Tidings of Spendy Cheer!

Once again, it’s time to stifle our own material desires for a month and go shopping solely for others. If you’re lucky (I most certainly am), the ultimate recipients of your selections are individuals you at least like and preferably adore, and gifting any of the following items will leave you nestled in good graces for another 365 days. If there are any special people in your life for whom Christmas is your opportunity to passive-aggressively send a snarky message, the suggestions below would be completely inappropriate, and you’d be better off bestowing a certificate for laser hair removal, a Proactive regimen, or a basket brimming with Dr. Scholl’s products. But for the good boys and girls on your list, especially those with any culinary flair, here are a few items certain to delight and enchant.

Chef’n Strawberry Huller $7.95, Williams-Sonoma
I usually avoid single-purpose kitchen tools, having a small kitchen and CCD (Compulsive Chucking Disorder), but if you know someone who loves serving food in other food, this is a must. I’m not sure with what you’d stuff the strawberries, or how you’d get them to stand upright for serving, but the recipient won’t even think of these quandaries until well after you’ve received a glowing thank you note.

Rösle Garlic Press $39.00, Williams-Sonoma
Is forty dollars too much to spend on a garlic press? Not if it’s the Carl Lewis of garlic presses. The perforated bin flips out for easy cleaning, and you don’t have to peel your cloves before pressing. I do anyway, having received my press from gift-giver extraordinaire, Mr. S, but knowing that it’s unnecessary gives me a tingle of smugness.

Stainless Steel Breading Pans, Set of 3 $34.95, Williams-Sonoma
If I have to use two dinner plates and a shallow bowl to flour, egg, and bread my schnitzel once more, I may wash my hands of the whole thing. This would be a hint to anyone who’d like to get something for their humble content provider. A little costly to buy for oneself, these are priced to be gifts, so let’s remind ourselves why we came to the mall in the first place.

Kaiser Stainless Steel Cookie Press Set $49.95, Chef Tools
Best to keep this one in the immediate family, so that you can enjoy the fruits of the giftee’s labor, again and again.

Small Treat Boxes $3.29/3, Wilton
Anyone who goes the homemade route at Christmas with coworkers, friends and family would be beside themselves to receive a few dozen of these bad larries. Never again will they have to shop at dollar stores for the least atrociously decorated tins, and now they can throw away that intimidating Incoming/Outgoing Tupperware log.

AK Bullet Ice Tray $6.99, Amazon
I don’t often go in for novelty cookware, even though the Tardis Cookie Jar would work so well with my kitchen’s blue and yellow color scheme, but ten dollars is absolutely worth being able to ask your companion if they’d be so kind as to pop a couple of caps in your Diet Coke.

Christmas Shopping for People Like Me

This year I’m taking care of a few household needs with my wishlist, including a new rug for the living room and a Singer machine, as I tire quickly of hand-sewing my curtains. There are still, however, a few kitchen items that have managed to elude me over the years, of which I was freshly reminded while perusing the Williams-Sonoma holiday catalog. Here are some delightful gifts for the kitchen enthusiasts in your life, and don’t be afraid that they might already have one; an excuse to patronize the most justifiably overpriced store on earth is always appreciated.

Microplane Rasp Grater – $14.95
A zesty gadget that doubles as a creative weapon.

Kuhn-Rikon Bread Knife – $19.95
I was excited about this one even before the description promised to reduce my fatigue. Completely unnecessary, deliciously specific.

Oval Scooping Strainers Set of 3 – $49.95
The only time I think to replace my strainers is while I’m watching food fall through the holes. Be somebody’s hero.

All-Clad Cook-Serve Tools Set of 6 – $99.95
Save a friend’s counter-top from the visual abscess of a paint can full of dollar-store cooking utensils.

All-Clad Stainless Steel French Skillet Set – $129.95
This is as close as WS comes to an actual deal. Perhaps Mr. P would like to take advantage of it; I don’t think it’s possible to top the Shun Ken santoku he gave me a few years back, but he can certainly try.

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