It’s the holidays, people are looking for gifts for their favorite foodies. (Including, ahem, my darling husband). I’ll do posts later on larger gifts I’m giving to the foodies in my life or hoping to receive, but this post is dedicated to the often worrisome stocking stuffer. In my world, stocking stuffers have to be both small (to fit in the stocking) and reasonably priced (a Tiffany ring is nice, but deserves its own wrapping, no?).
I love this thing. Everyone should have one in their kitchen. Everyone! Maybe two. I can’t tell you how many sweet potatoes and parsnips I peeled on Thanksgiving without substantial hand fatigue. I love it!
photo courtesy of Ashley Rodriguez, Notwithoutsalt.com
Tahitian Vanilla Beans, 2 oz. for $5.75
Disclaimer: I haven’t ordered from this particular link, but they offer whole beans at a great price and I’ve heard very positive comments on the quality. Vanilla beans are one of those luxury ingredients that can really make a dish pop. They can be used for so many things and they’re a perfect stocking stuffer size.
Vietnamese Cinnamon, $5.29 for 4 oz.
If you haven’t tried Vietnamese Cinnamon, you’re in for a treat — it has an intense, true cinnamon flavor and a sweet taste that’s a FAR cry from the cinnamon you buy in the supermarket. If you have tried it, you know that you can’t get enough, and ANYONE should be thrilled to find a jar or bag of this in their stocking.
I used to have an old fashioned pastry brush, and it shed hairs like crazy. Silicone eliminates this problem and is easy to wash. I have a couple of these and I use them all the time. (I don’t actually work for Oxo, I just think they make a lot of well-made products at reasonable prices).
Salt is essential to cooking, and Maldon is my absolute favorite. It has a delicate, flaky texture that adds a salty crunch to the finish of any dish and a clean, pure flavor.
If you’re using sea salt instead of table salt, your typical shaker won’t cut it. A salt pig sits on the counter and holds salt. Its design keeps dust from getting into the salt, but allows easy pinching.
This may not be for everyone, but if you’re going to try your hand at jam or chutney making, I would say this is one of the few indispensable tools. I love my regular kitchen tongs but I don’t want to be spilling hot jam and glass all over the place. My jar lifter holds the jars securely.
In my opinion, you can never have enough dish towels, and the flour sack type are my favorite — large enough to act as an impromptu apron, and soft enough to polish silver. White’s a classic, but these also come in other colors.
I’m not particularly good at estimating the thickness of a rolled pastry, and my pie crusts are often uneven. These Rolling Pin Rings attach to your rolling pin and help measure the thickness of your dough. I’d love to find a set of these in my stocking!
Does your favorite foodie like to loan out cookbooks only to have a hard time getting them to return home? Get a set of these kitchen themed personalized bookplates to identify their cookbook library! If you want something that’s more renewable and are willing to put in some assembly work you might also consider this Rubber Stamp from Modern Designs, $10.