Thursday, December 14, 2006

Outfitting The Holiday Kitchen
(Or Your Holiday Wish List)

I'm sure you have already been inundated with holiday gift suggestions, but I thought I would go ahead and offer up a few more anyway (please forgive me). Actually, the original idea behind this post was to share a few of my favorite kitchen essentials--the ones I find invaluable not just during the holidays but throughout the year. Besides making great gifts for foodie friends, they would, of course, most likely be welcome in your own kitchen.

Oh, yeah--and this is a blatant plug for shopping on Amazon.com, because although I do my best to shop locally (which usually means over a dozen stops during even the most basic errand run), sometimes you just need to embrace the joys of ordering online. Even the owner of our local little natural foods store annnounced a few Decembers ago, "Amazon.com rocks!" And I have to agree.

There are still a few more days to order with Free Super Saver Shipping for delivery by December 22nd. And right now you can save $25.00 when you spend $125.00 or more on Kitchen & Housewares or Bed & Bath products offered by Amazon.com. Just enter code HOHOSAVE at checkout.

Gift Certificates
Let's face it--we live in The Age Of The Gift Card. But they really can come in handy, especially for last minute shopping. If you order an Amazon Gift Certificate between now and December 31st using this link (or any other Amazon link on my blog), Farmgirl Fare will receive a small portion of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). All proceeds will go directly to maintaining this site and paying the Treat Bill at the feed store. Amazon Gift Certificates can be delivered via e-mail or e-card (sent within hours of ordering) or snail mail (order by December 18th for Christmas delivery) and are redeemable for literally millions of items.

Farmgirl Fare Favorites Store
I'm in the process of expanding my Amazon Store and will be adding many more categories and items soon. There are already a few new categories, including On My Bookshelf and My Favorite Movies. (Yes, as you'll quickly see, I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy, though I do like other types of movies as well. Since we don't have TV, we watch movies. And since we live 17 miles from the closest video store, we buy them. So not only are these all movies that I think are great, they are also all ones I have happily watched over and over). The I Can't Live Without page offers several kitcheny items I, well, can't live without--most of which would make super gifts.

A Few More Kitchen Essentials
These are the newest items I've added to my Amazon Store.

Every baker out there deserves to have at least a couple of commercial half-size baking sheets in their culinary arsenal. I refuse to bake on anything else, and once you try using them you probably won't either. There is simply no comparison. Are you a Closet Cookie Burner? These might very well cure you. Really. Chicago Metallic (a well respected name in the restaurant equipment industry) offers a set of two heavyweight baking sheets for $24.99--a bargain for something that is a mainstay in my kitchen. Treat them well and they will last for ages--I've had some of mine for over 15 years. I almost always line mine with unbleached parchment paper--something else I can't believe I ever lived without.

I recently ordered one of these Chicago Metallic Commercial 1-Pound Loaf Pans and am about to order two more (I usually make three loaves of bread at a time). Note: the pans are NOT 9"x5" like it says in the description. The label on the pan itself states that they are 8-1/2"x4-1/2"--which is the size I like to use. The pans are a nice hefty weight and will no doubt hold up for years. Chicago Metallic also offers a 1-1/2-Pound Loaf Pan (though I'm not sure if the dimensions listed in the Amazon product description are correct or not).

I also recently received a Lodge Enamel 7-Quart Dutch Oven in Patriot Red as an early Christmas present. It is absolutely wonderful, cooks like a dream, and the gorgeous color couldn't be more festive. This is something I plan to keep forever. Fine Cooking magazine recently reviewed several enamel dutch ovens, and this one received the highest rating--it even beat out Le Creuset (and it is less than half the price). I went with the larger 7-quart size and am glad I did, but it does weigh about 17 pounds. Lodge also offers a five-quart version. (Note: the 7-quart size is currently out of stock but should be available soon.)

And lastly, possibly the most indispensible thing at this time of year is one of my all-time favorite CDs: Vivaldi For Relaxation. I highly recommend it. (And it may just save your sanity.)

5 comments:

  1. Ooooh, I covet that Dutch oven!

    I couldn't live without unbleached parchment paper either - I use it to line baking sheets when I'm roasting vegetables as well as for cookies and cakes. And a crumpled ball of the stuff makes a great cat toy.

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  2. I think you are looking at a new career, Personal Shopper! Maybe Cary could assist you.

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  3. Hohosave? ::giggles:: I wish Amazon sends overseas... I mean I know it does, sometimes, for certain items but it'll cost you..
    Maybe it's better this way for my sanity and the health of my wallet.
    Sigh.

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  4. Susan,
    Since you like "Vivaldi, do you listen to much Telemann?

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  5. Farmgirl,
    You will love those Chicago Metallic Bread pans! I have three of them and use them all the time.

    And an enameled Dutch oven is one pan I use the most. Just finished cooking some brown rice in mine. The heavy lid prevents boil over and a mess on the stove. My little dog has some brown rice everyday mixed with green beans and canned meat.

    ReplyDelete

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