Saturday, December 26, 2009

Culinary presents

I always get a few presents related to my cooking hobby. Here are the ones from this year:

1. A pastry brush, as a stocking stuffer. Neat! I've been needing one of those! My roommate and I have been using a tiny paint brush since we moved in to our first apartment three years ago, and, well, it's pretty inefficient.

2. Food Path: Cuisine Along the Grand Trunk Road from Kabul to Kolkata by Pushpesh Pant and Huma Mohsin. This is a really beautiful book with huge full-color photos and a lot of cultural and historical information along with the recipes. I'm looking forward to trying them out. A lot of them are meat-based, but they'll make for good exercises in substitution and adaptation.

3. A pressure cooker! Mom found one for 15 bucks at a yard sale, never used. I've been wanting one of these for a while. Raghavan Iyer swears by 'em and I am really looking forward to being able to cook unsoaked chickpeas in 48 minutes. Seriously! This modern world we live in! (Grandma was telling me they first came into vogue when she started out as a housewife, and whenever the ladies got together there was always a story about whose beans ended up on the ceiling. Heehee! It looks like there are enough safeties on this device that you'd have to do something pretty foolish to get yourself blown up, though.)

Other non-food highlights include the Monty Python's Flying Circus Collector's Edition, from Mom, and a subscription to the New Yorker, from my brother. Favorite presents I gave this year included a 15-year-old bottle of Laphroaig scotch for my dad (that was a joint purchase from me and Brian), hand-made portraits of a few of my friends' pets, a Yiddish alef-beyz book I've been working on for a few months for a friend who loves languages, and copies of my NaNoWriMo novel for the grandmas. (It is an economic year for handmade presents.)

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