2013 Gift Guide: Day Six

November 30, 2013



Vintage Menu Cards 

My favorite find on last year’s gift guide was the vintage menu posters from Cool Culinaria.  If you haven’t already found this website, you have a pleasant treat ahead. Browsing the blog I see it’s grown since last year, adding impressive additions from two famous menu collectors, along with an expanded cocktail collection and a really wonderful new group of Chinese restaurant menus.


But their newest offering is a collection of vintage menu cards,  that would make absolutely ideal presents for almost everyone who still employs a pen. 

Boxed in sets of ten, the cards are grouped in sets from

Los Angeles





New York


New Orleans




If you’re looking to please people who aren’t urban dwellers, there’s an American collection, which has cards from all over (including Pullman dining cars), a collection from the West, and a fantastic drink and cocktail collection that should work for just about anyone else. 

OLD_WEST_NOTECARD_BOX_FRONT_compact Drink_cards_web_medium America_cards_web_medium

 At $19.95, it’s a thoughtful way to remind friends that you’d like to hear from them once in a while. 

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2013 Gift Guide Day Five:

November 29, 2013

The Perfect Gift for Tomato-Lovers (and isn't that all of us?)


I met the Tomato Independence Project people in Boise Idaho last fall, and fell in love with both their project and their tee-shirts.


Their goal: Making sure that 20% of food consumption in the Treasure Valley of Idaho and Oregon is local by 2020.  

Their method: For starters, encouraging everyone to grow their own tomatoes. 

Since the average American eats more than 90 pounds of tomatoes every year, it seems like an obvious place to begin. As they say in Boise, “life’s too short for tasteless tomatoes.” 

Their tee-shirts: Pre-shrunk, made of organic cotton, not available anywhere else. 

$29.99 each. 


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2013 Gift Guide: Thanksgiving Day

November 28, 2013

Recipe Plates


Somehow this seems like the perfect present to contemplate on America’s great family food holiday.  

If you send artist Ruthie K. Sutter a picture of a favorite recipe – or the recipe itself – she’ll bake it right onto a plate.  One recipe would be a great gift, but a set of 6 different recipes…. would be especially swell. 

Recipe plates ship in 2-3 weeks, so there's still time.

At $48 it’s a very thoughtful way to remind someone that you love them. And while I've got you – happy Thanksgiving!



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2013 Gift Guide: Day Three

November 27, 2013

A Great Bowl


Museum stores are a great place to look for unusual gifts – but they tend to have a suspicious sameness. Seattle’s quirky Frye Museum is different. Filled with odd and interesting items, it’s a perfect place to troll for gifts.  


One I particularly like is this porcelain bowl by  Aleksandra Pollner, a Polish artist who lives and works in Seattle. Molded from a rock she found in a Washington state river, it has a delightfully eccentric elegance. It costs $185, and one thing’s for sure: this present is not likely to be duplicated. (Click here to see more of Pollner’s wonderful work.) 


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2013 Gift Guide: Day Two

November 26, 2013


Wild Alaskan King Crab 

I’ve loved Copper River Salmon from the first moment I tasted it.  And not just because the flavor is so rich and delicious – and so different from the lazy farmed salmon we most often eat.  I also like the spirit of this fishery, which is locally owned and entirely sustainable.

Salmon’s not in season at the moment, but the Copper River Seafoods  website offers an entire range of products, from frozen salmon (Coho, Sockeye) to smoked and canned products.  This time of year, however,  their various Wild Alaskan King Crab offerings are most intriguing.


Ten pounds of Red King Crab legs would make a very regal present – or a fine holiday feast if you’re inclined to treat yourself. 

Prices (which include shipping), range  from $99 to $180 dollars for ten pounds.



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