Season’s greetings everyone! I’m pleased to present to you the DALS 2017 gift guide, which, per tradition, tries to keep your family’s eating and reading pleasures in mind. This year, to shake things up a bit, I added a “pairs well with…” element to many in the mix, as a way to personalize or accessorize. Happy giving.
Parlor Instant Coffee ($28) New darling of the coffee world, the Brooklyn-based roaster just launched these small-batch instant jars, but I’m also tempted to pick up a bag or two of their beans, if only because the design is so festive. Pairs well with…
Milk Frother (Soloxo, $15) Phoebe has gotten into drinking coffee and lattes this year (was I not just nursing her yesterday?), which means it might be time to start accessorizing the habit.
Good Trouble (Diana Kane, $10) Small pin, big message and a perfect stocking stuffer for your budding activist. Brought to you by the same people who made the iconic gold-lettered “Feminist T-shirt, the pin refers to Congressman John Lewis’s call to stir things up, get into “good trouble” in the fight against social injustices. Pairs well with…
Feed the Resistance, by Julia Turshen ($10) The food-world’s favorite revolutionary has been busy causing “good trouble” all year long, and is banking on the idea that food equals community, community equals connection, connection equals action. (All proceeds go to the ACLU)
Panda Tea Set (Urban Outfitters, $42) When I asked my 13-year-old for ideas, she sent me a link to the gift page of Urban Outfitters with the message “I would love LITERALLY anything from here.” (Good to remember when grandparents say they’re stuck coming up with ideas for your teens.) I thought this panda tea set was the sweetest. Pairs well with: Your favorite tea (or, in keeping with the theme, this mini panda bluetooth speaker, $25).
Cook in a Book: Pancakes ($12) File this one under the category of “why hasn’t someone thought of this before?” The pre-school set can crack eggs, whisk batter, and flip pancakes in this interactive board book, one in a series devoted to cooking our favorite foods — there’s also Pizza & Tacos. I had some copies lying around my workshare space and every parent with toddler-age kids picked them up and said (unsolicited) some version of This is genius. (Via Mrs. Little) Pairs well with: A satchel of homemade pancake mix or…
Dash Mini Waffle Maker ($10) Look at how adorable this is. Just the thing to launch a Saturday morning breakfast ritual with your toddler (or your teen — Abby lost her mind when I showed it to her.) Also comes in pink, aqua, red.
One (or Two! Or Three!) Dozen Cookies (Schmakarys, $30-$50) I don’t know about you, but I spend a good part of my life in search of the exact taste of all the cookies I ate and loved in my mustard-colored linoleum-laden childhood kitchen. Last year, I found that taste in Schmackary’s Funfetti cookie, but you might find it in the NYC shop’s high-qual Mexican Hot Chocolate or Classic Chocolate Chip or Dirty Peppermint. Lots of options for combo gifts. (Also, this seems as good an excuse as any to repeat my favorite Alan Richman quote: “Show me a man who believes his favorite desserts are those he has eaten as an adult, and I’ll show you a man who has had an unhappy childhood.”)
Oil & Vinegars (McEvoy Ranch, $50) Longtime DALS readers know how much I love the bright, peppery Petaluma-based olive oils they sell. And can you imagine how much better your salads would taste with those vinegars whisked in too? (Related: Olive Oil is the New Wine.)
One Mixed Up Night, by Catherine Newman ($12) In a modern-day From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, two sneaky kids plan a sleepover in the store they’re obsessed with: Ikea. As you know, Catherine is a favorite around these parts and not surprisingly, her first attempt at middle grade fiction is gold. Pairs well with a family trip to Ikea or a headlamp, gear that figures prominently in Frankie’s and Walter’s adventure (and that might come in handy for future camping or hide and seek).
Big Books of 2017: You probably don’t need me to tell you about any of these award-winners and bestsellers, but there’s something extremely satisfying about handing someone a sure thing, whether it’s fiction (Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan); nonfiction (Black Edge, by Sheelah Kolhatkar, about the rise and fall of hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen) or YA (Turtles All The Way Down by John Green, about a girl suffering from OCD).
Turntable ($79) I don’t know who was happier about this turntable arriving in our house, 15-year-old Phoebe (it’s in her room) or Phoebe’s grandfather, my father, who was thrilled to have a grateful beneficiary for all the beloved Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel and Judy Collins LPs he was hanging on to for decades. Pairs well with: A few albums from the vinyl collection you’ve never been able to toss.
Barr Hill Gin (ranges $35-$50) This will anger some afficiandos, but in our house we have a theory on alcohol: vodka is vodka, but gin ain’t gin, which is why a Gin and Tonic is our cocktail of choice. Among all the gins out there right now, this one, made with its hint of honey, is weird and delicious and our current favorite. Pairs well with: Meehan’s Bartender Manual, the holy grail of gifts: educational, gorgeous, and alcoholic.
The Dinner: A Love Story Trilogy ($14-$20; complete set: $54) If you’ve made it this far and been with me this long, you don’t need me to explain. I’ll just take this opportunity to thank every single reader who has supported Dinner: A Love Story over the past almost eight (eight!) years. Trying not to sound like NPR here, but this blog literally would not exist without those of you who have purchased my books or spread the word about the mission here. I’m so grateful.
Other Gift Guides I’ve Been Using and Loving:
And DALS guides through the years:
Happy Holidays Everyone!