play around with powders, liquids, and vials!
This molecular gastronomy kit includes many of the basic ingredients needed to execute all kinds of molecular gastronomy techniques. They also gave me the Alinea cookbook, written by none other than Grant Achatz, one of the leading masterminds of molecular gastronomy in the U.S.
Or Savor Beautiful Food Photography + Recipes
Speaking of books by amazing 3-star Michelin chefs, another great gift idea might be the new, gorgeous book by Daniel Humm about dishes from his newly minted 3-star Michelin restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. I got to try many of these dishes at a special “cookbook tour” dinner cooked by Daniel Humm himself (at Boston at Menton, of all places!) just a few weeks ago. Details from that meal will be posted, soon I hope! I haven’t tried cooking out of the book, but I can attest to the fact that it’s gorgeous and the food we had on the cookbook tour tasted incredible.
I’ve been meaning to try out these cool Japanese kitchen items I got in the mail from Korin, a cool specialty Japanese tableware and knives seller from New York City. They carry a lot of neat Japanese kitchenware, including many knives similar to my beloved Masamoto knives (among many other Japanese knives). They recently contacted me asking me if I wanted to review something from their store. I ended up picking this unusual type of pot called a Jo On Sai Pot because it was different and something I’d never tried using before. Look out for a new post about this! Meanwhile, check out Korin‘s store online, which has tons of fun Japanese-type dishware & knives, many of which would make excellent gifts for anyone who loves Japanese stuff (like me!).
If you want to experiment with a cooking technique used by many high-end restaurants around the world, try the art of sous vide cooking, which involves cooking foods at very precise temperatures (in a water bath). For the adventurous, try cooking out of Thomas Keller’s food dedicated to sous vide cooking, Under Pressure. For a more basic book that’s chock full of really useful information, try Douglas Baldwin’s Sous Vide for the Home Cook.
Bryan got this for me as a birthday present one year and I absolutely love it. It has its own condenser so you don’t have to bother with taking up precious freezer space for a huge dewar. Best yet, you can make ice cream on a whim just by turning it on. It makes luxuriously beautiful ice cream. You can check out some of the more unique ice creams I’ve made on this blog, such as avocado, olive oil, black sesame, simple lemon, and grape nut.
I can’t believe it took me this long to appreciate how awesome cast-iron Dutch ovens are! I finally bought my first Le Creuset piece the summer of 2010 at an outlet store. I am still amazed at how evenly it heats everything and how well it retains heat. Seriously, it has made stir frying a breeze. I love the versatility of this pot. Yes, it’s heavy and a pain to lift up, but it’s totally worth it for the performance. It has become one of my default pots of choice whenever I want to stir-fry! Perhaps I’ll look into a cast iron wok next!
When I know I’m going to a special event, or if I know I’ll be in a very challenging light situation, I will bring this camera along (which actually belongs to Bryan!). We bring it along with us on all of our trips, and it’s really versatile. It’s biggest (and only) drawback is that it’s HUGE. It’s still worth it, though, This is an amazing camera that really takes seriously good photographs. Click here to read more detailed thoughts about it.
That’s it, for now . . .
I could go on and on and on, but I’ll stop here. Hope I gave you some inspiration for possible gifts, either for someone else or even for yourself!
If you’d like to support Tiny Urban Kitchen through your shopping, feel free to search for amazon.com items through the link on the left sidebar of the blog, or click here to get to Amazon.
Have a great final week of holiday shopping!
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