Kitchen-related Gifts

Microplane grater, $13 Every list starts with a microplane grater, because there is nothing that makes such a big difference at such a little price. Box graters are OK for cheese, but there’s nothing more irritating than scraping your knuckles on the fine grater when you’re trying to zest a lemon or grate a bit of chocolate on top of your cocoa. That’s where the microplane grater comes in. It’s basically impossible to hurt yourself, and it does a superior job of zesting and fine grating, taking just a very thin layer off the surface. I like to use it to make fluffy clouds of parmesan on top of a salad or chocolate on top of a cake. And it pops in the dishwasher and comes out clean.

I’m usually not much of a gift guide person, but I liked Megan McArdle’s gift guide for kitchen things because of how sensible it is (a $13 microplane grater is affordable and is something I actually would be happy to get). I also have a close friend who seemingly has everything, so my gifts to her are usually to take her out to dinner, but I once bought her a fish spatula for her birthday after remembering the one night we made dinner together where we ruined the fish using a regular spatula and it was kind of perfect. Plus, you could always get a nice oven mitt for the person who doesn’t like to cook, but likes frozen pizza.

---
---
---
---
---
---

31 Comments / Post A Comment

aetataureate (#1,310)

SALT PIG.

It turns out I don’t hate Megan McArdle when she isn’t writing about her bizarre libertarian politics! Amazing.

andnowlights (#2,902)

My microplane is probably the single most used item in that drawer (other than maybe tongs), if not the whole kitchen!

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@andnowlights This is the only gift my mom gave me when i moved out and I initially found it ridiculous but it’s true. So useful!

@EvanDeSimone Kitchen gifts from moms are always the best!

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@forget it i quit I should point out that she also gave me a can of olives which I think I still have somewhere. I think I’ll pass them down to my children someday.

cryptolect (#1,135)

@forget it i quit I just asked my mom for a garlic press and a pepper grinder for Xmas, because I know she’ll find great ones. Last year she got me a microplane!

Allison (#4,509)

@forget it i quit Last year my mom just went a little nuts in Sur La Table and got me a bunch of little kitchen gadgets, and it’s one of the greatest things. (Including an egg separator as linked in the article).

garli (#4,150)

@andnowlights Anyone else find themselves making pasta just to use this to make obscene amounts of freshly shaved Parmesan?

andnowlights (#2,902)

@garli I ask my husband constantly if I can put Parmesan on his pasta just to use it!

garli (#4,150)

@andnowlights I’d say we should join some kind of support group for this, but then we’d just sit around talking about which recipes give us an excuse to use it more. (This week? Minestrone)

andnowlights (#2,902)

@garli http://technicolorkitcheninenglish.blogspot.com/2007/12/savory-herb-black-pepper-and-parmesan.html Just saying. I use rosemary instead of basil and they are amazing.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@andnowlights Pretty sure there was once a Billfold recipe club. Based on the sad bowl of peasant gruel i’m eating for dinner it could certainly make a comeback.

garli (#4,150)

@andnowlights I don’t want to sound like a creepy internet stranger but I think I love you.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@garli I will gladly accept your creepy internet parmesan love! ;P

@EvanDeSimone I had cereal for dinner Not even healthy cereal, but sugary kids cereal of the worst level. And I liked it. Not all dinners can be winners! But a recipe club could be fun.

Bonnie St. Clair (#2,949)

@EvanDeSimone Is it the Billfold meal-planning google group? If so: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/the-billfold-meal-planning-group! It’d be fun if people started posting on it again. I started it because I figured Billfolders would be great at crowd-sourcing a repertoire of affordable, go-to meals, but then I got lazy again and stopped caring as much about cooking. Amanda T (from the “Betting on Love” series – haven’t seen her in a while!) and others did a good job of building it up, though.

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

No joke, top of my Christmas list is a cast-iron skillet.

ellabella (#1,480)

@LookUponMyWorks YES. Best $30 ever.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@LookUponMyWorks That was at the top of my mom’s and my brother’s respective lists! I don’t know how my mom didn’t already have one, but she didn’t! I bought it for her.

Laurabean (#3,040)

If you get someone a microplane grater, also get them whole nutmegs. Game changing in terms of spice freshness.

jquick (#3,730)

@Laurabean What do you put the nutmeg on? Obviously I’m not a foodie.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

@jquick Nutmeg goes in a lot of baked goods – it’s one of the items blended into pumpkin pie spice, and it’s also standard in gingerbread. I grate a little fresh nutmeg into french toast batter. It’s also called for in some savory applications – I’ve seen mac & cheese recipes that call for a touch of nutmeg in the sauce. Nutmeg is in a lot of curry blends, too. It’s WONDERFUL.

@Laurabean And give them a recipe for homemade eggnog along with that fresh nutmeg. Yum!!

Laurabean (#3,040)

@jquick All the things mention. I mostly use it in baking, but as RachelG mentioned, it also works for savory things (some pork roast recipes, for example). Anything that has whipped cream can have a few shavings of nutmeg [for instance: hot apple cider, whipped cream, nutmeg! Bam, flavor heaven].

guenna77 (#856)

i keep telling people that i want an apron (i’m a messy chef) but no one seems to believe that’s a real request.

Allison (#4,509)

@guenna77 I got two from a cousin that used to belong to my great grandmother. I just need to remember to use them more often because flour gets everywhere.

@Allison Yes, I bought myself a cute apron at a craft fair last year, but I only really remember to use it once I have gotten food all over myself.

Allison (#4,509)

I needed a microplane so badly this weekend (and I couldn’t even find the box grater) I ended up like, gently peeling the yellow off a lemon and then chopping it all up. It sort of worked but I longed for one.

jquick (#3,730)

Fish spatula? And the fish was ruined cuz she didn’t have one? Never heard of this.

jquick (#3,730)

@jquick Read article. Just a large spatula.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@jquick I actually use my fish spatula for EVERYTHING, especially things that are not fish! It’s huge and so useful!

Definitely just put a bunch of this stuff on the wish list that I linked my fiance’s mom to for Christmas gift ideas for me.

Comments are closed!