This year I did almost all of my Christmas shopping online. I usually love meandering the streets when they're bustling with people, especially in the evening when the Christmas lights are on and holiday music is wafting from the shops.
But this year I got a late start (pesky all-day sickness), then I went and sprained my ankle. Suddenly it was the end of the first week of December, and all I had purchased was a jar of pickles (which might be a lousy gift anyway...).
Limping through the throngs, while sweating under pressure, is not the Christmas shopping experience I covet.
If you're like me and got a late start, I thought perhaps you'd appreciate some inspiration. Or perhaps you need to bulk up your own letter to Santa! Either way, here are 15 of my favourite kitchen goodies (ones that I already own - so they're tested & true!) that would make fantastic gifts. And they have totally reasonable price tags. Please add to the list in the comments if you've got a great idea I've missed!!
1. Bench Scraper - is my favourite tool for working with dough, and makes quick work of cleaning up pasty flour-encrusted countertops.
2. Cookie Scoop - makes perfectly shaped, evenly sized drop cookies every time.
3. Pressure Cooker - I use mine almost every week to whip up homemade soups (from whole pumpkin, for example) for lunch in about 10 minutes. Cooks dried beans in 8 minutes. Potatoes in about 5. It's crazy.
4. Mandoline - makes beautiful salads, with perfect slices and juliennes.
6. Y-Shaped Julienne Peeler - I use mine all the time to make pretty julienned carrots and cucumbers for salads and sandwiches.
7. Digital Meat Thermometer - an invaluable tool in cooking (and not over-cooking!) meat of any kind.
8. Candy Thermometer - because it's SO much fun to make toffees, buttercream frosting and caramels. And it doubles as a deep-fry thermometer for makin' doughnuts!
9. Pasta Roller - homemade pasta blows the dried stuff out of the water. Have a ravioli-making party to celebrate!
10. Microplane - perfect for finely zesting citrus fruits without getting any pith, and for grating nutmeg or hard cheeses.
11. Adorable handmade apron... I like these ones. Who doesn't like looking cute in the kitchen?!
12. Ice cream machine (!!!!) - perhaps my most beloved non-essential gadget. Homemade ice cream is off the hook!
13. Immersion Blender - refer to #3 about weekday soups... I use it ALL the time. So much less messy than standing blenders for hot foods, and safer too!
14. Kitchen Torch - hello creme brulee! And... toasted marshmallows! I pull mine out a few times a year at most, but it was worth every penny.