The Gift Guide: Day One

December 1, 2011

It’s time to think about gifts again. Last year’s gift guide was so popular that I’m going to post gift suggestions every day until Christmas. Like last year, nobody is paying for product placement; these are just a few things I’d be very happy to find beneath my Christmas tree.

Last year’s guide began with pork. So let’s consider it a tradition. Here’s another pork product that I love. 

Benton’s Aged Whole Country Ham

Country ham is one of America’s glories, and at a time when everyone’s falling for prosciutto and jamon iberico, it’s time we appreciated what we have right here. People are making country hams all over this country, but I like Allan Benton’s best. Dry, complex, a little bit funky, it tastes wonderful on biscuits or sliced into scrambled eggs, and nothing looks more impressive on a party table.  At around fifteen pounds, it’s a real steal, a gift that will keep on giving for months. But order now. The waiting list is long.




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  • Karen Cini says:

    Okay – this has nothing to do with your Gift Guide, but I couldn’t find a way to email you. I just finished “Comfort Me with Apples”, and I just wanted to tell you that I so truly enjoyed it and found it deeply touching. Just Lovely!
    Thank you,
    P.S. I’ve read some of your work over the years and have seen a few of your cooking travelogues that appear on PBS from time to time. Wonderful!

  • Ruth – I have so enjoyed all of your writings, especially your books and feel a certain sense of closeness as some of our childhood experiences with food & our fathers are very close. I stumbled upon your journal one day and have been enjoying it ever since. Short, sweet, and sometimes very edible! I happen to have some Benton ham in the freezer and it may come out for a dinner combination tonight now that I have read your post. I also would like a whole one for Christmas, but will just have to wait. Keep writing & when can we expect another book?

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    Thanks so much, Karen. By the way, I’ll be on the Leonard Lopate show on Monday, talking about Comfort me with Apples.