Haven’s 12 Days of Christmas: 3
by DENNIS KEMPTON
Sure, there are lots of “things” you’ll see in gift guides this year from electronics to clothes and just about everything in between. Secretly, my favorite gifts to look at are food-related. Anything for the kitchen. Anything that gives me a relaxing evening of comforts. Anything in a gift box that I can open, make, and eat. Food is a comfort for many and with all the glorious smells of the holiday season with cookies, breads, and the impending Christmas feast in which many will partake, it’s no small surprise that gifts of food are most welcome. These are just a few of my favorite selections–mostly things I’d like to receive myself, including the See’s chocolates which are a favorite of my mother’s for many years. Tonight’s theme is cheese, wine, and chocolates–a sublime combination. These gifts are speciality items, something with a luxurious twist, but never forget that there are many in need of food this holiday season, so while you’re shipping some of these gourmet items to your friends and family, write a check to your local food bank, too.
Goat cheese bakes to warm, creamy perfection in this specially designed ceramic baker. For a delicious and easy appetizer, simply bake the cheese for about 20 minutes, then serve warm with plenty of crusty bread or crackers. If you like, add a favorite topping before baking – anything from tomato sauce to breadcrumbs to chopped herbs. $16.95 from Williams-Sonoma.
Take pride in crafting your own fresh, natural goat cheese (chèvre) with a light, creamy texture and delicate tangy flavor that far surpasses any of the mass-produced store-bought varieties. You supply fresh milk and a few basic kitchen utensils—our kit contains everything else you need to make the cheese in less than an hour. Use the included molds to shape your cheese, or hand roll into small logs and cover with chopped herbs. Enjoy the cheese as an appetizer, fresh or baked, with a selection of fruit and artisan bread, or try it in your favorite recipes, from salads, pastas and pizza to savory tarts, frittatas and panini. All natural ingredients; contains no preservatives. Includes thermometer, cheesecloth, cheese molds, instruction/recipe book, 4 oz. citric acid, 3 oz. cheese salt. $29.95 from Williams-Sonoma.
Fill this decanter with spirits and set it on the bar or buffet, ready for a toast anytime. Or use it to give your favorite wine a grand presentation – and the proper breathing room. Hand blown of sparkling soda glass with a scissor cut trim. Finished with a glass ball stopper. You can also have this monogrammed. $29 by Pottery Barn.
This essential wine lover’s tool is designed to make every glass of wine a perfect one. Unlike traditional decanters, the Vinturi Wine Aerator aerates wine instantly and economically, not by the bottle, but by the glass. Simply hold it over the wineglass and pour your favorite vintage through it for a better bouquet, enhanced flavor and a smoother finish. Comes with a no-drip stand, a travel pouch, and a sediment filter. $39.95 by Pottery Barn.
Send the very best this Christmas. Fresh, flavorful and made with the finest ingredients, See’s candy makes every holiday season delicious. Over four pounds of Assorted Chocolates, Nuts & Chews, world-famous Peanut Brittle, Toffee-ettes®, and rich, long-lasting Lollypops come packed in a ribboned gift box, so you don’t even need to worry about gift-wrapping. $77.90 by See’s Candies.
© 2012 HAVEN Magazine. All rights reserved.