Gift giving: some people just love it. They spend the whole year intently listening for clues on what their loved ones might need or want come December; they make a detailed list and attack the shopping season early, with gusto.
These people are to be admired and applauded, but I am generally not this person. I thrive at the last-minute shop – looking to the expert recommendations of others for the best gifts to buy and give everybody on the list.
Google don’t fail me now.
Inevitably, I divide the shopping list into categories, and rank them in order of easiest to hardest to buy for. In every family and friend group, there is one group or individual that is truly difficult to buy for. For me, it’s my mother and all my many “foodie” friends.
Mom gets her own category because she makes returns and exchanges for sport – to the point where my sister and I just include the receipt with the gift, generally expecting the gift will go back as quickly as it arrived. “Nothing personal,” she says. Ruthless. I pledge to grow up with the same discerning tastes and a fervent dislike for bulky, space-sucking kitchen appliances and gadgetry with a single function. Here's looking at you, air fryer from 2017.
But I digress; let’s address those foodie friends. Are they a tad uppity? You bet. Do they make their own bitters and Instagram their bar cart on the regular? Yes indeed. Did they roll their eyes when Sourdough starter went mainstream in March? Of course they did, they grew starter before it was cool.
The foodies are hard to buy for; but, in fairness we’ve all been through it this year.
We’ve all used our kitchens and our cookbooks as lifeboats to survive a year in quarantine, and food has become an expression of our idle hands and 2020 anxieties. To be honest, our cuticles have stress baking to thank for their own survival.
So, if like us, you’re struggling to buy for a foodie friend, let us help you out with some fun and easy ideas to spark the imagination and hopefully relieve the pressure because 2020 isn’t like any other year, and neither should the gifts.
Visit the King Arthur Baking Company Logo Shop
Let’s all agree that professional and college sports took a big hit this year. Sports lovers are missing the comradery of gameday- supporting their teams and spectating in person. If like us, baking has become a sport in your household, why not support this year’s real MVP - AP flour, by sporting a King Arthur Baking Company tee shirt or hat? Go team (and fellow B Corp)!
Cheesemonger’s Cheese of the Month Club – Murray's Cheese
Let’s face it, cheese is central to any holiday celebration. To deny this essential truth is to rob your family and friends of a flavorful and indulgent dairy experience that improves any gathering, however virtual. Our friends at Murray’s Cheese are coming through with their giftable Cheese of the Month Box that is expertly curated by their team of Cheesemongers. So, leave the work to the pros and impress those fickle foodies with delicious mail-order cheese.
"Modern Comfort Food" by Ina Garten
Dear Ina, you are a beacon of hope in an otherwise dark and unsettling 2020. Thank you for releasing your newest culinary manifesto, Modern Comfort Food, when we needed it most. This rich collection of warm and fuzzy comfort foods is a full-flavor assault on the tastebuds and we’re so here for it. We’ll be making the Tomato & Goat Cheese Crostada this weekend, who is with us? If you can’t support your local bookstore, Amazon is always there for you.
A fancy Le Creuset Butter Dish
Look, butter is important. Butter deserves to rest comfortably in a stoneware butter dish on the counter where it can be loved and admired when not in active use. While it’s recommended that butter be refrigerated when not in use, the holiday season is go-time for butter, so why not reward this hard-working dairy essential with the vessel she deserves? While we’re at it, all hail the queen, Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter.
Hedley & Bennett Smock Apron
When it comes to fickle foodies, only the best aprons will do, and everybody knows that Hedley & Bennett are the boss in this category. The California-based apron empresarios pivoted to make face masks for medical personnel and essential workers back in March, and that’s a cause we can get behind. For your foodie friends, consider gifting them the Hedley & Bennett Smock Apron, a lighter weight cotton apron that crosses in the back and pairs effortlessly with stretchy pants.