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A Chowish Christmas

  • s

What did everybody get for Christmas related to eating, cooking and chowhounding?? My husband gave me a can opener. Yeah, I know he could use a little help in the gift department....at least it was a zyliss.

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  1. My mother sent an electric wine opener. ??? Perhaps useful for frantic home bartenders serving a crowd of thirsty guests? Have not tried it yet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sarah C

      Angus beef steaks
      Excellent bottle of olive oil
      Three bottles vintage champagne
      Homemade chocolate truffles and dipped citrus peels
      And...gift to self. Five cases homemade mango chutney

    2. It was a great Christmas and Chanukah at our house! I got a fuzzy logic rice cooker, a mandoline, an immersion blender with a chopping attachment, and loads of cookbooks. My husband got an Italian ice cream maker -- it even has its own compressor. We both got an oven/smoker attachment for our outdoor campchef stove. We also got a box full of all sorts of sausage from Usinger's in Milwaukee and some fruitcakes from an abbey in Oregon -- no jokes -- I LOVE these fruitcakes!

      Link: http://www.trappistabbey.org/fruitcak...

      1. I got:
        A very cool instant read thermometer (when I say instant, I mean instant-not 10 seconds, not 4 seconds--I'll have to look up the name and website)
        Julia and Jacque Cooking at Home (see link below--I've read it cover to cover already)
        2 strainers
        A Rendezvous (memphis ribs) apron
        A wireless thermometer (for meat on the grill-transmits the temp wherever I am)
        A garlic mandoline
        A renewal to Cooks Illustrated

        I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot...

        Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...

        1. Yep it was a good Christmas and centered around food dispite the low appetites from the flu going around.

          - Henkels steak knifes
          - Lb of Peets Aged Mocha Java
          - Bottle of Turley Zin
          - found a pound of chantrelles and some porcinis on Christmas Eve that made dinner all the merrier!

          1. A Braun stick blender ("boat motor"), a baguette baking pan, an enormous molcajete (that's a lava rock mortar and pestle for non-Southwestern chowhounds), and a White Mountain hand-crank 4-qt. ice cream freezer. I am absolutely on cloud nine.

            Now I can make potato soup, great salsa, and honey ice cream! WOOT!

            5 Replies
            1. re: PRSMDave

              I got a lava-rock molcajete a while back that I haven't used because I have been unable to rid it of grit. Anyone else have experience with this, and have recommendations? I've already gotten the "pitch it and get a better quality one" suggestion from my husband. Trouble is, this was the only molcajete I've seen around here. (I bought it in a Latin market.)

              1. re: zora

                Buy some ground corn (try pet feed stores, it's bird feed) and grind it until the surfaces approximate a smooth consistency. Then re-season by grinding peeled garlic with salt.

                1. re: zora
                  Rochelle McCune

                  Dave's idea is good. I used uncooked rice instead of ground corn.

                2. re: PRSMDave

                  Dave -- Here's a dessert idea from Bon Appetit for which you can use your new ice cream maker: A beautiful presention of lightly-syruped mixed fresh fruits in a shallow silver goblet, topped with a scoop of champagne ice cream, yowza. :o)


                  1. re: Cats

                    Mmmmm... *drool* I'd be using it right now except that it's rainy and clammy outside and ice cream doesn't go well with bigos that has been simmering in a crock pot all day.


                    I will absolutely try that later.

                3. r
                  Rochelle McCune

                  Ooooh! Man, did we score this year. For years, my husband and I have been begging "NO POSSESSIONS! Please, please give us only consumables." (I am a recovering crap-o-holic.) At last, this year it sunk in and we got mostly chowish gifts....

                  Godiva Chocolates
                  4 bottles of bordeaux
                  3 bottles of Patron (silver, reposado, anejo)
                  A Olive Oil / Balsamic Vinegar set
                  Three bottle Grapeseed Oil set
                  gift cert to Artisan Cheese (yum!)
                  gift cert to Macy's (for cookware)
                  gift cert to Amazon (chowbooks, here I come!)

                  Chowish possessions that were welcome:
                  a molcajete
                  really nice steak knifes
                  a mini-muffin tin

                  1. c
                    Caitlin McGrath

                    I made out darn well in the chowish department this year. I received a Waring blender, a 2-quart All-Clad saucepan, a fancy salad spinner with a stainless steel bowl, a nonstick bundt pan, and Patricia Wells's Paris Cookbook. We also got a box of good baklava in assorted styles, chocolates, homemade biscotti, plum ginger vinegar made by my mother, and bottles of merlot and cabernet made by my mother-in-law.

                    1. A pound of Joseph Schmidt truffles
                      A pound of homemade fudge
                      Various goodies in a basket, all sweet goodies
                      A bottle of Cuvaison merlot
                      A bottle of Lorinon
                      A calphalon large-ish pot with steamer insert (may trade it in, not sure it's just what we need)
                      A mandoline
                      A bottle of truffle oil
                      The Momo Cookbook (fabulous!, and my intrepid husband talked down the price 35% for a small surgical slit in the book jacket!)
                      4 bottles of bubbly--Segura Viuda, Rouet (?), all were promptly drunk by the 15 we had for Xmas dinner so I didn't really see the labels.
                      Homemade speculaas and my grandma's chili relish from my sister (thanks beanie)

                      Probably more that I can't remember.

                      1. lots of Peet's coffee
                        a side of smoked salmon
                        membership in the D&M Liquor Champagne Club (an SF Chowhound suggestion)
                        Elizabeth Schneider's _Amaranth to Zucchini_ vegetable reference book
                        a lovely Chowhound t-shirt

                        1. A few items, but choice:

                          3 lb. chub of Taylor Pork Roll (aka Taylor ham)

                          "The Raw and the Cooked", a compendium of Jim Harrison's food essays. Now HE is a chowhound of the first rank! Great reading, esp. his dinner with Orson Welles which started with a half-pound of beluga caviar and a bottle of Stoli --for the two of them, and went on from there.

                          1. Portlock smoked salmon
                            Illy espresso
                            Cafe La Semeuse coffee
                            Alessi can opener (think Monsters Inc.)
                            Harry & David apples and pears
                            Satsuma mandarins
                            Ginseng tea

                            Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/

                            1. In addition to the usual food gifts:

                              A food mill
                              A subscription to Cooks Illustrated

                              1. On the spur of the moment,my mother gave me her original 1949 edition of James Beards' Fireside Cookbook;I was very touched-it's my favorite gift.The book has wonderful illustrations,which I remember being fascinated by as a child.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: M.K.

                                  Hey M.K. -- I've got the same edition of that cookbook in my collection and you're absolutely right about the delightful illustrations. If you like that style, you might want to look for the Esquire Cookbook from 1955, which is also copiously illustrated in virtually the same style. It also happens to be a damn fine cookbook full of straightforward tried and true recipes from a past era, like Canja Soup from the Copacabana which begins "Salt and pepper a fat hen and let it stand for half an hour..."

                                  1. re: Dennison

                                    Re. Fireside Cookbook;I was,and still am,bugged by the successive illustrations of the turtle in the soup section;first,shown presenting different soups,and finally,ending up in a hot pot of boiling soup.It always made me sad,and still does,45 years later...

                                    1. re: Dennison

                                      Please oh please send me the Canja recipe. When I moved to Brasil, I was only there 8 days when I developed appendicitis and had to have it (the appendix) removed (at midnight on the first night of Carnaval!). All I ate for quite some time was Canja, and I've never found a recipe that tasted as good as that canja long ago....I am always looking for new recipes for Canja.


                                      1. re: annieb

                                        Here ya go, enjoy!

                                        Canja Soup - Brazilian
                                        from the Copacabana, New York via The Esquire Cookbook, 1955 (recipe paraphrased to avoid copyright infringement issues)

                                        1 fat hen
                                        1 onion, sliced
                                        1 clove garlic, minced
                                        1/2 cup rice, washed and drained
                                        1/4 lb ham, diced
                                        2 qts boiling water
                                        1 bay leaf
                                        parsley to taste
                                        1 sprig marjoram

                                        Process: Salt and pepper the fat hen, set it aside for half an hour. In soup kettle, fry onion and garlic in fat until onion browns. Add chicken and fry covered, turning to lightly brown all sides. Add rice and ham and continue to fry, stirring when necessary. Add water, bay leaf, parsley and marjoram. Simmer 2-3 hours until chicken is tender, then remove it from pot, cut meat into pieces (removing skin and bones) and return to soup.

                                        Serves 6 to 8

                                  2. My husband was a bit worried because he'd gotten only chow-related gifts for me this year---he went overboard in Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma and Dean and Deluca, among other places, but I couldn't be happier.

                                    An All-Clad stainless saute pan
                                    A stainless steel food mill
                                    A set of THREE Global knives
                                    A lever-pull wine opener
                                    _The Last Course_ by Claudia Fleming (where to begin?)
                                    A hollow chocolate yule log full of Leonides pralines
                                    A silicon bake sheet liner
                                    A German can opener (our old, dull one can now R.I.P.)
                                    An aged, ash-covered chevre
                                    A beautiful bottle of red chiles in vinegar
                                    A jar of English lemon curd

                                    And I have a birthday coming up in two weeks!

                                    1. Wow, everybody got great chow-swag this year! Santy brought me a subscription to Gourmet and a baadly-needed pastry board, a nice one, in honey-colored wood with rounded corners.

                                      I was invited, so I brought a raspberry cheesecake in a walnut crust, and homemade doggy biscuits for the canines, cut in shapes of bells, evergreens and stars.

                                      1. my friends got me a chef's jacket, which is such a perfect gift for me because I tend to wipe my hands on whatever I am wearing..velvet, cashmere, whatever. I can never remember to change clothes and aprons don't cover enough. This jacket buttons all the way up to the neck and word on the street is I look adorable in it. I also feel like I have my own cooking show when friends are helping me in the kitchen, which brings out my charming didactic side. It has my name embordered on the chest, one better than Laverne, who just had an "L".

                                        My sister got me an interesting gadget -- a handheld milk frother, which saves me from hauling out the blender when I want to have mexican hot chocolate (if you have not tried the Abuelita choc disks in the yellow box you are missing out). I also have a new mini blow torch for creme brulee which is too bad because I really don't like creme brulee. (I always want it to be flan and instead its fluffy and limp tasting. Yeck.) But I anticipate putting burnt sugar crusts on everything else...oatmeal, my cats...
                                        I also received an electronic meat meter that doesn't seem to work.
                                        Happy New Year!