AfterEllen.com’s Gift Guide for the Gay Woman 2011

The Fond-of-You Foodie

1. Kitchen tools Every foodie needs a well stocked kitchen. If the chefbian in your life regularly tackles recipes that call for zest (or wants to), throw a lemon zester tool in their stocking. They’ll thank you when they’re not rubbing a lemon against a box grater and grumbling about their knuckles. Other small kitchen tool victories: the lid lifter (it’s like a can opener that leaves the top of the can intact for reuse — brilliant!), garlic peeler (this will change your life, I promise), and the grate and storage set. ($8-$18)

2. Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. Gabrielle Hamilton‘s memoir is on nearly every Best of 2011 Book List this year. No matter how you feel about her lesbian identity with husband detour, the successful owner of premiere New York restaurant Prune writes a compelling memoir of becoming a chef, with lots of delicious food porn in the prose. ($26)

3. An apron. If you know a baking fool this holiday season, treat them to a cute apron. I went years without one (don’t they represent some kind of pre-feminist straight jacket?), then finally splurged on a quality baker’s apron in lime green. Flour-on-my-jeans be gone! Who needs a hand towel when you’re wearing one of these? Throw “apron” into the search bar on the indie craft-mecca Etsy, and you’ll find all sorts of cute options, like the That’s How I Roll apron from Pamela Fugate Designs. And if your baking fool is more of a wine lover, this same shop makes a witty Screw This apron. ($15-$35)

4. Tasting Box subscription. Who wouldn’t want to receive scrumptious delicacies in the mail every month? Go above and beyond a pear basket or cheese-of-the-month club with a Tasting Box Subscription from Foodzie.This small outfit offers two, five, or ten month subscriptions of their curated delicacies, letting you choose from everything from small batch caramel sauce, to pistachio and almond nogaut, to Maryland Crab Cakes, to the Heirloom Bean and Lentil Collection. You can also order one-offs of the boxes, like the Chevre Goat Cheese and Honey Gift Box. ($29.95-$299)

5. Cooking classes. Finally, give your foodie the gift of knowledge! Chefs from Le Cordon Bleu, the renowned world culinary institute that Julia Child attended, hold non-professional cooking classes at their institutes around the country. Students can dabble in everything from Knife Skills to Artisan Bread to Barbequing 101. A six-pack of classes should get your foodie preparing feasts at home in no time. Local bakeries, restaurants and community centers may hold cooking classes as well. In Brooklyn, you can count on One Girl Cookies to whip up classes on the Best Biscuit, Double Crust Apple Pie, and more; or take a tour of Mast Brothers Chocolate to see how these works of cocoa art are made. Not local to Brooklyn? Both One Girl Cookies and Mast Brother Chocolate deliver, so you could also just order some sweets, put on a few episodes of My Drunk Kitchen, and call it a holiday. ($10-$479)

Courtney Gillette

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