Part II: Christmas harder!
You must be desperate by now, right? You’re running out of time and you’re totally clueless as to what to get for that sweet cook in your life, even though someone provided you with a perfectly good list a little while ago. Nothing “spoke” to you, nothing seemed to say “Happy Holidays” with the kind of style you wanted, or even worse, all of the cheap stuff was sold out when you went shopping. Here’s your second chance, my little sugarplum, another short list of suggestions that just might save you from the brink of Christmas gift-giving despair.
T-Fal Avante Elite Toaster Oven
($79.99 at Target). My toaster oven was one of the few things that stood between my family and starvation when we were remodeling my kitchen. It’s a little worse for the wear, however, and it’s time to upgrade. The T-Fal is both a toaster oven AND a convection oven that’s big enough to roast a chicken. And rerouting those smaller jobs to a smaller oven saves the planet some carbon change in the process, and we all want to do that when we can, right? It also has two (count them!) levels and can toast six pieces of toast at once! What’s not to love?
Vosges La Parisienne Couture Cocoa
($19.00 at For the Love of Chocolate). It’s like a melted chocolate bar in a cup, so rich and velvety, you’ll sip it in disbelief. How can something as prosaic as a cup of hot chocolate come so close to producing ecstasy?
($24.99 at Target). Hey, it’s on sale at Target right now! This little pitcher is the perfect companion to the Vosges cocoa (see above), with a little propeller inside that whips the chocolate into a frenzied froth that’s trés authentique.
Chocolate Truffle Candlepot & Kobo Anisette Orange Scented Candle
($26.00 at Pottery Barn). Speaking of chocolate and speaking of sales, this fat candle (on sale!) will waft the scent of cocoa right at you with an uncanny simulacrum of the real thing. If that’s too tempting to your willpower, Mongrel carries the Kobo Anisette Orange Scented Candle (NOT on sale at $35.75), a haunting blend of anise, red peppercorn and blood orange.
Silver Stag Salt and Pepper Shakers
($29.95 at Mongrel). I love salt and pepper shakers but I resist collecting them (the best collecting I seem to able to do is one of everything). I might have to make an exception for these reindeer shakers and make the holidays bright by tucking these into my stocking as a little holiday gift to myself. And hey! They’re almost $10 cheaper at Mongrel than they are at Anthropologie.
Mini Max Shopper
($5.95 at Mongrel). Keep it green, folks, just keep it green. The perfect stocking stuffer this year is a little bag that can fit in your pocket and give you the power to just say no to paper or plastic.
Deep Tangerine No. 4 perfume oil by Bird Cox
($16.00 at the Bizarre Market at Chop Suey Books). I love so many things at the Bizarre Market, but so few have to do with cooking. This little lovely however, so balanced between the high notes of citrus and the low notes of amber, earns a permanent home on my wrists and behind my ears, even though technically I can’t eat it.
If You Were a Food, What Would You Be?
($20.00 at the Bizarre Market). You can buy the Art 180 community cookbook at the Bizarre Market, however, and relish the recipes along with the satisfaction of participating in a great cause.
Paris Tea and The Teastick
($5.00 per 1/4 lb. and $18.00 respectively, at Carytown Teas). The coolest gadget with the most fragrant of teas. Vanilla, bergamot, and a hint of lemon make this black tea my new favorite.
($24.95 at Crate and Barrel). I love the off-center hole in the middle and the graceful curve to the lip of this elegant pitcher.
Acacia Platter and Appetizer Plates
($14.95 and $4.95 respectively, at Crate and Barrel). Polished organic acacia wood, unique to each piece, makes these lovely plates a steal at such crazy-low prices.
Bacon of the Month Club
($150.00 per year at The Grateful Palate). OH MY GOD! Bacon every single month from a different artisan producer, with a bacon comic strip (monthly), a pen, a toy pig, a bacon tee-shirt, a pig-nose (hopefully not real), AND your very own membership card just for joining! What more could you ask for than all of that?
Happy Holidays, everyone!