I’ve had this jaunty giant Perfex pepper grinder sitting on my kitchen counter for more than twenty years. I absolutely love it. It’s eight inches tall, holds a small mountain of peppercorns, is easy to fill and adjusts at the turn of a screw.
There’s only one drawback: it’s no longer available in the United States. I have absolutely no idea why this is the case, and for the past few years I’ve sought out vintage grinders when I wanted to give them as gifts.
Suddenly they’re back. They recently became available on Amazon. Although you have to order them from England, they’re well worth the trouble. They last forever, and your friends will think of you each time they reach for pepper.
Just when you thought you’d learned everything you needed to know about wine craft beer arrived, bringing an entirely new world to explore.
So you became fluent in IPA, Stout, Pilsner, Saison and Hefeweizen.
Then along came Sake, with an entirely new language to learn.
If you find the great Japanese brew confusing, this is for you. Tipssysake.com sells dozens of different varieties of sake, so you can learn to distinguish between Junmai, Ginjo and Daiginjo. Even better, they have a sake box club that offers three different kinds of sake on a monthly basis. (You can order a single box, or opt for an entire year’s worth of research.)
For those who choose their brews simply by name – how can you resist Snow Maiden or Moon on the Water? – this would make a wonderful gift. I can think of lots of people who would consider this a rather perfect present.
This is fantastic pastrami! Texas-style, but made in L.A., Ugly Drum mail-orders their fantastic meat. It freezes well, meaning that it’s the perfect thing to keep in your freezer for last-minute guests and impromptu parties.
Who wouldn’t be happy knowing an entire brisket is waiting in the freezer, ready to delight a whole group of guests? It makes an unusual – but very welcome – gift for your carnivorous friends.
Lately I find myself using more and more gochujang, the ubiquitous Korean chile paste. It’s got so many uses; yesterday I threw some into my classic Thanksgiving chili.
I’ve been using the supermarket sort, but it hit me that there are probably finer varieties. This traditional kochujang from Gotham Grove is one. It arrives beautifully packaged – a natural gift- and it keeps forever.
And while you’re at it, peruse the wonderful Gotham Grove website. You’ll find yourself coveting all manner of esoteric ingredients, from snail black garlic vinegar to aged soy sauces and roasted perilla oil.
During a recent meal at Tak Room, the waiter appeared with the most adorable utensil to squeeze a little lemon over my fish. The fish was delicious, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that cute little bird.
Turns out they’re easy to find. I bought mine from Amazon, but if you’re interested in old objects, there are a lot of vintage bird squeezers on the market. I found them here and here.
There are definitely better way to squeeze lemons -but nothing nearly as cute. It makes a very good gift because they’re inexpensive – and unusual enough that your friends are unlikely to already own this particular little bird.