I’m not sure what your family is like, but my family is full of people who really like lists. And planning. So each year, not long after the first chill hits the air (even if the temps bump back up into the 70s for a couple of weeks… ahem, 2015, I’m looking at you), somebody starts the conversation about Christmas gifts and lists. It’s not to say that we don’t go off-list and give something unusual, creative, or handmade to one or more family members – we do, and often. I think it’s more that we like to look forward to stuff, build on an idea, and find the best version of the best thing. And to do that, you need a little time. Hence why this post is up well before those weird pop-up Halloween stores pop back down.
So, in response to the question that will inevitably come to everyone, in my case, probably in the form of a text with a smattering of related holiday emojis: here are some of the things on my wish list this year. Are they in alphabetical order? Yes! (But no.)
- Aleppo Pepper from Penzey’s Spices. My favorite spice people stock this hip pepper, and though the avocado toast craze seems to be behind us (what a fuss over something we had all discovered in times of breakfasts long past), Aleppo pepper remains delicious and relevant. Put it on everything, including your new favorite everything-bagel-spice labneh and shallot toast first thing in the morning.
- Baking Steel from the Food52 Shop. If you’ve seen my Instagram in the last year or so, you’ll remember that I make pizza at least once per week, usually for when my sister comes over and we watch ridiculous television. I am in very real love with my pizza stone, but I am in very real lust with everything I am reading about this baking steel. Multipurpose, simple items make me go wobbly, especially ones that only get more beautiful with age and use.
- Chinese Rolling Pin from Kaufmann Mercantile. From one of my favorite online shops for longing gazes, I’ve been coveting a rolling pin like this ever since taking a cake decorating class and rolling out fondant with a hacked PVC pipe. (It worked like a dream, actually.) Only this version is much prettier.
- Chilli and Coriander Chutney from Ottolenghi. This condiment was one of the first non-freezer-meal things I ate after Jack was born. Just this sweet, warmly spiced saucy-jammy goodness over some bread smeared with labneh, it brought me back to life a little bit. I confess that I have a connect for Ottolenghi goods, so it’s possible I may not pay for shipping. But this chutney is so wonderful, I’d happily pay international freight plus the always-dismal exchange rate just to get it back into my life.
- Figuer candle from Diptyque. Is this a kitchen thing? It can be. For all the roasting and braising and crock-potting we do in the colder months, it’s nice to have a solid candle to clear things up when you’re on day 2 of eau de pot roast and the scent is no longer charming nor homey. I’m a sucker for anything fig-scented, and this one is not only warm and soft-smelling, but it’s sort of a sister product to Diptyque’s Philosykos perfume, which makes me perennially weak in the knees.
- Beautiful, handmade, un-flashy ceramics from the Object Enthusiast. I have a set of 3 of her small faceted vases, which are versatile enough to use for flowers, little snacks, or even spreads for a cheese board. Any piece on here would be a lovely addition to a table top, counter top, or dresser.
What kitchen gear, cookbooks, or home jazz are you dreaming of this nesting season?