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So...what is on your holiday list?

  • w

Just handed off my list to my wife the other day.

Food stuff:

1. Chef's coat (don't like aprons)
2.Spices from Penzey's (English Roast beef, Singapore, Berbere). The latter two look to be perfect to use with cocunut milk and make chicken curries
3. Soup pot. I loved my old enamel Chantal pan, but the screws rusted and finally snapped. So disappointed they do not make the older enamelware anymore
4. A choice of 2 knives:a. http://www.thebestthings.com/knives/c... 8”
http://www.thebestthings.com/knives/s... 10” chefs knife


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  1. I self-gifted my biggest equipment wish - the 5 quart glass, handled, Kitchenaid mixing bowl. I found it on sale Friday, after almost a year of seeking one sold separately and already in a store (to avoid shipping costs).

    In the "dreams" category - 1) new kitchen countertops to replace the 35-year-old formica ones, and 2) a real (i.e., external exhaust) vent fan over the stove - which we've researched and found would take a major construction effort due to positioning of the stove and vaulted ceilings in the kitchen. Combine the two and we're talking a kitchen remodelling project that's just not in the budget.

    I'll settle for our planned replacement driveway next spring, so bringing home groceries is smoother. Grin.

    6 Replies
    1. re: MidwesternerTT

      LOL! we just added a parking pad this year (my wife could park in our driveway and I fended for myself on getting on street space), and our kitchen re-do next year involves....external exhaust fan and replacing the cheap plastic stuff we have now.

      1. re: MidwesternerTT

        Loved your post, since I just got a new driveway apron (and sidewalks and all steps in and out of the house). Darn, concrete is $$$. I joke that this will be my present for the next 3-5 years. Also food related: the new entrances will allow me access to my grill, outdoor dining and to my herb garden.

        Good luck with the eventual) kitchen remodel. We went down that path a few years ago. Still loving my soapstone counters and my externally vented Broan. Totally agree that I would rather have this house/cooking stuff over jewelry or a new sweater!

        1. re: pedalfaster

          Heck, yes. I'd take home reno any day over that stuff. I don't even wear jewelry I already have and if I need a sweater, I buy it. Soapstone counters sound pretty wonderful.

          I need a kitchen reno but overall, it's fine the way it is. We have a huge fireplace in the kitchen and the room is 15 x 30 with lots of work stations so many people can cook at the same time. I have a four-oven Aga plus a large sun filled pantry just off the kitchen that people gravitate to. I've had cocktail parties when the people would all glom up in there and just ooh and aah.

          But a re-do is not in the cards right now as we are renovating our casita--maybe in a few years. I was wondering about the soapstone tho. What are the pros and cons, if any?

          1. re: sandiasingh

            Soapstone "wears"...so it might not be so good if you care deeply about visual aesthetics and want "perfection".

            Overall I love mine. They nick, but are easily "fixed" with the touch of a Sharpie and a slathering of dry wax (which we do about 1X every year or so--bonus this is good for the hands!).

            If building new, I would pick soapstone again...and add a marble baking station.

            Jealous of your Aga and the kitchen FP!
            Love and enjoy those!

            1. re: pedalfaster

              we have soapstone counters...love them. we don't dry way - we mineral oil (food grade). we found that a simple edge is best and, yes, they nick a bit.
              my regret is not having a marble baking station space also.

        2. re: MidwesternerTT

          Whoa - which of you CH's gave my list to my husband? I got a construction project for Christmas -- the new EXTERNAL EXHAUST vent fan installation is in progress as I type. Cosmetic finishing details will happen next week, but the stainless steel range-hood is up and the ducting work is next.

        3. I honestly can't think of a thing I need. I have the best equipped kitchen of anyone I know so it's kind of hard to buy anything for my kitchen.

          I have my workhorse Kitchenaid, my trusty old Cuisinart, a set of LeCruset (that I bought with S&H greenstamps in the 1970's), some great knives from Bridge, a beautiful cutting board, a large collection of beautiful antique bowls, another of antique pitchers, a set of Armetale, nice Rogers flatware, every gadget you can think of and on and on. My husband is bugging me for some ideas, but I don't want him to buy something just to buy something.

          I am a very lucky cook. Maybe I'll make a donation to a food-related charity.

          6 Replies
          1. re: sandiasingh

            What a wonderful idea. If you don't yet have a toaster oven, and can find a place for one, that might be a gift idea to mention. I didn't think I needed one until I got a Cuisinart countertop oven w/ convection feature as a surprise gift a few years ago. Now, especially in the summer, I bake meals /sides for two in that almost as often as in the large oven.

            1. re: MidwesternerTT

              Yes, but specify a countertop convection oven. You can even bake flatbreads or a quiche in a good one - in an old-fashioned toaster oven, baking is very uneven.

              I do need a new sweater or two (I live in Montréal) but always buy my own, and no damned "Christmas sweaters".

              Funny, at first I thought this was a list of what we were going to make or serve over the holidays. Me, definitely a couple of tourtières. And some fish or seafood dish. I saw some duck (cured) sausages at Jean-Talon Market and will treat friends and self to one...

              I do want a small dutch oven for braising. Of course I wouldn't mind a new knife or two, but am not planning any other investments. Oh, perhaps a better, more ergonomic granny cart...

              1. re: lagatta

                We have a great little convection oven we picked up in Taiwan (they sue same current we do in the US). Like a much bigger, better "turbo fan" you see on TV. Very handy around the holidays.
                And...watching a chicken go from raw to roasted is kind of hypnotic on a rainy day.

                1. re: lagatta

                  Our latest toaster oven is a good-sized DeLonghi that has a "Fan Bake" setting that works pretty much as a convection oven.

                  What I'm wishing for is a total kitchen remodel, swapping the cooking and pantry sides. The kitchen is unavoidably a passageway, and right now the cooktop and wall ovens are right in the traffic corridor. I also want to get rid of the overpriced and underperforming Bosch cooktop and install the beautiful, like-new 42" Wedgewood gas range that is waiting patiently in the garage. I just hope I live long enough to use it!

              2. re: sandiasingh

                What is your beautiful cutting board made out of?

                1. re: sandiasingh

                  That's what I did. I live in a very small house and used to be a compulsive shopper of kitchen bargins. I recently donated boxes of never-used Cuisinart cookware to an assisted living private home (through a friend who volunteers there) where the family cooks for the elderly and mentally handicapped women who live there. She told me they cried when they opened the boxes. I only wish I had realized sooner that my duplicates would have meant so much to others.

                  This is in reply to Sandiasingh.

                2. I need a new axe for the barrel smoker, and some seasoned, hard, cherry wood. Tell Santa I've been relatively "good". That thing with Mrs. Claus . . . She was drunk and I was lonely . .. . That's all!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MGZ

                    I'm fairly sure Santa can excuse the drunk and lonely Mrs. Claus incident, it's the one with you Blitzen and Rudolph, behind the wood shed, that would have me concerned.

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      That one just literally made me 'LOL.'

                  2. I have a sausage stuffer and a sous vide circulator on the list, plus another 10" wide Wusthof chef's knife. My husband likens buying me kitchen gadgets to buying me a vacuum cleaner, but what can I say? I like what I like!

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: biondanonima

                      My boyfriend was asking me a lot of gift-related questions the other day, and I asked him if I'd sent him my Amazon list yet. He said, "Yeah, but it's all kitchen stuff!"

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          I know. I just have to remember that I don't understand why he needs so much stuff for his boat, and he doesn't understand why I need so much for the kitchen....

                          Once he started into my list, he was looking at sets that contained some of the things I wanted and some things I didn't want. I had to have the "why I don't want a cookware set, I want to buy it piecemeal" discussion for about half an hour. :p
                          "But it's cheaper that way!" "It's not cheaper if half of it is stuff I don't want/will never use...."

                          He means well. :) I think he just hates shopping from a list. He wants to be spontaneous in his gift-giving. I, however, loathe having things I don't need. Christmas is always interesting.

                          1. re: Kontxesi

                            I love lists. My SO was "creative" last year, and got me a remote start system for my car. While it was nice to have... it wasn't real romantic at all and wasn't something I used too often. He was pretty proud of it though so I just smiled and kept my thoughts to myself :)

                            1. re: Kontxesi

                              I have some of that here. I have a list that I'm giving to my husband and I told him that he wouldn't have to run out and shop on Christmas Eve if he just ordered now from the list. "Where's the sport in that?" he asked. That's why I keep on winding up with dishes he wants for Christmas, lol!

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Last minute Christmas shopping has always been a mystery to me, and I do think that it's dominated by men! Although this could be a vast generalization on my part..

                                1. re: rstuart

                                  I often get "Daddy dollars" as a gift. That isn't even last minute shopping.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Ha! Daddy dollars.. sounds classic. My father was actually quite good at planning ahead and sticking to the list (after some unfortunate incidents when I was a teenager), as is my brother.. but I've had some boyfriends who did not!

                      1. Anyone have one of those "wellness mats" like they sell at WS to put in front of the sink. They seem great, but not sure I want to make the investment.

                        28 Replies
                        1. re: geminigirl

                          I got a GelPro for a birthday gift several years ago and I love it!

                          1. re: geminigirl

                            We love our mat. They are MUCH cheaper at Sam's Club - don't pay the stupid full price....

                            1. re: sandylc

                              Thanks for tip, I haven't looked anywhere else for it, this thread just got me thinking:). Thanks

                              1. re: geminigirl

                                They really are great - my mother has a couple in her kitchen and I"m considering getting one now that I've stood on hers for a while. Costco and Sams carry them for MUCH less than regular retailers.

                            2. re: geminigirl

                              They're amazing if you have feet problems. We have one and I'm sure it has helped me keep my feet in good order (after a bad couple of months).

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                What are these mats exactly? Where do you find them? My kitchen floor is linoleum on cement, very-very hard on my feet - I think I need one of these.

                                1. re: herby

                                  They're plastic mats that are filled with some sort of gel (or feel like they are). I have hard wood floors in my kitchen, and tend to spend a lot of time in one area (sink/where I chop) so when I was having foot problems my husband got one for me. It wasn't the only thing that helped (I went to a podiatrist) but it has definitely helped keep the problem from coming back. Definitely recommend them.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Thank you, LLM! Nice that you were able to solve your feet problem! I do the same, stand in one spot since my kitchen is very small there is no space to walk around anyway. I'll look for a mat at Costco since a few people said that they are available there. Wonder if it applies to Canada but a good starting point.

                                    1. re: herby

                                      The ridiculous thing is that I have a nice size kitchen, but still like being right there next to the sink. Just easier for washing produce and then cutting and putting the peels and stuff all in one place. Anyway, I do hope it helps your feet. Takes a little getting used to but it is so comfy.

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        Thank you for good wishes LLM! Hopefully I'll get out to Costco next week.

                                        Large kitchen is great to have but we still tend to spend a lot of time in one spot :) I hope to remodel a bit soon which will replace the floor to floating wood and open the kitchen but won't make it any larger. I am OK with small as long as it is not enclosed which it is right now.

                                        1. re: herby

                                          I lived in a studio apartment when I was first dating my husband, and I managed to make some great meals in the tiny (really really tiny) kitchen there. What I've found is that more space equals more stuff sitting on counter tops. Erp.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            I had a studio apartment when I met my husband, and he eventually moved in there. There was a half refrigerator and essentially no freezer, so the fire escape was the cooler. We made some great meals there too!

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              I'm not living in a studio apartment, but I quite happily live in a one-bedroom flat in a housing cooperative. And really striving not to accumulate more "stuff".

                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                I'm trying not to accumulate more stuff too! Unfortunately 7 year old Lulu won't part with a single thing that has ever come her way. It has become the punishment for bad behavior - "Lulu, one more _whatever_ and something of yours is going to a kid without toys." Unfortunately it works, so I have barely been able to get rid of anything.

                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                My Taiwanese mother in law uses a kitchen carved out of a closed in tile porch. She has two burners, one of which looks like a blowtorch under a steel tripod for a wok. She has two knives, one cleaver and can out cook anyone I know.

                                                1. re: Westy

                                                  I don't doubt that for a minute, Westy

                                          2. re: herby

                                            I'd love one of those things too (arthritis). But I wonder if a gel one would be better than those black rubber mats made from recycled tires, often used by workers who have to stand in place.

                                            No "Sam's Place" in Montréal. Just regular WalMart and Costco, not necessarily same products as in the US - or Mexico. As well as several restaurant supply places; they definitely sell the rubber mats, as does Canadian Tire.

                                            Though perhaps the rubber mats would stain vinyl or linoleum floors?

                                            1. re: lagatta

                                              Lagatta, do you have Target and Bed, Bath in Montreal? We have bot in Ottawa and I think if Costco doesn't have the mats that LLM described upthread, one of these other stores might. I am going to Costco on Tuesday and will post what I find there. Making a note not to forget where to post :)

                                              1. re: herby

                                                Yes, we have Target - as in Ottawa, it is new. We don't seem to have Bed, Bath and Beyond here - I googled to see whether there was a different name in French. It isn't the same chain as Déco découvertes, which is Home Outfitters. I didn't realize that you lived so close by - I have family in Gatineau and Ottawa, so I may be going there - want to go to T&T Asian supermarket!

                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                  I love T&T. It's a bit out of the way for me but worth a trip. BBB is in Train Yards shopping centre; I think there is only one in Ottawa. Let me know when you plan to be in Ottawa - maybe meet for coffee?

                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    I will if I do go there. I may be visiting a (very) sick friend who is hospitalised in Quebec City. That would not be a pleasure visit...

                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                      I know all about visiting a sick friend. My dear friend died two years ago and it was a tough year leading to her death... Stay strong and possitive; this visit will mean a lot to your friend and you will be happy that you did it.

                                                      Email me (in the profile) when you make plans to visit Ottawa.

                                                      1. re: herby

                                                        I don't want to depress anyone, but my friend died. :-( Acute leukemia... We chatted a lot about cooking online; he lived in a remote village of the Lower North Shore of the St-Lawrence, not very far from Labrador.

                                                        So it was more important to visit him.

                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                          I'm so sorry to hear this lagatta. My thoughts go out to you - it is hard to lose a friend. I'm sure he appreciated all the chats you had.

                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                            So sorry Lagatta... hope he didn't suffer too much.

                                    2. Spices from Penzey's - refill the current stock
                                      Dutch oven
                                      Smaller cast iron - on the hunt for an ancient pan via eBay and flea markets
                                      Knife sharpener - I recently got new knives but no accompanying sharpener

                                      16 Replies
                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        Which spices do you like? Do you buy blends or just straight spice?

                                        I like most - but their lemon/pepper is not one of my favorites.

                                        1. re: Westy

                                          I buy both blends and straight spices. I've had some misses but my favorites which I now keep around at all times
                                          Aleppo pepper
                                          Extra bold peppercorns
                                          Shallot pepper
                                          Granulated garlic
                                          Sunny Paris and Fox Point
                                          Pasta Sprinkle
                                          Mural of Flavor
                                          Smoked paprika
                                          Medium hot chili powder
                                          Chipotle powder
                                          Hot curry powder

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Wow, fldhkybnva, you've got quite the Penzey's selection going. You might as well add Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Base. Add 1 tbs. to 1 cup reg. or low fat sour cream or yogurt & let them get to know each other. Yowza! On par with Marie's, my dear. :) I just discovered this by accident. Yum

                                            1. re: MrsPatmore

                                              I would love to but I try to stay away from their blends with salt. I've tried a few and they are awfully too salty for me. However, the Sunny Paris makes a great Ranch style herb dressing. I do the same, mix it with yogurt and it's delicious. I picked up the Green Goddess Dressing base on my last order but have yet to use it.

                                              I love Penzey's and have to restrain myself in respect of my bank account.

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                I love Sunny Spain + "Forward" salt-free blends! Sorry that I forgot about your salt issue. I agree most of the blends have salt as #1 ingredient. Probably why they taste so good. 8-)

                                                1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                  Yea, there are a few that I find taste good but some to me are just tasted super salty regardless of my salt issues :) though i do think my body has designed itself in alliance with its propensity to retain water, as I have a low taste threshold for salt. While probably not true, I like to think that my body had some logical thought in that taste bud, water retention correlation. I do enjoy the Greek seasoning. I have the Forward but have never used it, thanks for reminding me.

                                                  1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                    Plus one on the "Forward". It's like seasoned salt without the salt.

                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Try antique shops for cast iron pans, also. That's where I've gotten most of mine. And I found a really cute, small pan at a church garage sale once. It's just big enough to fry one egg.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              Re: small cast iron skillet. I have one just like this, perfect for one egg.

                                              1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                I saw some of those one egg cast iron skillets at the new Bass Pro Shop grand opening last weekend. They were with the other camping/outdoor cooking gear. But I thought that they were Christmas tree ornaments. Do people actually use these to cook just a single egg?

                                                1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                  If they have one, of course. I have a very old and very shiny cast-iron one, and a light aluminium non-stick one as well. It gets used for cooking a bit of garlic, shallot, onion etc, and either is large enough to heat up a small portion of food. The cast iron one can also cook a hamburger. I try to limit portion sizes - we need less food past 50.

                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                    They are super-cute but I figured that trying to actually cook in one would be difficult - at least in my house, splatter would be everywhere! I use an 8" carbon steel pan for small cooking tasks.

                                                    <<we need less food past 50.>>

                                                    Indeed, we do. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my brain to read that memo.

                                                    1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                      There is no miracle solution, but cooking or reheating smaller portions (in small vessels) and serving in smaller dishes can help. It won't prevent getting up and eating more, but at least we can pit laziness against greediness!

                                                      8 inches is still pretty small...

                                                  2. re: MrsPatmore

                                                    My skillet is 6-1/2" and weighs over a pound, it would have to be one heck of a strudy tree.

                                                    1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                      I have my grandmother's 6-1/2" cast iron skillet. Must be 100 years old by now. I use it all the time, for one or two eggs, a single burger, toasting spices. But the camp skillet being referred to is only 4". I could do spices in that, but not much else.

                                                    2. re: MrsPatmore


                                                      Yes, I use mine to just cook a single egg. So does my husband. We are often eating breakfast alone, so....

                                                      And like joanN, I use mine for toasting spices as well. I find it useful in many ways when cooking in small portions. Sometimes I need to flavor olive oil with garlic, say. It works much better in that small pan. But, I do use it most often just for cooking one or two eggs. One fried, two scrambled. Mine is about 6 inches across.

                                                      And I don't find splatter to be a problem. I do cook eggs gently, though. Other things, well. I don't know. Splatter just seems to be an issue with cooking for me no matter what size pan.

                                                2. I would like Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery. And a little kitchen blowtorch.

                                                  That's it.

                                                  1. I've been dropping hints for months that I'd like a pizza stone and hoping my husband has picked up on that. We don't ever directly communicate our wishlist for Christmas.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: masha

                                                      I recently took a hands on pizza making class at a local store www.greatnews.com The instructor started with a discussion of stones, pans and supplies she's used, liked, +/- etc. Students got 20% off any pizza making supplies purchased that day. Of course swayed by that and bought an Emile Henry rectangular stone. Got home and a few days later thought, I'll probably never make pizza, don't need it, etc, but uses it one night to heat several slices of left over pizza from one of our favorite places and wow. Never been able to get a crisp crust on left over pizza and it was perfect. I've since used it for bread sticks and calzone and they came out great. Can also use it on the grill. I bought the rectangle one for the size, but they also have a round one.
                                                      Hope Santa brings you one. I got the red one, so festive!

                                                      1. re: Island

                                                        I did get the Emile Henry round one in red. My son asked me point blank what I wanted so I told him a pizza stone. I did not specify the brand or even material. He's pretty wonky when it comes to researching products so I figured I could trust him. He liked the EH because the glazed material makes it easier to clean. He also thought the metal ones would be too heavy for me to handle easily. ( all this was explained on Christmas morning after I'd opened the gift.).

                                                      2. re: masha

                                                        Ask him to get you a pizza steel instead of a stone. Never breaks and it makes a superior crust. Check out serious eats for the trial by Kenji.

                                                      3. Would you believe Joy of Cooking? Dear Daughter received her inheritance early, which included all of my cook books. I am also in the market for a carbon steel wok, Henckel 8 inch chefs knife, and a large cast iron chicken fryer.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                          Hey! That means you can now re-stock your cookbook supplyn just JoC!

                                                        2. Mine is so simple this year: for my hubby of 47 years to have a heart that is pumping at more than 15% of efficiency. This is a new condition of just a month ago.
                                                          Material considerations? Maybe the knife that Ming Sai is advertising.....I know y'all will tell me what a piece of junk it is, but we have a smaller similiarly shaped knife and love it. Hubby keeps it sharp. And maybe a couple of restaurant style aprons.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Nanzi

                                                            I got 6 aprons from Restaurant Depot, black to minimize possible staining. I'm not sure what is wrong with me but I can totally dirty up an apron just making a single meal.


                                                            1. re: Nanzi

                                                              Sorry to hear that Nanzi. Hope Mr Nanzi is on the mend, and that they can find some way to improve his ticker.

                                                              1. re: Nanzi

                                                                Nanzi, sorry to hear about your DH's health. Sending positive thoughts your way.

                                                                1. re: Nanzi

                                                                  Best wishes to your hubby. I hope Santa delivers on that first wish.

                                                                  1. re: Nanzi

                                                                    That would be the best Christmas present ever, a new heart. One of my pals got one for his birthday ten years ago. We all never stop being grateful for it.

                                                                    (And folks, fill out those organ donor cards and tell your families!)

                                                                  2. I've been dropping some heavy hints to the missus about this:


                                                                    1. I was just reviewing my list about an hour ago... pretty much everything I ask for is food/cooking related.

                                                                      -stainless steel BBQ skewers
                                                                      -Lodge cast iron flat grill pan (have one with sides but makes doing skewers difficult)
                                                                      -6 quart slow cooker (one that has a "sear meat option")
                                                                      -cast iron scrubber brush
                                                                      -pastry cutter wheel
                                                                      -salt cellar
                                                                      -waffle maker
                                                                      -stainless saute pan with sides and lid
                                                                      -acacia wood end grain cutting board (current one is starting to split, naughty me for not taking care of it)
                                                                      -various cookbooks

                                                                      Now, I never expect to get all of these items, but I like to give people lots to choose from

                                                                      1. When Mrs. O and I do gifts for each other now, we point it out in the appropriate store and then wait. We will ignore Christmas again this year, but her birthday is coming in a week and mine will be a month and a half later. I do not hate aprons, but I want wraparound ties and some pockets. She did get me one of those almost as an accidental gift - she was treating us to a trip up to Cambria for my 70th, and we stopped at an antique mall on the way up where I found a new, never-been worn Williams-Sonoma apron, just my size (VERY long ties!), which she happily bought for me. This year, no plans yet.

                                                                        1. http://www.claycoyote.com/Clay_Coyote...

                                                                          I'd love this cassoulet pottery. I have promised to make cassoulet our New Years Day tradition. We shall see, hopefully Santa likes cassoulet!

                                                                          1. A sous chef to do all the chopping for me would be wonderful. Can't figure out why my husband hasn't agreed to this...

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                              But LuLu is getting closer and closer to the right age!

                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                Lulu probably thinks her mother has been training to be sous chef and dishwasher for her

                                                                                1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                  You hit the nail on the head. I will say, she's taken to really wanting to make things herself (including making up recipes), but mostly if mom can do it, mom should do it.

                                                                            2. Vitamix. There was an online deal on refurbished ones that I hope DH took the emailed link as a hint on. My blender is dead after shooting frozen adult beverages out the Bottom of it, and my $30 stick cuisinart is struggling to keep up for soups, smoothies. Ice crushing isn't happening around here these days.

                                                                              A new kitchen, but with known lead and asbestos in ours, that will be a bit later. If we are going to do this, we are doing it right, and moving probable load bearing walls doesn't come cheap.

                                                                              1. Mine was for my mother to be relieved of this life that has become such a struggle. It came at 10:30 pm on Thursday and now she is in her happier place.

                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  Oh Sandy! As much as a blessing that this may be for your mother, it cannot be easy. Thoughts and prayers to you.

                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                    Thinking of you and your family.

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      Sorry. That must be so difficult.

                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                        In this rare case, I can say I understand exactly how you feel, and all the conflicting emotions of enduring sadness and great relief. My mum lived about three years too long... Remember yours in happier times, this season.

                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                            I'm really sorry that you're having to go through this tough time.

                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                Very-very sorry - please accept my sympathy. Keep thinking about good times with mom and somehow the bad memories will fade.

                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                  I hope you have a great holiday season now that you've both found peace, sandylc.

                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    Thanks to all of you for your wonderful thoughts. I hope you all have an amazing holiday with your families! And please stay warm...

                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                      Oh geez, sandy! I'm in a similar place now with my mom and lost my dad in Dec. 2010. The struggle is so difficult on them and on us.

                                                                                                      My thoughts are with you. Pain, relief and exhaustion are not easy.

                                                                                                      Cook up a storm or put your feet up and sleep. Whatever you need to do right now.

                                                                                                      Take care of yourself. I mean that.

                                                                                                      1. re: justalex

                                                                                                        Excellent advice. I was just dreaming of good sleep followed by baking therapy.

                                                                                                        Right now I'm working on fried potato therapy.

                                                                                                        Unfortunately, there are all of the details of possessions and legal stuff and everything else to do...

                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          For the legal stuff, take 2 tequila and call the lawyer tomorrow

                                                                                                          My grandmother died about 2 months ago, and one of her daughters seems to be in denial so won't deal with the financial papers. Driving my mom to drink. And for my mom a stiff drink is a full sugar full caffeine can of coke. ..

                                                                                                          1. re: autumm

                                                                                                            Ha. I picked a bad time to stop drinking.

                                                                                                          2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                            Oh yes, I remember. Sometimes it feels like it will never end. Chinese takeout got me through a lot of that stuff.

                                                                                                            I would've rather been cooking, but it is what it is.

                                                                                                            I wish for you a Christmas miracle that everything is resolved quickly and that there are many hands to help you sort through years of stuff.

                                                                                                            May 2014 be filled with plenty of baking therapy for you and lots of good, blissful sleep.

                                                                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          I know exactly how you feel. My own mother was miserable the last 3 months of her life. It is horrible to see someone you love suffer and not be able to do anything to help. Although I miss her terribly, I know now she is free of pain and fear and is at peace. My heart goes out to you.

                                                                                                        3. Top of the list would be an AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens, cooking related, a new apron. The old one is stained & ugly from 10 years of hard service, baking, cooking and meat cutting.

                                                                                                          1. My ENTIRE wishlist, except for a fluffy pink reading pillow, is food related.

                                                                                                            Cuisinart Multiclad Pro roasting pan, 3-qt saucepan, and 8-inch nonstick skillet
                                                                                                            Various white casserole and serving dishes
                                                                                                            HIC lasagna pan (in bayberry)
                                                                                                            Julienne peeler
                                                                                                            Negi cutter
                                                                                                            Matching rice bowls and plates
                                                                                                            Victorinox 8-inch chef's knife
                                                                                                            Set of 12 goblets
                                                                                                            Flatware for 12
                                                                                                            Bowls and salad plates to go with the dinner plates I'm buying this week

                                                                                                            Reading through this list makes it sound like I'm living off paper plates and take-out. :p Pretty much everything I've got is hand-me-downs from my parents, and a lot of things were wedding gifts, making them about 27 years old.

                                                                                                            Also, not my wishlist, but I'm getting my fiance a smoker. It might be for me as much as it is for him, though. ;)

                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                              I have you beat - much of our kitchen is from my grandparents.
                                                                                                              We have the coolest mid-fifties dinnerware.

                                                                                                              1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                Which pattern? I can't help but ask, I'm both a vintage collector and a vintage dealer and that's my favorite era. :)

                                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                  Well, they are white, but with these really Fifties looking gold....snowflakes (not exactly snowflakes, but similar).

                                                                                                                    1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                      Or the Royal China Star Glow pattern? My parents had these in the 50s.


                                                                                                                        1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                          Star Glow is mid- 60's, it's a redesign of "Crystal" which was produced in the mid to late 50s. Super cute.

                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                            Wow! How can you tell the difference? They look almost exactly the same to me. But if Star Glow is mid-60s, my parents must have had the Crystal because I definitely recall using it as a child.

                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                              The bowls are shaped differently and Star Glow has solid colored mustard/ gold cups.

                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                Aha! So that's why the Star Glow cups didn't look familiar to me. Very interesting. Thanks.

                                                                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                          Our next door neighbors had those dishes, growing up!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                    I still have Christmas at my dad's this weekend, but so far I've gotten:

                                                                                                                    all three of the Cuisinart pans
                                                                                                                    Julienne and negi cutters
                                                                                                                    6 rice bowls
                                                                                                                    Goblets for 12
                                                                                                                    Flatware for 12
                                                                                                                    A Star Trek apron (in command gold, because he knows who's in charge!)
                                                                                                                    Non-kitchen items (scarfs, a throw, reading pillow, knitted owls, a gift card, bath salts....)

                                                                                                                    The pans are so exciting. I used the 8-inch skillet today to fry up some tortillas for tacos, and it DIDN'T TILT on the coil! It was heavenly. And they're so shiny. :D

                                                                                                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                      Oh dear, I'd never heard of a negi cutter and now I want one. I do often julienne green onion. I have a carrot tool from an Asian shop to do fine carrot juliennes; my Zyliss was even better but it broke.

                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                        I'm so excited about the negi cutter. I bought some scallions this afternoon just to try it out! :D

                                                                                                                  2. The main culinary thing I want is new mini muffin and muffin pans. I want the ones from King Arthur. I have the same brand in loaf pans, and I think they're great.


                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. A new immersion blender (mine died!), vacuum sealer, Vitamix, electric griddle.

                                                                                                                      I don't have a lot of gadgets. I have a small budget and small kitchen so more than likely I'll get none-of-the-above. It's a wish list :)

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Tarantula

                                                                                                                        I bought my current immersion blender at a yard sale. My electric frying pan (is an electric griddle the same thing) as well. These days, also try online sites. Knock wood, I'm buying an almost-new 10 cubic ft fridge this week; the current owners find it too small, and it is perfect for me and my cat.

                                                                                                                        I don't have many gadgets either, nor do I want them, but good tools are important for cookery as any other trade or vocation.

                                                                                                                      2. Bacon press-the tea kettle works pretty well but would love to not to have grab random pots and pans to squash bacon

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          That and those fried egg shapers. They didn't make it onto my list this year, as I'm not the one who makes breakfast normally, but I've been eyeing them!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                            I'd love the fried egg shaper. Even with super fresh eggs, the outside white likes to run.

                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                              Part of my problem is a badly-warped skillet and the elements of my stove not sitting correctly. The other part is my flipping skills.

                                                                                                                              I figure the egg shaper is cheaper than a new stove and pan, but nothing can cure the flipping!

                                                                                                                        2. I'm getting a fancy new chef's knife that I don't need. It's going to be great!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: LaureltQ

                                                                                                                            Details? Who? What type?

                                                                                                                            I put in a request for a French chef's knife that uses a pre-WW1 blank OR one from a more modern design.

                                                                                                                            At some point, I'll just get a set of Bertis.

                                                                                                                            Do better knives make me THAT much a better cook? NOPE. Do I just ike having great tools? YUP.

                                                                                                                          2. I was just given a gift certificate to Korin as a birthday present. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I have a pretty good selection of knives, but this will be pure indulgence. Have no idea yet what I'll get, but the shopping for it sure will be fun.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                              Someone loves you very much! What a great gift - green with envy but in a good way :)

                                                                                                                            2. I treated myself to a Ninja blender and Keurig.

                                                                                                                              1. Got myself the big-hole Rosle grater and can finally toss the old, cracked cheapie box grater. Latkes, here we come!

                                                                                                                                1. I got my sausage stuffer! I just made 5 pounds and it works like a dream - no air bubbles, no fuss! I foresee a LOT of sausage in my future. DH also got me the Sansaire sous vide circulator, but they are still in production and won't be available until February at the earliest, so that will be more of an early birthday present. I'm a lucky girl indeed!

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima


                                                                                                                                    My great grandfatehr owned a slaughterhouse/sausage factory in Worcester, MA for a ong time (his name was Herman Wiegert....with a name like that, you kinda assume he made sauages). We still have his recipes at home. Keep waiting for a chance to replaicate. Need to scale down though - all were made at the commercial level.
                                                                                                                                    My dad worked there int eh forties/fifties/sixties and said old Herman did it up right - seasonal sausages, house cured meats, etc..

                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                      Which sausage stuffer is it? My husband has one he uses all the time. And I was going to get him the Sansaire circulator, but I think they were overly optimistic about when it would be ready for sale. Maybe it will make a good anniversary gift come May.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        I got this one, by LEM: http://www.amazon.com/LEM-Products-St...

                                                                                                                                        I didn't need a huge one, but I did want one with metal gears, and this was the only moderately-priced option that fit all of my requirements. I love it already. Can't wait for the Sansaire, but I won't hold my breath until my birthday rolls around (early April).