8 Gifts for Someone Who Loves Cooking
Still looking for that perfect Christmas or New Year gift for someone who loves to cook? Don’t you worry! There are so many great things you can give a foodie that will put a smile on their face. I selected 8 different gifts that fit all budgets, ranging from the typical to the surprising.
The Big Ones (that last a lifetime)
These are the gifts for the people you truly love, and who truly deserve it. Their price might be a bit high, but rest assured that these tools will last a lifetime. That is also their main drawback when it comes to gift giving. Better make sure the lucky person doesn’t already have them! Without further ado:
Preparing all the food for Christmas and New Year can be a bit of a challenge. Many hands make light work though, and this is especially the case if you have a few more mechanical hands to help you out. Cue the KitchenAid Classic. Not only does it look drop-death gorgeous, it’s also built like a tank. These stand mixers can handle very dense dough, whip up cream in a matter of seconds, and don’t overheat all that quickly (mine has been running continuously for well over half an hour without any ill-effect). Over in the US/Canada, it’s not uncommon to find a grandma who still owns her first KitchenAid – which she got as a wedding present! Their reliability is in part due to some clever engineering. Every KitchenAid stand mixer contains a nylon worm gear which is designed to break first. It avoids that the more difficult to replace metal parts get damaged, and it allows even old KitchenAid stand mixers to be brought back to life for only a small fee. That being said, even this nylon worm is so sturdy that I never had to replace one.
A totally different price class, but just as elegant is the Peugeot Tahiti Pepper Mill. Once again a tool that is built to last, and the manufacturers are so confident that the grinding mechanism comes with a lifetime warranty. These look great in any kitchen, and nothing quite beats the smell and taste of freshly ground pepper.
Pressure cookers work by building up the pressure in the pot, which in turn allows the water in the pot to reach much higher temperatures. The result is food that is cooked faster, and food that tends to retain much more flavour as it didn’t evaporate. The pressure cooker is particularly handy to make soups (often only requiring 25-50% of the time), sauces, and stews. They are also very economical to use, as less time on the stovetop means less electricity or gas to pay for. This Tefal Secure 5 Neo model sits right at that sweet spot where it is not too cheap nor too expensive. Unlike cheaper versions this one is manufactured by a respected brand, replacement parts are cheap and easy to find (the inner seal needs yearly replacing), and it’s a full steel pot so it won’t deform like cheaper aluminium versions will. As for price, it sits comfortably between the pepper mill and the stand mixer.
Sometimes you want to give something a bit more personal, a bit more unique, or something that is just plain useful for just about anyone (but especially home cooks). Read on:
Knives are the, euh, bread and butter of the kitchen. They are needed for everything, and good pair of knives can make live so much easier. Ceramic knives, unlike steel knives, do not dull over time as so do not need any kind of sharpening. They are so sharp that you need to handle them with some care, as even touching the blade without much force may result in a cut. When used correctly though, they do make life as a cook a lot easier. This Feinzer set contains 3 hardened ceramic knives, has a blade that extends below the handle (ideal for cutting), and hits a sweet spot when it comes to price vs. quality. One word of caution though: ceramic knives are naturally brittle (even these hardened ones), so don’t drop them, don’t use them to cut anything but food, and don’t use them for paring or deboning. Or, at least, that is what you have to tell the lucky person who you buy these for.
Ordering from other Amazon EU websites
The link to the Feinzer set of knives links to the German Amazon website. Don’t worry about this though. If you live in the EU, you can order items from any EU Amazon website. In this particular case, the German website stocks the item for the lowest price. Just proceed as normal, and when checking out you will even be asked if you want to pay in EUR or GBP.
No kitchen is complete without a good set of measuring cups/spoons. A scale is of course essential and can go a long way, but some ingredients are just so much easier to weigh out using cups and spoons. The Kitchen Craft measuring cups and Kitchen Craft measuring spoons add a lovely splash of colour to any kitchen, and the cups are collapsible to ensure they only take up a minimal amount of space.
Finally, after all the hard work in the kitchen you deserve a cup of tea. Or coffee. Or hot chocolate with a mountain of whipped cream and mini marshmallows. Whatever tickles your fancy, changes are it will all start with a cup of hot water. Rather than boiling too much water, the Breville One Cup boiler will give you exactly one cup of steamy water. Simple, and in the long run it does help quite a bit with keeping that electrical bill in check!
The Surprise Gifts
And sometimes you just want to give a little surprise: What goes better with a hard-earned cuppa than a lovely piece of shortbread? Nothing! So stop doubting and buy this lovely Santa-themed wobble tin of all-butter shortbreads. The tin is also perfect for storing home-baked cookies (tins keep cookies nice and crunchy), and it offers a joyous reminder of when the tin was given.
Last, but by no means least, is this selection of fresh Tellicherry pepper and fresh Sichuan pepper. Mix them up at a 2:1 ratio and you en up with a pepper fragrance like you’ve never tasted and smelled before. Tellicherry pepper is among the best black pepper around. What really makes this mix pop is the addition of Sichuan pepper. These aren’t actually a pepper, but are the dried berries of the Chinese prickly ash bush. Their taste is peppery (though not spicy), and they have a distinctive lemony taste that uplifts any dish they are put in. It causes a unique tingling when it touches your tongue, and the 2:1 mix keeps it all well-balanced to ensure you can use this pepper mix whenever you would use ordinary pepper.