Mother's Day is one day of the year besides my birthday that I can choose to do whatever I want. It never involves breakfast in bed (too messy and not fun), or brunch (I hate brunch), but it does involve some quality time with my family. For Mother's Day and other occasions, I usually ask for food and cooking-related gifts that I can put to good use in the kitchen.
If your mom/wife/girlfriend/sister/whoever you're buying for is into food and cooking, you might want to consider the following gifts, any of which I personally would want to receive, and that I think are the best options for your foodie mom.
It took me a while to warm up to the thought of spending so much on a blender, but in the end I got it as a gift (thanks Dad!) and it is awesome. From homemade nut butters to hot soups to ice cream to bread, the Vitamix is many many kitchen tools in one. It pretty much pulverizes anything you throw at it, and it does it with ease.
There's a reason why chefs all over the world stock their kitchens with one (or more!) Vitamixes. They're tough, they're thorough, and they last.
I was lucky enough recently to get a basket from the Toronto based Jule's baskets, and I can't rave enough about something like this as a gift for the mom who loves a sampling of little yummy surprises. Jule's curates the baskets for you, and in my Culinary Basket, I got stuff like black chia seeds, white quinoa, organic nut butter, grey Celtic sea salt, and organic maple syrup. I was super stoked about it because some of the items I use regularly, and some of them I don't but have always wanted to try. Most places in North America have basket companies like this one, and most moms would love to get a beautiful basket of goodies on their doorstep.
My husband is well aware by now that I'm gunning for the 14 piece All Clad pot set to replace our crappy pots whose handles get hot on the stove. Who makes pots with handles that get hot? Horrible!
If your mom loves to cook but like most people has been cooking in the same beat-up pots for (literally) decades, now would be a great time to surprise her with a set (or even a few key sizes) of high-quality pots. Spring for a enameled Dutch oven that will last forever (this heart-shaped one is awesome!) or a heavy, two quart saucepan. Nonstick is nice, but my issue with it is that with its dark coating, the cook can't tell when some ingredients are changing colour -- so if mom does a lot of baking or candy making, choose steel pots.
If you feel weird about giving someone a pot, go ahead and wrap it with some beautiful infused salts or spices, or some wooden spoons to spark your recipient's imagination for the dishes she's going to make with it.
I feel the same was about knives that I do about pots -- most people are still cooking with the same beat-up knives that they've had for decades. Now, sometimes those knives are so high-quality that they're still really useable, but many home chefs are more than happy to receive a new, high-quality knife as a gift.
If you don't want to spring for a whole set, you want to look for something like an 8"-10" chef's knife, which is versatile enough to be used for lots of recipes. You want a knife that's a solid piece of metal from end-to-end, made from high-carbon and never stainless steel, with an ergonomic handle. Some great choices are Grohmann (my personal favourite), which is a small knife company in Pictou, Nova Scotia; Global from Japan; and Henckels and Wusthof from Germany.
A Spectacular Cutting Board
I found this one on Food52.com, which by the way, is one of the best food websites around and their store is incredible as well. Cutting boards are timeless and infinitely useful. A beautiful black walnut or maple board will last for years and every time mom pulls it out to slice some bread or carve a turkey, she'll think of you.
Happy Mother's Day!
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