Shop Talk

For The Holiday Hostess

December 16, 2007|By [SUSAN REIMER]

Mother always told you it was rude for a guest to arrive empty-handed. And it takes only a little imagination to find something beyond a bottle of wine to present to the cook. Here are some suggestions:

1. Standing buffet utensils

Price:

$11.50-$12.50

Where to get them:

The Cooks' Revenge, 197 Main St., Annapolis

Why we like them:

Perfect for the holiday buffet table, where helpful utensils are often out of sight, these utensils - cheese knives, forks and bottle openers - stand up for themselves.

2. Rainbow wood spoon

Price:

$4.55-$7.95

Where to get it:

The Cooks' Revenge, 197 Main St., Annapolis, Ace Hardware stores or at liquidplanet.com

Why we like it:

Instead of the ubiquitous bottle of wine, bring the hostess a jar of pasta sauce and tie this vibrantly colored wooden tasting spoon, handcrafted from Thai wood, onto the package with a ribbon.

3. What's a Cook to Do: An Illustrated Guide to 484 Essential Tips, Techniques, and Tricks, by James Peterson.

Price:

$16.95

Where to get it:

Bookstores or at Amazon.com

Why we like it:

From cooking teacher Peterson, this reference handbook is invaluable for instruction on how to zest a lemon, make the perfect hamburger, bread a chicken breast or season a cast-iron pan, to name just a few of the 484 tips. The author covers it all.

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