gift guide 2020

because absolutely no one asked for it, but i like making them so here we are

Friends, we made it to December! Surely, this is a cause for some merriment and celebration. In a year that’s felt more like 20 months, I want to feel hopeful. Of course, sharing a gift guide no one asked for on December 16 is very much on park with “my brand”. I just gifted a dear friend a coffee mug for her birthday — and I was 2 months late. Such is my style, I’ve learned to embrace it.

We’ve been unusually busy at the Post doing our Thanksgiving and holiday coverage. Our cookie issue came out recently and this was another all-hands-deck. Take a look at these gorgeous, delicious cookies. Having tasted all of them, I can tell you they are all worthy of your attention.

Hanukkah is about to end (it was about to start when I began writing this draft, and look at my ability to be on time!) and over at the Post I shared my favorite latke recipe. It’s a lacy, crispy latke, if that’s your kind of thing. (For the record, it’s not Avi’s sort of thing, and he readily informed me that the local deli does a much butter job. But then again, he also told me that he thinks risotto smells like pee, so what does he know.)

I also wrote about a simple luxury you can gift yourself with 30 minutes and 4 ingredients — and that is the gift of creamy homemade ricotta.

Nine months into our work-from-home situation, I’ve decided that I need, as Virginia Woolf described as a room of my own. I’ve made a small writer’s retreat at the top floor of our house, which is deserted and empty. I love the solitude and it’s proving to be calming for me. Much as I love sharing an office with Andrew, I need (crave) a space where it’s just me and the computer and cups of tea and clementines. I’ve already shattered my favorite mug (above), ferrying too many things downstairs to the kitchen. Lesson learned: Take your time. Also, look for a new mug you love.

From time to time, Forrest comes to visit me. He announces himself with a chirp more than a meow and rolls over on his back, inviting me to scratch his belly. As he’s gotten older, the belly rubs have been getting longer. He’s grown more tolerant of us in quarantine — or it could just be him getting softer in his old age.

And with that, I’ll leave you with this frivolous, unnecessary gift guide. Absolutely no one needs this, but it made me happy to put it together, so hopefully, if nothing else, it’ll make you happy perusing the stuffs.

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these glasses - for making everyday water intake something special

a favorite earl grey for a delicate morning cup and the ideal vessel for boiling the water

this mortar and pestle for your customized spice mix

this masala dabba to keep forever - a home for your most used spices

this balm for parched winter skin

for more rainbows - because we all could use more rainbows

these adorable mortardella earrings for channeling your favorite cold cuts

this salad serving set - ours just broke and these look lovely

this donabe for the most impeccable rice

this rbg shirt for the young activist in your life

this cast iron casserole for soups, stews and loaves of bread

this novel to transport you to paris, to inspire your cooking, and to tug at your heartstrings

this memoir to dig deep within yourself, ask difficult questions, and accept that the only constant is change itself

these two baking books if you’re looking to up your game and knowledge

this book if you’re drinking less; and this one if you want to flex (and work) that bartending muscle

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And, to end: This really lovely, funny, and approachable New Yorker interview with Deb Perelman is exactly what we need more of.

No recipe this time! Lots of cookies in the link above; go forth and bake!

xx,
olga