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Old 11-09-2005, 05:29 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Kitchen Extras (Edibles) You Wouldn't Buy Yourself?

I'm making a basket of assorted things for my sister and her fiance for Christmas. I will not be putting in any whole food, but I would love ideas for interesting spices, rubs, oils, that kind of thing. I'm thinking interesting things you might not buy yourself. They aren't huge cooks, but do entertain sometimes. Not looking to go too formal. (I hope this makes sense.)

One of my other sisters says a must is sea salt.

What would you like in your basket if you were getting one?

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Old 11-09-2005, 05:35 PM   #2
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Take your pick of the following - I buy all my own, but would LOVE some of them in a present!

Good peppercorns, Maldon sea salt, a small container of saffron strands, good tea - Twining's are a winner, a bottle of EVOO, Balsamic vinegar, Basmati rice, dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms, a good Dijonnaise mustard, plain or grain, a box of good French biscuits, a small panetone, a supply of good stock cubes or granules, the Swiss or Belgian ones are great.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:04 AM   #3
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i like the idea of good peppercorns. you could get a few colors (black, white, red), and include a nice pepper mill.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:10 AM   #4
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Vanilla beans! They are quite costly and so I only ever buy them more the most special of recipes - I'd love to get some of them any day! Good (or excellent!) quality chocolate and honey would be two other favourite choices
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:55 AM   #5
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I think it depends on how much you want to spend ...

I can think of a lot of things!

To the list that's accumulated, I might add prepared demiglace, capers in salt, caviar, farro or some other interesting grain, and anything from these people: Boyajian.* I made a quick vinaigrette using a bit of their lemon oil the other night and we practically drank it straight. It was fantastic.

*shout out to my mother for turning me on to this stuff
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:56 AM   #6
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Great idea, especially if you are assembling it yourself. I second the idea of Jessica about vanilla bean, also unique peppercorns (especially green and red), porcini mushrooms and/or artichokes sott'olio, nice package of belgian or swiss chocolate, vacuum packed authentic parmigiano reggiano, balsamic vinegar from modena, good quality jam with high fruit content, dried porcini mushrooms, specialty honey, a collection of indian spices, and if you can find it, a nice panettone! (a must for chrismas basket in Italy!)
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:53 PM   #7
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Pondered this post while walking to and from the drug store and library in the rain and I remembered a couple more things...truffle oil, really good quality raspberry vinegar, hazelnuts (those are $$$ here, so I'd love a gift of hazelnuts ), recipe cards (I know everything is digital these days but I still often write out recipes to give or put in my recipe cookbooks), powdered food colouring or food colouring gel, and one that is really the icing on the extravagant cake, edible gold leaf
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:07 PM   #8
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Fun stuff! Keep it coming!

I love hearing what people would love but don't buy for themselves!
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Old 11-11-2005, 06:20 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, as my cheque book knows only too well, I DO buy myself all the suggestions I made, plus more! But, I make up a basket of more unusual and expensive things and give it to my daughter as part of her 'stocking' each year. I've started earlier this year - and so far have bought


Star anise
Saffron
vanilla pods
Dried shiitake mushrooms
Spanish paprika
Peppercorns
a box of Maldon sea salt
Indian mustard seeds
jar of caviar
Bath Oliver biscuits (to eat with the caviar!)

I'll see what I can add to that little stash when I go shopping tomorrow morning!
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Old 11-11-2005, 10:32 PM   #10
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I'd like a nutmeg grater and whole nutmeg.
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