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Gifts for Guys: Calling All Men


maggiethecat
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SurLaTable also has an instant read thermometer with infrared thermometer in one unit. It's twice your budget, $99, but worth mentioning. I have to investigate it some more, but if the probe reads fairly fast I'll be getting one.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I like weird kitchen antiques, functional or otherwise. Big old jars, iron pans, copper bits, etc.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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This may not apply to your Son-in-Law, Maggie, but in our household, hunting or fishing gear would be well appreciated (who knows, it might actually be fashionable). I have actually given a shotgun as a gift. No comments, please.

But to think of something different, how about a home-improvement gift that would fit the bill? Propane torch (cooking related -- creme brule or starting the chimney for the Kettle)? Extension ladder (fruit off the tree; don't laugh, we're actually giving an extension ladder this year for a gift to my FIL so we can handle the deer easier)?

Or, Maggie, you could knit, with feltable wool, some potholders, or a tea cosy, or oven mitts. Or, make a casserole cover? Or do like Diana and chop some wood and make a salad bowl? I'm paying college tuition, so I'm all over making stuff, and repurposing stuff I have on hand. Home shopping.

But, I do like the idea of a kaffir lime tree. I have one, and I harvest regularly.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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This may not apply to your Son-in-Law, Maggie, but in our household, hunting or fishing gear would be well appreciated (who knows, it might actually be fashionable). I have actually given a shotgun as a gift. No comments, please.

But to think of something different, how about a home-improvement gift that would fit the bill? Propane torch (cooking related -- creme brule or starting the chimney for the Kettle)? Extension ladder (fruit off the tree; don't laugh, we're actually giving an extension ladder this year for a gift to my FIL so we can handle the deer easier)?

Or, Maggie, you could knit, with feltable wool, some potholders, or a tea cosy, or oven mitts. Or, make a casserole cover? Or do like Diana and chop some wood and make a salad bowl? I'm paying college tuition, so I'm all over making stuff, and repurposing stuff I have on hand. Home shopping.

But, I do like the idea of a kaffir lime tree. I have one, and I harvest regularly.

Susan, sometimes your ESP is scary. John loves fishing, and he's been hunting -- he calls himself "A Vietnamese Good Old Boy from Kentucky." The propane torch suggestion made me smile: they live in an apartment, so the propane torch wouldn't be used for home improvement. But awhile ago we tried to discourage him from buying a tiny culinary blow torch at W-S, suggesting a real blowtorch. He ignored us, and that's OK.

But we had an idea tonight, and I need input bad. Home brewing peeps: what's the basic kit?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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My B-I-L absolutely LOVES his point-n-shoot infrared thermometer. He spent at least a week running around taking the temperature of everything. He also liked the tape measure with a small light in the case. Which brings to mind the need for a ruler in the kitchen. Something washable... like a dressmaking ruler, but smaller. I'm a fan of gift cards, though.

Karen Dar Woon

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Maggie,

The basic homebrewing for a first batch is cans of liquid malt syrup, hops and yeast. Hardware needed is a big pot (probably already has one big enough), funnel, fermentation bucket with airlock (at the store), and bottling items such as capper and caps.

Most homebrew stores have all this in one kit, especially this time of year. Should be near or a little north of your price range.

My only caveat is that these beginner recipes are just ok. To really produce stellar beer there is much more involved from a knowledge and hardware standpoint. But, of course, once you own it you don't need it again. Then it is just the consumables of malt, hops and yeast. I got to where I could make two cases of beer (kegged) for about $5 by buying bulk malt and hops and culturing my own yeasts.

Edited by Doodad (log)
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I bought a homebrew kit when Samuel Adams was having its Home Brew competition. They featured a kit from www.beer-wine.com that came with everything I needed, as well as a copy of "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian. I don't remember exactly how much it was, but it was a little north of your price range. An excellent idea though.

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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I saw these brewing kits at Brooklyn Flea's holiday market and thought they looked like a really fun gift - esp b/c they have fun holiday flavors (I'm clearly not a beer purist!): http://brooklynbrewshop.com/store/

Ding! Ding! We have a winner -- it's winging it's way to LA as I type this.

Shhhhhh....

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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You could assemble my stingy sous vide starter kit....

1 - Presto Kitchen Kettle - $25 at Wal Mart - It's a slow cooker and a deep fryer, and can also do pasta which can be nicely extracted in the fry basket. But more than that, it can be turned down to levels below 'Warm' - down to below 130F which most slow cookers can't do. The lack of circulation hasn't presented a problem for me yet. I've been impressed at its ability to keep a stable temp within 2 degrees F. (Disclaimer: Mine is many years old and newer models might have changed - but they still look the same)

2 - Sharpie Permanent Marker - $1.50 - wherever. Used after calibration to mark the dial of the Kitchen Kettle at levels below the 'Warm' setting.

3 - Ziploc Vacuum Pump/Bags - $10.63 via Amazon - Not tested by me, but my first sous vide experiment was done with normal ziploc bags. But probably not so good for higher temperature applications. I'd guess that with careful use, the manual vacuum pump could achieve results on a par with my FoodSaver.

Okay, we're at about $37. $13 left. Depending on whether he has a decent thermometer already, you could opt for that, or get a propane torch from the hardware store for searing purposes.

Then print out Douglas Baldwin's Practical Guide for Sous Vide and you're in business. Stuff all of this into the Kitchen Kettle and there you go.

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IndyRob, you are the Man! We own the very Presto (a genius and cheap article), the Sharpies and I can get the bags.Sous vide City coming up.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I have a himalayan salt plate on my wishlist. You can cook, bake or grill with it and bring it to the table for presentation.

This is just amazingly cool! Thanks, charalito -- his birthday, (and mine)is in July. It's great to have an idea in the bag.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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IndyRob, you are the Man! We own the very Presto (a genius and cheap article), the Sharpies and I can get the bags.Sous vide City coming up.

Ok, we plugged in the Presto and marked off the calibration for 130 with a Sharpie. Perfect.

There are a couple of sous vide topics here: please feel free to comment on them, if you haven't already done so.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Well inside your price range - a copy of Escoffier. Great to read even if you don't actually use it to cook from. Invaluable reference for baslines of traditional French dishes.

I agree. I pull out my 'Scoff once a week, minimum. But I think he needs another decade of cooking experience to appreciate it -- I'll wait till he's forty.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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