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Cheap(er) Gift Ideas for Cooks

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Nancy Leson
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Clockwise from bottom: Non-stick mat for baking, ceramic cocotte, Red Boat fish sauce, silicone bands, electronic scale.

If you're shopping for a cook, chances are he or she already has at least some of the items pictured above, but maybe not all. This Food for Thought is all about (somewhat) cheap stuff to give cooks.

Nancy suggests most of the stuff up there in the picture.  I come out for slightly more exotic fare, like a kitchen torch so I can make chef Maria Hines' porcini creme brulee even though Nancy couldn't get it to come out right.

Some other suggestions include (The a-AMAY-zing) Ginsu steak knife—really. I also suggest microplane graters, or even a set of them.  These things are super-sharp and make for very easy grating. I've had one for several years now, and wouldn't be without it.

What cook's gift have you given that's gone over well for you in the past? Conversely, what would you really, really like to get?

"The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants."  ~John Andrew Holmes

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.