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Gift Guide 2012

[This annual gift guide has become one of my favorite parts of Lottie + Doof. I really enjoy putting this together, and this year I had fun shooting all of these good things “on location” in our apartment. As always, these are all items that I own/use and can vouch for.]

Rhubarb Hops Syrup [1]

Wisconsin’s Quince & Apple produce all sorts of beautiful products. This year I especially love this rhubarb and hops syrup that can be added to sparkling wine, or water to make a memorable refresher.

Gold Flatware [2]

These feel right to me, right now. Lots of this. Modern. Gold.

Wilder Quarterly [3]

There are a slew of new home/food publications out, and many more on the horizon. Some are great, and some seem to be sacrificing substance for style. Wilder manages to prioritize both style and substance and does them both well. They describe themselves as a publication for people “enthralled by the natural world”. It is a wonderful mix of growers, makers, plants, animals, ideas and recipes. There is an article on will-o-the-wisps and one on Julie Newmar’s garden in the current issue—nuf said.

This Geode

Or any geode, really. I can’t stop collecting rocks, crystal, geodes. They are everywhere in our apartment. Bryan is being very patient with me. But what a wonderful host gift! Skip the flowers and bring a beautiful hunk of sparkling crystals.

Do people still give each other music? I do. Hopefully you do, too. Three albums meant a lot to me this year:

The Idler Wheel…by Fiona Apple– Fiona is my girl. Always will be. This album was everything I wanted from her, after all of these years. Girl can sing. iIiiiiiiiIIIiiii just want to feeEEEeel everything.

Channel Orange by Frank Ocean– In the words of my friend Lukas: flawless.

Red by Taylor Swift– I do not like Taylor Swift ironically. I like her earnestly and completely. I have been listening to this album a lot since it was released.

McClure’s Potato Chips (Garlic Dill) [4]

My dear friend Ashley came to pick me up for dinner one night with a bag of these chips in hand. She told me I would like them, and Ashley is always right. They may be the best pickle-flavored chips I have ever had. And I’m somewhat of an expert, being married to a Canadian.

Serving Platter [5]

I’ve been on the lookout for a nice round serving platter that could be used for anything from pasta to salads and this one fit the bill perfectly. It has a graceful shape and a pretty glaze and gets along well with my white dishes.

Rookie Yearbook One [6]

My love of Rookie [7] knows no bounds. Honestly, it is my favorite website on the whole world wide web. Tavi Gevinson is my hero. It should then go without saying that I recommend you buy Rookie Yearbook One for someone you love. It is the best of the first year of Rookie and includes many of my favorite essays, stickers, and a paper crown.

Tarot Deck Candle [8]

Scented with incense, Turkish rose, and pencil shavings! I mean, come on. It smells so good.

Thank You Notes by Suitor [9]

Little known fact: Bryan is a greeting card hoarder. I have never seen anything like it. As a result, we have a large box full of cards waiting to go at all times. He is especially into thank you notes and we both agreed that these cards are among the best we have seen. And you know, after you receive all of these great gifts you need to send some thank you notes.


You gotta wrap the presents, yo!

(I got this beautiful spool from my friends at Asrai Garden [10].)

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi [11]

The Kitchen Diaries II by Nigel Slater [12]

There were a lot of beautiful cookbooks published this year. I wasn’t sure how to narrow it down for this list. But these books, from two of my favorite food writers, would make great gifts. Not just well written books, full of great recipes— they are beautiful objects.

Spicy Taralli by Crumb [13]

I am addicted to these things. Taralli are crunchy little round bites of olive oil-enhanced goodness. One of the few foods worthy of the adjective “spicy” they have a great heat that slowly builds and burns. When you buy them at the market, you also get to say hello to one of Chicago’s friendliest bakers, Anne Kostroski.

Liquide Vaisselle by Astier de Villatte [14]

Okay, so this one will require someone to go to Paris to shop (thanks, Sarah!). One of my favorite makers of ceramics has made my favorite dish soap and it is black pepper scented. Totally goth. Almost makes you want to do the dishes.

Maldon Sea Salt (mini tin) [15]

This is the best stocking stuffer ever. Little tins of Maldon sea salt that can be slipped into your pocket or bag. Great for traveling around town or around the world.

Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sugar [16]

You’ve had smoked salt, but have you tried smoked sugar? Use it in cocktails (would be great on the rim of this [17] drink), desserts, even roasted vegetables!

Duvet Cover [18]

I sometimes fall hard for bedding. There was a duvet I bought at Habitat in London in the 90’s that I used until it fell apart and I still hold onto it because I love the pattern so much. I hadn’t felt that way again until this beauty. It reminds of a pioneer woman’s skirt, or a California surfer cult, or maybe even Days of Heaven.

Copper Jam Pot by Mauviel [19]

This is a splurge, for sure. I bought mine last summer and it has become one of my favorite possessions. I only make jam a few times a year, and so I was worried this was a foolish purchase. But it really enhances the experience of making jam in ways I can’t quite explain. There is something about using a tool that was designed for the task that is very satisfying. Also, the pot is a real looker. Mine is on display in my dining room and reminds me of our good times together.

French Farm House Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis [20]

Sometimes you have to go back in time to find a cookbook that you can be sure they won’t have. French Farm House Cookbook is a wonderful choice. Recipes from farms and home cooks across France.

Spatula [21]

Occasionally someone sends me something to try. The folks at GIR must have sent these spatulas to a lot of food writers because I have been reading about them everywhere. I am here to tell you the spatula is pretty awesome. I love that the whole thing is silicone and heat resistant. It comes in a bunch of pretty colors and is dishwasher safe. They really did get this one right.

California Olive Ranch Olive Oil [22]

You might know that California Olive Ranch makes wonderful, affordable, olive oils. Did you know that you can sign up for their olive oil club and receive recurring delivery of your favorite olive oils? What luxury to have olive oil delivered to your home and not have to schlep it home from the store!

Framed Photo of Angela Lansbury

If all else fails, I suggest you frame a photo of Angela Lansbury and hang it above your stove. I sure did.

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thanks for being so great. xo