I’ve heard other bloggers say they read cookbooks like novels. I’m glad I am not the only one. I’ve always had a passion for books, and cookbooks are my favorite kind.
I especially love the glossy ones with a picture for every dish, or in contrast, the old shabby ones that you hear about from grandmothers who used them to learn how to bake their first pie or cook their first pot roast for their new husband.
Being the bookworm that I am, I have never bought myself an e-reader. I just love the smell of real books, the wonder of bending back the cover for the first time, the crack of the binding. If I had a whole day to myself, I could sit on the floor of Barnes and Noble and get lost from sun up to sundown just gazing photographs of food. I wouldn’t even have to eat anything the whole day, I could just be filled up with the art of food.
When I scour through these books, they remind me of the basics of life. Of it’s warmth, it’s hurt, it’s need for sustenance. They make me joyful when I’m happy, and forlorn when I’m not. They for some reason put me in touch with my emotions and bring me close to both the fear and the assurance of knowing I have people in my life who depend on me to fill their table.
The only thing I love more than collecting and reading cookbooks, is giving them away.
For Christmas this year, I put together three ways of presenting a cookbook as a gift.
The first one is pretty simple It’s simply a bamboo cutting board, a book, and a set of three whisks tied with some ribbon.
The second idea is made from a pie plate, a set of dishtowels, an oven mitt, and some ribbon.
This one is for my friend Joy and her family. I saw this book called, “Joy the Baker” and I just couldn’t resist. My friend Joy is a great cook. Her spaghetti sauce tastes like she must be an Italian Grandmother even though she’s actually a young and very European looking mom-much like yours truly. My favorite is her Indian Curry with basmati rice and Naan bread. It is so authentic and spicy,-not spicy hot, but complex. You can taste the anise and the different notes of the curry, warm and sweet, subtle and pungent. It just makes you feel special when you eat it.
To make this little gift you just pile everything in the pie plate and tie it with some ribbon.
For this third gift, you will need a Bundt pan (a colorful one is best), an oven mitt, a set of dish towels, a cute spatula, a small cookbook, a cake mix, and some ribbon. Forgive me, but I spaced out for a second and forgot to include the cake mix in my picture. That and I included the Wii controller cord there in the corner. Oops. I blame the hectic holiday rush!
Then you just arrange it all in the Bundt pan like so:
Don’t you love the fingerprints on my fridge in the background of this photo? That’s how you know it’s real people.
Anyway, if I give you a cookbook, you know you are darn special to me. I just don’t give away my favorite thing to anybody. Do you know how hard it is for me to buy a cookbook and not keep it for myself? It is the most difficult thing!
Here are a few other ideas for gifting a cookbook you might try:
- Wrap one in a pretty tablecloth, dishtowel, or placemats.
- Buy a cocktails book and attach a mini bottle and cocktail stirrer
- Place one inside a skillet, frying pan, or grill pan and tie with ribbon
- Use a knife and fork as part of the bow to wrap it with
- Tie on a slim bottle of flavored olive oil or a unique spice to the front
I hope this post gave you some ideas for me, um I mean, for those creative chefs on your list this year!
Much love this holiday season.