December 13, 2007

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Gifts for gourmands
What to get the food lover with everything
By Linda A. Odum food@hippopress.com

Looking for a gift for your favorite foodie? Here are some suggestions that will please any food lover.

• Gadgets and gizmos: Tea and tea-related accessories are popular holiday gifts for people who enjoy a good cup of oolong or Darjeeling,

“Tea lovers are more into gadgets than coffee drinkers,” said Tony Adams, owner of Cooking Matters, 97 Main St. in Nashua. “They will buy all of the accessories.” He recommends a pouch mug from HuesNBrews, a tea mug with a small compartment on the side to hold a used teabag.

For the foodie who likes board games, Adams carries a selection of food-themed “opoly” games. The most popular is Wine-opoly, but he also has Chocolate-opoly, Brew-opoly, and Cocktail-opoly.

Cooking Matters has a large selection of gourmet food items. Adams noted that pancake mix is a big seller during the holidays. (Try one from Stonewall Kitchen.) He also has In Vino Veritas, a line of chocolates paired with wines.

This is the time of year for new oil, the first pressing of the olive harvest that took place in October and November. Adams carries Zatz December’s New Oil from Napa Valley. This pungent and fruity olive oil is not meant to sit around; it should be used quickly.

Anything silicone is hot this season, according to Janet Learned, who, with her husband, Art, owns Things are Cooking, 74 N. Main St. in Concord. Silicone cookware can be used in the freezer, oven and microwave. It is flexible and heat-resistant, and comes in a multitude of vibrant colors and forms — bakeware, spatulas, steamers, pot holders and coasters, to name a few.

Often the holidays are a time when people buy more expensive gifts that friends and family members would not buy for themselves. Learned pointed out two such cooking lines. The first was All-Clad, a high-end line of cookware.

“It is an American-made product that many people are looking for,” she said. “It’s wonderful to cook with for even heat distribution. It looks beautiful, cooks wonderful and feels wonderful in your hands.”

The other is Le Creuset, a line of enameled cast iron cookware from France. The cast iron ensures even heat distribution while the enameled surface allows cooks to prepare any recipe. (Uncoated cast iron will give acidic foods a metallic taste.) The line’s design allows it to go straight from the stove or oven to the dinner table.

Learned noted that traditional cast iron and basic bakeware are also popular this season.

“I think people are doing a lot of at-home cooking,” she said. “Going back to the way people used to cook.”

• Cookbooks and memoirs: What foodie doesn’t love a new cookbook or two? Michael Herrmann, owner of Gibson’s Bookstore, 27 S. Main St. in Concord, recommended these:

Apples for Jam: A Colorful Cookbook, by Tessa Kiros, contains photos and anecdotes of family, friends and childhood. “The recipes are organized by color, which is a beautiful idea for a cookbook,” Herrmann said.

I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas, by Marcel Desaulniers and Ron Manville. Chocolate expert Desaulniers has created a book full of mouth-watering recipes and images.

The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution, by Alice Waters. The owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkley, Calif., and a leader in the organic and local food movements, Waters has created a cookbook full of simple recipes and detailed cooking techniques.

The Tenth Muse, by Judith Jones. Best known as the editor who brought Julia Child’s cookbooks to America’s kitchens, Jones spent decades as a literary editor at Knopf. Her memoir parallels the food landscape of the past few decades.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver. From an author best known for her fiction, this memoir follows a year in which her family vows to consume nothing but locally grown foods.

• Hands-on gifts: Most food lovers enjoy learning new cooking techniques. Many area schools and businesses offer culinary classes to give as gifts.

Colby Hill Inn in Henniker features Cooking Confidential classes, where students prepare and enjoy a three-course meal with Chef Brian Woods. Each student gets a monogrammed chef’s jacket — the inn will wrap one with a gift certificate if you wish to purchase the evening as a gift. They also offer two-night packages that include hands-on lessons with the chef. Get details at www.colbyhillinn.com or by calling 428-3281.

Chez Boucher French Cooking School in Hampton has one-day workshops, couples’ night out classes, six-week programs and professional training classes. Gift certificates are available for all. Check out www.chezboucher.com.

Chef Liz Barbour’s Creative Feast offers a number of cooking lesson options, including classes at local shops and private in-home lessons. Gift certificates are available. For all class options, visit www.thecreativefeast.com or call 465-6929.

McIntosh College in Dover has its Seasonings classes offered through its Atlantic Culinary Academy. The topics range from food and wine to baking, ethnic cooking and nutrition, and are taught by Academy instructors. For a list of classes, see www.mcintoshcollege.edu/Seasonings or call 877-744-6800.

The Impressive Chef Cooking School in Hudson has cooking classes taught by various area chefs. It also features a kitchenware shop, and all students receive a 10-percent discount on purchases. A course schedule and a list of chefs and their credentials are available at www.impressivechef.com.



12/6/2007 Making spirits really bright

11/22/2007 Just don't ask them to cook
11/15/2007 Easy as pie
11/8/2007 Italian eats, bistro style
11/1/2007 Bringing Italia to New Hampshire
10/25/2007 Trick or treat, the grown-up version
10/18/2007 Shop where the pros go
10/11/2007 Enjoy apple season from orchard to plate
10/04/2007 Tradition on the menu
9/27/2007 Meet your pig
9/20/2007 In search of the right meat
9/20/2007 Vegan blogger branches out
9/13/2007 Get ready to eat
9/6/2007 Fifty years of fair
8/30/2007 The buzz about peach fuzz
8/23/2007 Enjoy the Caribbean, sans hurricanes
8/16/2007 Festival weekend
8/9/2007 Still time to scream
8/2/2007 Perfecting a pound of pasta
7/26/2007 Gourmet Concord?
7/19/2007 Tart treats of a New Hampshire summer
7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
6/21/2007 Spicy meat, grilled meat and saucy meat
6/14/2007 Holy Barbecue
6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
5/17/2007 Baklava, spanakopita and souvlaki — a.k.a. dinner
5/10/2007 Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
5/3/2007 New eats in bloom
4/26/2007 Pho sure
4/19/2007 Cakes, cow-free
4/12/2007 Serving up the first square
4/5/2007 More than just a chocolate bunny
3/29/2007 New 'nuches
3/22/2007 A taste of genuine sweetness
3/15/2007 From homemade to home business
3/8/2007 Shop the farmers' market year round
3/1/2007 Feeding Mama Kicks
2/22/2007 Keepers of the vino
2/15/2007 Noodly comfort food
2/8/2007 The luxury of osso bucco
2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
1/11/2007 Where the beef is, piled high and hot
1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
12/28/2006 The return of pasta and fall of the diet: the year in eats
12/21/2006 Organic on the ice
12/14/2006 French but not fussy
12/07/2006 Southeast U.S. culture, in sandwich form
11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
11/23/2006 Cityside adds class to conveniece
11/16/2006 Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
11/9/2006 The new classic
10/26/2006 Whip up a quiche
10/19/2006 A new way to crepe
10/12/2006 Comfort food for blokes and birds
10/05/2006 Smaller crop but still red and delicious
09/28/2006 The crunchier, lighter, healthier wrap
09/21/2006 City bagels in suburbia
09/14/2006 Cracking the custard code
09/07/2006 Eat your way down the block
08/31/2006 New flavors for an old summer dish
08/24/2006 Way down south in Hollis
08/17/2006 Frappe vs. milkshake
08/10/2006 Enjoy the bluest month
08/03/2006 Death of Toro
07/27/2006 Vacation on a plate
07/20/2006 Hitting barbecue big time
07/13/2006 Relishing the raspberry
07/06/2006 Are your edible souveneirs kosher?
06/29/2006 Fish, upscale
06/22/2006 Sweet rosey taste of summer
06/15/2006 When to pull out the EVOO
06/08/2006 What can you grill?
06/01/2006 Taste of downtown Nashua
05/25/2006 Deulge at farms
05/18/2006 Adorable and delicious
05/11/2006 Rub down
05/04/2006 Pinot to go
04/27/2006 A bit Italian, a bit egg foo young
04/20/2006 Meatier than breakfast...
04/13/2006 Let yourself eat cake
04/06/2006 Fear not the Risotto
03/30/2006 Making Friday a fishy delight
03/23/2006 The Thin Mints are here
03/16/2006 Divining your personality from pizza
03/09/2006 Cooking up a big bowl of comfort
03/02/2006 Dumplings demystified
02/23/2006 Carbs and comfort all the way
02/16/2006 She sells sushi by the sea shore
2/09/2006 Biting into the burger with bling
02/02/2006 Forget formal dining, head to the bar
01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
01/12/2006 Cooking up a pot of delayed gratification
01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
abel
A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Empanadas
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch