Recipes for Gift Guide

How To Carry Twelve Pies

December 9, 2016

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I had a brief career as the baker for the collective restaurant FOOD created by artist Gordon Matta Clark.  When they told me there was no place to bake inside the restaurant, I was not fazed.  “I can make pies and cakes at home,” I said brashly.  I was twenty-two.

Besides the obvious health code issues (none of us gave that a second thought), the main problem was transportation. Food was the first restaurant in the fledgling Soho district (Fanelli’s was basically a bar), and I lived a dozen blocks away on the Lower East Side. How was I going to get the pies from my loft to the restaurant?

My husband came up with a clever solution: a pie-carrier that fitted around my neck like an old fashioned milkmaid’s yoke. Dangling shelves held six pies on either side. 

On the first day Doug loaded me up with six lemon meringue pies and six chocolate Rigo Jancsi cakes.  I carefully descended five flights, crossed the Bowery and made my way down Prince Street. Sadly, this arrangement was short-lived; despite my care, the pastries suffered along the journey, and arrived slightly bruised. 

Although these days I tend to deliver pies one by one, transportation continues to be a problem.  That’s why I was so thrilled to find Petee’s Pie Company, a wonderful little pie shop on Delancey Street, not far from my old loft. They sell delicious pies – lemon poppyseed chess, anyone? – along with these  practical pie boxes. With or without a pie, it would make a great gift. pie_box_2_large

Should you care to gild the lily Petee’s also has a perfectly beveled blackened cherry wood pie server. Homey and ancient looking, it’s a fine object of desire. burnt-cherry-front_large_44ca51ba-4403-44c5-a17a-f5dc8ab383b1_large

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Gift Guide: For Your Honey

December 8, 2016

deep_starter_kit-new_600xDoesn’t everyone want her own private bee hive?  Need I say more?

This excellent starter kit from Beethinking is just the thing for the would-bee (sorry!) apiarist.  It comes with everything she’ll need to set up her own hives.

This time next year, expect a jar of honey as your Christmas gift.

 

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Gift Guide: Natural Color

December 7, 2016

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If you’re a baker – and isn’t everyone this time of year? – you should know about India Tree.  The company specializes in colorful all natural vegetable dyes in everything from frosting to sprinkles to neon-bright sugars.

Serious bakers would be thrilled with one of their many sets – of sprinkles, dyes or sugars- but even the casual baker would be happy with a big jar of these colorful sprinkles. Pretty great gift for less than fifteen bucks.

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Gift Guide: Aprons for Everyone

December 6, 2016

I don’t wear aprons. Suiting up with a clunky piece of linen feels overly cautious – as if you’re expecting to make a mess.  And I hate the way most of them feel; they are literally a pain in the neck.

Recently, however, I’ve switched camps. The fact is, most cooks do make a mess, and I’ve realized that an apron gives you permission to stop worrying about tomato sauce splotches on your sleeves.

What changed my mind? The Chezpron,  which removes the pressure on your neck and makes cooking pure pleasure.

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But it turns out that buying an apron for someone else requires a bit of humility. Everyone has his own apron requirements.  Here are two more that – although they do tie around the neck – might be just the thing to make your friends happy.

Here from Japan’s Fog Linen: 097-b_0571

and another from Hand-Eye in Portland, Oregon:handeyekitchenstripe

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Gift Guide: Coffee to Go

December 5, 2016

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All my coffee-loving friends pack an AeroPress when they hit the road; it is, they assure me, the only way to be sure of getting a decent cup of coffee.  Most of them love this little gadget so much they also use it to make coffee at home, one cup at a time.

The coffee maker, which combines the technology of a French Press and a pour-over, was invented by Alan Adler, who also invented the Aerobie Pro flyer (a kind of frisbee with a hole in the middle that’s set records for farthest-thrown object). He’s a mechanical engineer who lectures at Stanford and has spoken at universities all over the world.

Apparently, Mr. Adler loves coffee.  Should you have someone with a similar passion on your list, this would be a terrific present.  It costs less than $30 – and even comes with its own little travel bag.

 

 

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