It’s that time again to wonder what on earth to buy the foodie/wino in your life. Have no fear, here are the ITs Food ideas for 2008.
1. Panasonic breadmaker
This was the “hit” of last Xmas in the ITs Food household. Fresh bread tastes fantastic and is so easy to make. There’s nothing like waking up to the smell of a freshly baked loaf. We have the Panasonic SD254 (<£80 at Amazon.co.uk) and are thrilled with it. If you’re slightly more adventurous then you could get the next model up, the SD255 (<£85 at Amazon.co.uk) with built in raisin/nut dispenser! If you already have a breadmaker I recommend “Fresh Bread in the Morning from Your Bread Machine” (<£5 at Amazon.co.uk). It’s packed with great recipes, the Polenta bread is amazing hot from the machine with truffle butter (from Carluccios).
2. Le Creuset Cast Iron, Steamer and Stoneware Gift Set
Whilst not being a “classic” style cook, I still can appreciate a kitchen classic. Le Creuset make the hardiest (and heaviest) kitchenware out there. These will last you a lifetime! At the moment you can get a 4 piece “Le Creuset Cast Iron, Steamer and Stoneware Gift Set” at Amazon for less than £90! That’s a bargain!
3. A Brabantia Touch Bin
Okay, not the sexiest gift but again, like Le Creuset, Brabantia are a name you associate with quality. It’s the bin of choice in the ITs Food household and apart from being very useful, it looks good as well! At <£50 each at Amazon.co.uk, these are fantastic value.
4. Screwpull Waiters Friend by Le Creuset
More Le Creuset! If you have a wine lover in your family then they will probably know the Screwpull name. Whilst corks are becoming less common these days they aren’t gone yet. The Waiters Friend is a classic corkscrew, no clever gimmicks, just a fantastically made corkscrew. Buy this any they’ll never need another corkscrew again. I’m amazed that this is so cheap!! <£7.50 from Amazon.co.uk
5. Tefal ActiFry Low Fat Electric Fryer
Last year we got all excited about the amazing Tefal Quick Cup which could give you a hot cup of water in 3 seconds! This year we’re impressed with another Tefal gadget, the ActiFry Low Fat Electric Fryer. In this age of fast food and poor diet the ActiFry minimises the amount of oil you use in cooking, a single spoonful of oil is enough to fry up 1Kg of chips! Another quality kitchen gadget from Tefal. Save over £50 when buying from Amazon.co.uk.
6. Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2
You knew there’d be a book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in here didn’t you!? Well, after the success of the first River Cottage Handbook on Mushrooms, Hugh is back with a book dedicated to Preserves. This was top of my Xmas books list and hopefully soon I’ll be knocking out loads of lovely jams and chutneys. A bargain at <£8.50 at Amazon.co.uk.
7. What to Eat Now by Valentine Warner
Well, after meeting him the other day, I couldn’t help but suggest this book. Val takes us on a journey through seasonal produce. This first book (there is another TV series and book coming in the New Year) takes us through Autumn. Whilst Autumn is now behind us this is an excellent book to get you enthused about all the wonderful food that autumn brings us. Click here to buy What to Eat Now from Amazon.co.uk.
8. Italian Pasta Maker Set
Now, this is a slightly strange one. I would hazard a guess if you’re a real foodie you may have one of these pasta makers gathering dust somewhere. This is a classic gift that all foodies should receive once in their life. The great things about these are, if you can actually convince a foodie to try it, you’ll probably experience the best pasta you’ve ever eaten. Home made pasta is great! Just make sure your foodie friend hasn’t already got one hidden away somewhere! A full set (including ravioli kit) is available for <£50 at Amazon.co.uk.
Another funny one. I know a few foodies who have a Mandoline and never use it. I think this is very similar to the Pasta Maker. Once a foodie clears space in their kitchen for one of these and uses it a few times, you’ll find that the Mandoline becomes a permanent fixture. They save so much time and cut so accurately, every foodie should have one! The Master Class Stainless Steel Mandoline Set is available from Amazon.co.uk for less than £25 and has a finger guard which is essential!
10. Something to listen to…
Sometimes if I’m in the kitchen and there’s nothing on my DAB digital radio, I pop my iPod in and listen to some music. In the past I’ve always bought music from iTunes, not any longer! Now you can buy high quality DRM free music from HMV, Play.com and Amazon.co.uk (just opened). No longer be stuck paying 79p for a music track!! Buy your foodie friend some vouchers so they can fill up their “cooking music” library.
p.s. If they haven’t got one, you could always buy them an iPod 🙂
Well, that’s it for our list this year, I hope it gives you a few ideas for your foodie/wino friends/family. Yes, as usual, if you buy through any of the links in this post ITs Food will get a small percentage payment (usually ~5% or less ex vat) but it doesn’t cost you anything more! Happy shopping!