Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Christmas list: what to buy for foodies like me with lots of kit already!

My Christmas list this year is all food-related. Forget shoes and handbags, this is what really gets me excited.
First of all, and most lusted-after on my list is the Cuisinart ice cream maker. I’m desperate to get my hands on one, having really got into making ice-cream this autumn, thanks to Ben Vear and his excellent book. I adore Cuisinart’s products. I have their Elite Blender which is excellent. Their products are so solid and well-made and perform exceptionally well. I might also add that the Spice and nut mill is also on my wish list.
I’m quite well-off for kitchen gadgets and to be honest, I am often disappointed with so many I have bought.  What I really want are lovely objects which work well and look good in the kitchen. I want my equipment to be good quality, robust, and I want to know that it will last being used over and over again for years to come.
The girly side in me really would like a set of these Emma Bridgewater tins and some of their lovely mugs. I love the fact that they are made in Britain and the designs are gorgeous, although they are not typically what I would go for in the kitchen.
I also have a new-found obsession with homemade pizzas, so a pizza stone such as this French one by Emile Henry would be also be useful.
I can’t get enough books. I have quite a collection and I particularly treasure my collection of copies signed to me. On my list for Christmas this year first is The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit which is a book I have wanted to read for some time. It's had great reviews and I think would be a great read over Christmas (bear in mind, I don't read fiction, I just curl up with cookery books). 

Next up, is Orchards in the Oasis by Josceline Dimbleby, another book I've wanted for ages. I was thrilled that Josceline was also on the lineup at Wimborne Food Festival back in the Autumn. Being a bit too young to remember some of her earlier writing, I only really heard about her in the early days of Leon, which is of course, run by her son, Henry. I am really thrilled though, as this week, Tony's mum found some 1970's original books of hers in her collection which she has passed on to me, so I hope to read Josceline's food writing through the years this Christmas. 

Sticking with the Leon theme, the next book I am hoping for is this beauty by Allegra McEvedy: Bought, borrowed and stolen. I am a huge admirer of Allegra. I think she is a truly inspirational woman. She's a fantastic chef whose recipes I adore. I love her style of cooking; modern, interesting, with a healthy twist, and her approach to the sourcing and sustainability of the food we eat is very important. Enough gushing, but Allegra is a real heroine of mine. 

I'll finish briefly with a mention of another heroine of mine: Rose Prince. I was lucky enough to meet her at Feast of Dorset where I also cooked this year. Many of the reasons I enjoy Rose's writing and recipes so much are similar to the reasons why I like Allegra's work: the fact that she champions great food, cooked from simple, local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients. Kitchenella, her most recent book, and the only one of hers missing from my collection, would be a wonderful present this year.


  1. The Cuisinart Spice and Nut Mill is wonderful. Best gadget that I have!

  2. What a great list, Charlotte! Am sure you'll be opening some lovely presents on Christmas morning.

    I'd love a bigger kitchen to fit all the 'stuff' we already have as well as the nice to haves that are on my list... particularly the stand mixer Sous Chef J was eyeing up at the Good Food Show last month.


  3. Thank you L & J! Yes, space is a good idea - never seem to have enough! Which mixer were you eyeing up out of interest?

  4. Thanks for the tip, Helen. Hopefully I will be lucky this Christmas and find one in my stocking!

  5. The mixer we liked the look of (and J could bear the sound level too) was a compact MUM46A one from Bosch... J would love a big yellow mixer but the ones from Kitchen Aid are a little big for the space we have. One day, perhaps?!