The minute that the Halloween decors were stowed away, Christmas ornaments came free from their hiding places and quickly transformed hotel lobbies and shop fronts here from creepy to festive. Even the Amihan winds have started blowing more powerfully, giving us cooler nights and a feeling that it’s slowly ushering in the holiday season.
Tonight, fake pine trees, luminous baubles and shiny tinsels put on an impressive display, especially with all the tiny fairy lights amplifying their colours and intricate designs. This is the time of the year when I start thinking about Christmas prezzies.
As a personal tradition, I like giving food-related gifts: a box of cookies, a recipe book, bags of dark-roast coffee beans or an interesting kitchen tool.
Contemplating about it as I walked past a massive Christmas tree surrounded by gold foil-wrapped gift boxes, I began to wonder. What if sourcing is not difficult and price is no object, what sort of presents would I get my family and friends? Given that I like to dole out gifts that I myself would appreciate receiving, I’ll probably pick out items that are not only functional and of quality but also unique enough to become conversation pieces. How great is it to have something you can actually use while preparing meals or entertaining friends and when you’re not in the mood, can stand on its own as a beautiful tabletop accessory worthy of being included in civilised chitchattery?
Take for example a cool kitchen tool I discovered through Anthony Bourdain’s Paris Layover episode (pictured above). He featured one of his favourite shopping destinations in the French capital and introduced his viewers to the duck press, which he described as something that looks like a medieval torture device. It’s used by French chefs to crush a duck’s carcass and internal organs for the sole purpose of extracting all the flavoursome juices from the bird to be later blended with a bit of red wine and reduced to a delicious, bloody sauce. That sounds to me a great topic you can pluck out of the air when you run out of things to talk about at dinner! (By the way, this costs close to $2700 a pop from Sur La Table so if you get one, you must be loved!)
Below is a list of other things which I think would fit nicely in the great-but-not-necessarily-practical holiday presents:
Girolle or Cheese Curler
If you want to make a statement at your house party, get a whole wheel of cheese and display it on a girolle like this. It’s a fancy way of serving cheese curls to your guests, although indeed a bit on the extravagant side as you can’t obviously buy only a wedge of fromage for this tool to function properly. However, if you rarely skimp on party-spending and have a general appetite for showing off, by all means tell me to get you another girolle so you can plunk a wheel of chocolat right beside the cheese for a sweet alternative. Your guests won’t be forgetting your party that easily, I tell you. Boska | $50.00