Friday the 13th — let the good times roll, right? Actually, at least for our local state employees, it’s a pretty good day: we’re all getting a lump sum back pay for the past six months, which is nice timing for the holidays. If you get a holiday bonus, what would you spend it on? If you’re looking at holiday gifts for yourself or your food allergic friend or family member, consider some of these things:
- I’m thinking about rolling pins as I think about holiday cookies, and I’ve heard great things about this French-style rolling pin (besides its cheap price tag). My friend Corinne over at Spare Cake has one like this, and I really like the guides — seems like a great option for someone like me who isn’t practiced at rolling stuff out evenly.
- In the same line of thought, cookie cutters: Dr. Who set on Etsy, and check out the selection at Think Geek, which includes ninjas, spaceships, dinosaurs, and Tetris. I kind of want them all to go with my bat and camel and shamrock (yes, that’s all I have just now).
- Cookbooks almost never disappoint the foodie. Angela Liddon has written The Oh She Glows Cookbook, out soon. Isa Chandra Moskowitz just put out a weeknight cookbook, Isa Does It, and while this isn’t an allergy cookbook, I’ve always found Moskowitz’s vegan cookbooks fantastic. And from the bizarre but wonderful side, The Wood For Sheep cookbook is a geek’s guide for game night foods to accommodate all kinds of food needs — based on the Settlers of Catan board game. Cool, right?
- If you’ve got a huge bonus to spend, think appliances. A friend of ours recently invested in a Vitamix blender, the most reverently discussed appliance in health food circles, and while spendy, we’re hearing that it’s worth it and replaced about 4 appliances in her kitchen. Also in the “investments” category, there is the ever-beloved Kitchen-Aid mixer. We both have these, and they are pretty amazing and useful. There are also a few gazillion attachments, and if you want to spice up your mixer (or your friend’s mixer), check out the selection of decals on Etsy. (I have this one in purple on my Kitchen-Aid – Denise)
- If you have a friend who is into fermenting (hot sauces, kraut, pickles, etc.) some pickle weights might be helpful for them (and/or me, just saying). Also they might want some kraut caps which allow you to seal your jars, but allows the gas released from the fermenting without blowing up or cracking your jars. I (Denise) have some of these, and love them.
- Although I’d prefer to buy local, sometimes that just isn’t possible with food allergies, especially if you live in a not-so-urban area. Gift cards for ordering groceries, ingredients, food preparation equipment and supplies online, might not be a bad idea. Or maybe even an Amazon Prime membership, so that your food allergic person can order stuff and get it quickly without paying shipping. I just did this as my gift to myself this year.
- People with food allergies cook a lot, whether we want to or not. Check out these kitchen gift guides from Serious Eats: 9 Essential Pots and Pans, Essential Kitchen Tools Under $50, and The Kitchen Starter Kit to outfit your or your friend and family member’s kitchen with cooking equipment.
- Just throwing this out there, but if you’ve got a food allergic friend or family member, maybe they’d like some time. Me, I’d love to get the gift of some time. If your friend or family member has a fairly difficult food allergy to manage, which might, for instance, require them to make every condiment themselves and can it, maybe give them a coupon they can cash in for a couple of hours of help. If you’re not a cook, maybe offer to help with something else so they can work on food prep. Doing the research, cooking and cleaning to manage a safe food supply can be all consuming task.
Hope this helps you navigate the holiday chaos! Have a good week all 🙂