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food lovers’ gift guide 2013

December 17, 2013

giftguide

I tend to start stressing about Christmas presents at this time every year. There are so many different people on my love-list and so little time to pick up that special little something for them.

In recent years, my nearest and dearest have started writing lists of things they want (and, in Koji’s case, emailing his family and friends Amazon links to things he wants) in order to alleviate the stress of choosing something that says “Here’s something cool for you to play with… that you’ll actually like / use / remember to take home”. As for me, I’m terrible to buy for because I tend to purchase the things I need as soon as I see them on sale, leaving little for the Christmas wishlist come mid-December.

So just in case you’ve got a terrible foodie friend that you’re struggling to find a gift for this festive season, I’ve put together a mini-list of some of my favourite things in the hope that one of them might become your favourite thing to wrap in a piece of shiny gold and silver paper.

(None of the gifts on this list are the result of a paid advertisement or a Public Relations person push nor are they affiliate links, and whilst I hate that I have to specify that, well, there it is.)

 

For the hands-on meat head

I’ve gone mad for the smell of smoky meat this year and it looks like 2014 is set to become the year of the smoked and barbecued meat. For the budget friendly, I chose a portable steel smoker box, which will turn your dinky hooded barbecue into a real live smoking machine for less than $30. On the splurge side comes the Bacon Curing & Smoking Class by Urban Food Market. I attended a Butchery Class earlier this year with Urban Food Market and it was a great experience – small class numbers and a real, interactive setting made the money I spent well worth while.

Under $30

(1) Weber Stainless Steel Smoker Box $22.81 (from amazon)

Spoil me!

(2) Urban Food Market Bacon Curing & Smoking Class $220.00 (from Urban Food Market)

 

For the lovers of food & local culture

It’s no secret that Australia has a buzzing local food culture, filled with bits and bobs from people groups all over the world. What better way to immerse yourself into the parts of Australia you don’t normally get to see than in the comfort of your own home with a copy of SBS Feast Magazine in hand. I’ve subscribed to this magazine since its launch and look forward to every issue. If you’re looking to get right in the middle of the action, a Gourmet Food Safari is the way to go. My mum and I went on the Mediterranean Food Safari a few years ago and arrived home with a world of knowledge in our sugared, coffee-addled brains (and a couple of sacks of meat and spices to boot)!

Under $30

(3) SBS Feast Magazine Subscription $30 for 6 months (from iSubscribe)

Spoil me!

(4) Mediterranean Gourmet Food Safari $140 (from Gourmet Safaris)

 

For the vege-patch nibblers

Growing your own food isn’t just the hip thing to do these days, it’s also a sustainable way of eating with the grand benefit of eating fruits and vegetables that taste miles better than you’ll ever buy at the shops. The very first tomatoes I ever grew came from a Mr Fothergills Kitchen Garden Kit that we found hidden under the shelves in the middle of non-tomato-growing season. The little cup was perfect for our first foray into apartment garden growing and we’ve never looked back! That same year, I bought Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion for Koji and my-oh-my did we learn a lot about when and how to plant our seeds (and what on earth to do with the produce afterwards). It now sits with pride of place on our bookshelf, complete with muddy fingerprints.

Under $30

(5) Mr Fothergills Kitchen Garden Kits $3.98 each (from Bunnings)

Spoil me!

(6) Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion $87.50 (from Booktopia)

 

For the celebrity chef lovers

I’m a bit of a fan-girl when it comes to cooking shows on the television and have never really minded the flack I cop for loving the efforts of a “celebrity chef’. Watching Destination Flavour Japan became a weekly ritual for me. I relived parts of the short holiday the Bean and I took there over 5 years ago and then promptly headed into the kitchen (or to my favourite Japanese restaurant) to satisfy the associated cravings! Whilst the DVD set isn’t out until January, lovers of Adam Liaw and the Land of the Rising Sun can download the entire series in HD on iTunes right now. If you want to get even closer to re-living your favourite series, chefs like Peter Kuruvita have started to run tours of their television show travels. The My Sri Lanka tour caught my eye over all of the others offered – partly because I’ve long been fascinated by Sri Lankan food and partly because of the wonderful beaches over there!

Under $30

(7) Destination Flavour Japan with Adam Liam Series Pass $29.99 (from iTunes, DVD to launch in January)

Spoil me!

(8) ‘My Sri Lanka’ 13 day land content tour $5,560 excl flights (from World Expeditions)

 

For the Junior Masterchefs

When I was a little girl, all I wanted was my very own stand mixer for making cakes in. Well, that and either a popcorn machine or an ice-cream maker – they both seemed so glamourous! My friend’s little girls have the Kambrook Popcorn Maker and get so much entertainment out of their ability to make their own popcorn, just like at the movies (but better!), and whilst I usually pop my corn in a pot, I can see how appealing this safer method might be to the parents of younger kidlets than myself. The Fiesta Folding Mixmaster also caught my eye for its vibrant colours (I love the pink) and the fact that it folds up into a neat little travelling case, just like my mother’s old sewing machine did.

Under $30

(9) Kambrook Little Chefs Popcorn Maker $29 (from Big W)

Spoil me!

(10 Sunbeam Fiesta Folding Mixmaster $126.45 (from appliances direct online)

 

For the wine lovers (hic!)

Ahhhh! Wine lovers! Impossible to buy for as they’ve already cellared all of the bottles they like and have notes ready on varieties you’ve never tried. I remember my holiday through the South (and then the rest!) of France very fondly as it was the first big trip that Koji & I took together. This surprisingly cheap bottle of non-vintage sparkling hails from one of the regions we visited and is a perfect everyday substitute to the better known French Champagnes from up north. (Bonus, you can pick two bottles up and still have change from $30, great to pass along to the host at Christmas dinner, no?) I love the Reidel O Series glasses, partly because of their exquisite quality, but mostly because they’re almost impossible to knock over and break… and with a bonus carafe, this little splurge is a little bit of a save too.

Under $30

(11) Sieur d’Arques Grande Cuvee 1531 de Aimery $14.60 (from Dan Murphy’s)

Spoil me!

(12) Riedel O Series Cabernet/Merlot Set with 4 glasses & decanter $99.00 (from Peters of Kensington)

 

So tell me, what will you be buying this year to put under the tree? Who is the most impossible-to-buy-for person on your list?


  • #1
    December 17th, 2013

    The meat smoking idea is crazy-good. And so cheap! Such a cool gift

  • #2
    December 18th, 2013

    oh i love these ideas, good for the afforable and extravagant. Believe it or not I’m struggling trying to find gifts for my nephews – they have everythingggggg! and over the years you just want to get them something they use and practical as opposed to just having. they’re 6, 4 and 2.. and i can’t think of anything because i’ve probably bought everything throughout the year for them already haha

  • December 18th, 2013

    Oh! Kids are the hardest, definitely! I bought a box set of Dr Seuss Books for a 6 year old recently. They’re at the right reading level for Kindy at the beginning and extend all the way to a Year 2 level when you get to the harder books 🙂

Shez