We're in the Christmas season, and tension has started filling the air! Often we just have time to be creative! Since giving should never be a source of stress, I felt the need to share my personal Christmas gift ideas for those who find it difficult to get out of the kitchen. Hope you're inspired!
1. Cookware. Every cook loves cookware. But there are ways to make this gift more unique. For eg, a new saucepan will be a wonderful gift under the Christmas tree, but also find a great sauce recipe to be used as a stuffer along with all the ingredients!
2. Flavored oils, bottles of vinegar. A sure way to make a new dish or boost it!
Fresh oils and bottles of vinegar are a cook's delight, you can't have plenty! Walnut oil, avocado oil, truffle oil, just look around your local grocery store and you'll be amazed at today's range!
3. Plastic containers. They must be of the highest quality for the fridge, dishwasher and microwave! I don't know how these containers always seem to vanish and you can't get enough or enough sizes. Why not buy various shapes and sizes, but fill them with special nuts or candies to make this gift more special than plain old plastic!
4. Liquor. While we all like a little Christmas cheer, there's another wonderful kitchen liquor use. It's important to make beautiful demi-glazes for your favourite meat dishes, and most likely your home cook won't splurge on lavish liquids. So why not help your favourite chef to cook with a few bottles of liquor! Brandy, Sherry, Whiskey and Madeira are great.
5. Wine. Like liquor wine, deglaze pans and make amazing sauces. Again why not add a recipe as a stuffer. Any cook still welcomes inspiration.
6. Coffee and tea. Most kitchen lovers love coffee, if not drink, cooking with. So why not make a coffee-gift basket? Finding local free-trade coffee in your neighbourhood speciality food store is simple, and while there are some cinnamon sticks, honey, flavoured syrups, etc. Why not throw some speciality coffee mugs and liquors like Baileys or Kahlua. What a pleasure!! Tea is commonly used in kitchens today. Using tea instead of bland brines!
7. Cookbooks. Again another no-brainerî, but if they enjoy cooking, they love cookbooks. We'll never get tired of cookbooks, but be sure to find the right ones. Look for a niche cookbook shop and you'll have a great gift in your hands. A few you should look at.
8. Microplane. If your special chef doesn't have one then here's another must-have kitchen device. They're inexpensive and essential when incorporating or enhancing flavour in dishes. Why not pair a Microplane with some of its favourite equivalents including whole musk, whole cinnamon, whole star anise etc.
9. Appliances. Maybe not an oven or microwave, but why not a new electric mixer or Panini press? Here's a shopping tip to buy either of these things online this year! Small appliances are almost often less costly when bought online and delivery is always waived as well. Shops charge a premium this time of year so save time and money and buy online!
10. Tableware. If they love cooking then they love entertainment. Why not find beautiful glassware, or placemats, or service plates that they can show off their creations with. Unique paper napkins make perfect stuffers and linen napkins with beautiful napkin rings are always a treat.
So don't let stress take the fun out of Christmas this season. There's plenty of ways to bring smiles on faces this year And for one last suggestion: make your Specialty Gift Basket! Build your gift basket by incorporating all of the above ideas.