Now that we are into December, I can get my head around Christmas. I’ve had some emails from readers asking if I have some recommendations for Christmas presents for food lovers and keen cooks, so I thought I’d share my Christmas list with you, together with some of my top recommendations.
Things for the kitchen
- A good peeler is a great investment. My all-time favourite is the Good Grips Y Peeler, which works like a dream and also produces thin ribbons which can be useful in salads.
- A beautiful, high quality wooden spoon is a wonderful thing to use and will last well. My favourite wooden spoons are from David Mellor on Sloane Square in London. This is also one of my favourite cook shops. They sell online. Such an elegant design and made from beautiful wood.
- A Microplane grater is another super useful piece of kit. It zests citrus, finely grates ginger, garlic, onion, chocolate, turmeric, Parmesan and so on with ease. I like to use a very fine blade, rather than a thicker one, similar to a box grater. Lasts really well, too.
- A Thermapen is a really useful piece of kit if you like to smoke, roast, bake or preserve. I use it when smoking food and also when making jam and fudge. It’s a great piece of kit to have to hand.
Whilst my kitchen is pretty well stocked, I will be asking for a potato ricer this Christmas, to make perfectly smooth potato, and some Emma Bridgewater Game Birds caddies and mugs. I collect their game bird mugs, and they have some lovely new designs in their current collection.
I like to ask for some special ingredients in my Christmas stocking that I’ll enjoy using throughout the year. I also like to ask for some good tea and coffee, too. My favourites are Monmouth Coffee and Fortnum’s Earl Grey (loose leaves) at the moment.
Other very special presents to offer are Brindisa’s Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is utterly exquisite. I also like Vallebona white truffle oil for a special drizzle on soups or in a mushroom risotto.
Most of the questions I receive about Christmas gifts relate to the big ticket items.
If you bake, either puddings, cakes or bread, then a stand mixer is a great investment. I am very happy with my trusty Kitchen Aids, although Kenwood are also very good. You’ll find lots of debate on Kenwood vs. Kitchen Aid in my older posts on the site.
If you cook but don’t bake, then a Magimix is a brilliant investment. I couldn’t love mind more. I have the 5200XL in Silver. It’s marvellous for so many jobs, including grating cheese or carrots very quickly, making curry pastes, sauces, dressings, breadcrumbs and so much more. It’s proved to be a real workhorse, too.
Another great, but seriously expensive piece of kit is the Big Green Egg. I have a large and a Minimax. Both are brilliantly useful. I use them to BBQ, smoke and even make pizzas with the stone, and I use it all year round. The large lives outside the kitchen, which is wrapped in the cover, and the small one goes out in the car with me. I’ve been so happy with mine.
Knives are another big investment. I always recommend a Chef’s knife and a filleting knife if you are on a budget — you don’t need a full set. My favourite are made by Zwillings.
And finally, here are some other treats on my Christmas list – I hope they may give you some ideas if you’re stuck for inspiration.
- I love good pyjamas, and I’m after some cosy pink ones from Jigsaw.
- Good, warm shoes are so important to me, and I’ve got my eye on a lovely black pair of tassel boots from Penelope Chilvers
- I love fragrance and Byredo make some of my current favourites.
- The new Dyson Air Wrap is on my list – anything to make life easier.
- And how about this for the man or woman in your life – a special piece of jewellery from Buchanan & Wilmot. I declare an interest here – my partner is the ‘Buchanan’. I am currently wearing the Lucy pendant in all three sizes, small, medium and large at once and get so many comments. The cufflinks are a super special gift, too, and designed to last more than a lifetime.
This list is not sponsored in any way, but I do have a personal connection to Buchanan & Wilmot, as above.