Historically, kitchen items have been iffy as holidy gifts, because the person that might like something kitchen related is probably a cooking geek, and therefore, either already has the thing or has a better idea of which one to get than you, the gift giver, does.
On the other hand, Covid-19 has caused a surge of interest in cooking. People are cooking all over the place these days because it is something you can do without getting the plague. Usually.
On the third hand, if you look at prices of the more desired kitchen items, they are up about 25% or more. I assume this is a problem of limited supply (Covid-19 effects) and increased demand (more demand because of the aforementioned new interest in cooking).
Whatever. Point is, I’ve put together a list of suggestions, with links to Amazon*, but do not just click on these things and buy them. Prices vary widely, and also, in many cases there are multiple possible options (especially for the Instant Pot, I’ll tell you right now) that you’ll want to consider.
Peternatural Toaster Oven
One of the coolest presents that I got about two years ago was the Panasonic 1300 Watts FlashXpress Toaster Oven. It is a little narrower than other toaster ovens, which is both a feature (fits on your counter nicely) and a bug (you can’t do as many pieces of toast at once, if you make toast in it). I got it because I wanted a device that would make an open grilled cheese sandwich in nine seconds. I never actually make those, but I wanted to be able to do that, so I could apply that technology to other purposes. This device does not make a grilled cheese sandwich in 9 seconds, but it does a much better job of super cooking things than a normal toaster oven. I use it on average once a day.
Everyone has one, so should you, and it won’t explode
The Instant Pot is the novel device of last year. If you don’t have one, get one. If you know someone who does not have one, get one for that person. There are MANY different versions so look around and chose wisely. I know several people who have one but refuse to use it as pressure cooker because they are afraid it will explode. THIS IS A PRESSURE COOKER THAT WILL NOT EXPLODE and if you won’t use it as a pressure cooker, please give it to someone who will and get yourself one of these.
During the a last in-person annual local Democratic Party Chile Cook Off, it was funny to watch the contestants with their Instant Pots full of chili. This was funny because the lid on an Instant Pot, which is a pressure cooker, is clumsy and can not be casually and loosely put on something, like the lid of a crock pot. I recommend considering accessorizing your Instant Pot with a Glass Lid.
This is the difference between civilized society and the Iron Age
Everyone who does not have some sort of KitchenAid is living in an earlier, simpler, but less edible time. The one I point to here is a reburbished job, which may not be a bad idea for this device that can’t easily be killed. There are no subsittutes for an actual kitchen aid. I used to say you need to get the 5 quart model and forego the smaller flip up model, but I’ve changed my mind. They are both good.
Of all the attachments you can get for a KitchenAid, the Grinder Attachment is probably the one that does the most impressive job. I do not have a Flex Edge Beater accessory for my KitchenAid but I covet one. (The one linked to right here is seriously on sale at this exact moment in the US.)
Be like the British Baking Show
… and get a Kitchen Scale. It should be capable of holding close to 10 pounds. “When will I ever have to measure out ten pounds of something?” you protest! You won’t! But you use the scale to weigh out what you put in the bowl. The bowl is on the scale. It weighs a lot. The one I link to is recommended by all the usual sources. They are remarkably inexpensive.
Be cool. Very cool.
I don’t know anything about cold press coffee, other than that it is surprisingly good. But I don’t know how to make it, or what device is needed or what works and does not work. I’m hoping you will experiment with something like a Cold Brew Coffee Maker and report back. Thanks.
4 thoughts on “Kitchen Item as Holiday Gift? Maybe, maybe not”
On the trail of kitchen gifts that go south in a funny way: my wife does a crap-ton of Xmas baking every year, for family, friends, etc. She also makes carmels (how she spells it) and uses a wooden spoon to stir them.
Two years ago she stated she needed a new spoon — the one she’d been using for 30+ years was wearing down. Our older son informed me he’d found on online. Three days later he informed me he’d “screwed up” but wouldn’t share information until the big day.
He had found a spoon. Wooden. It was 3 feet long, designed to stir pots of fishboil. He’d just seen it advertised as “large wooden cooking spoon”. It’s now displayed on the wall outside the kitchen
That’s actually a really handy thing to have for, like, fish boils! I’ve been stuck using a closet dowel for that.
My Kitchen Aid mixer is still going strong and I bought it in the early 1980s. I think I’ll get that flex edge beater looks great, I may have to order one. I haven’t got a use for the grinder(or at least I’ve never regretted not having one) I do have an older version of the Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment which I’ve used a lot. The Sifter and Scale attachment looks interesting but I have a good 5kg digital scale that also gives you nutrient/calorie/carb count based on weight and ingredient.
For the budget conscious person who makes gravies I still think the handiest device you can have is a fat separator, especially the type that strains out the produce while you are filling it. https://www.cookstore.ca/oxo-4-cup-trigger-fat-separator-11198900g.html
Yes, a fat separator is essential. For gravy: https://gregladen.com/blog/2017/11/22/how-to-make-gravy-2/