By Eva Whalen
A fantastic meal requires a symphony of precision timing, preparation, chopping, dicing, sautéing, baking and mixing – and that’s the idea for Thanksgiving this month. Whether you’ll be a composed host, or a grateful visitor bringing food and drink to the feast, here are some items that make dining all the more fun or elegant.
The Staub Braiser from Williams-Sonoma can go from piping hot au gratin in the oven directly to the table for flaunting, and is perfect for feeding a family or convivial circle of friends. Designed for long-term use, better browning, even basting, and flavorful results, this pan and all the others from France’s Staub line are a great investment in years of fine dining. With this beautiful piece in your kitchen, you’ll want to make paella, jambalaya, and anything that requires baking. Visit http://www.williams-sonoma.com.
If your guests want coffee, not only does Melitta offer a variety of flavors, but the Melitta brand coffeemakers and grinders are sleek and hardy. Available in city apartment-friendly sizes as well as larger models, these coffeemakers are well designed and elegant. There’s a coffeemaker for every taste at http://www.melitta.com, so choose which one you’d like to wake up to each morning.
When it’s time for dessert, Roba Dolce Gelato is an intense, year-round treat that’s delicious solo or a la mode. This authentic artisanal Italian sorbetto and gelato brand, crafted from Tuscan family recipes that have been handed down over the generations for our pleasure, offers indulgent flavors such as deep dark chocolate, coconut, raspberry almond, lemon, pistachio, blood orange and more. Roba Dolce means “sweet stuff” in Italian, so Buon Appetito and La Dolce Vita, baby! Have it delivered to your doorstep via http://www.robadolce.com.
Prefer to make your own ice cream? Let the kids do it and play ball at the same time with the amazing Play & Freeze Mega Ice Cream Maker. Pass the ball around – keep it moving – and before you know it, you’ll have homemade cream in any flavor you prefer: vanilla, lavender, cinnamon, nutmeg, oatmeal, raspberry, organic cocoa, etc. Order one at http://www.IceCreamRevolution.com
The bamboo Cook-A-Boo cookbook stand from Umbra is remarkably convenient when following a recipe. Your cookbook is propped up and protected from flying cookie dough and tomato sauce with an acrylic splashguard. This godsend also folds flat for easy city storage. Find it at http://www.umbra.com.
One book you’ll want to peruse in the abovementioned Cook-A-Boo cookbook stand is The Food Substitutions Bible by David Joachim (Robert Rose Inc.), as it offer more than 5,500 food substitutions, which is perfect for those times when you thought you have vanilla, rice, or three eggs left…but didn’t. Visit http://www.amazon.com for this invaluable book.
The enthralling book Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History by William Woys Weaver (University of California Press, 2010) is a veritable trove of historical images of food from the 19th and 20th centuries — and an imaginative addition to any kitchen library. Available at Borders, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores, this is also an excellent holiday present.
Place your hot Thanksgiving dishes and pots down upon Umbra’s Splat Trivets. These colorful, whimsical, splat-shaped silicone trivets elevate your kitchen to urban fantastic, and solve a problem at the same time. No more burning, circular holes on the counter, and no more using kitchen towels for trivets. It’s the dawn of a new era. Find them at http://www.umbra.com.
Before guests arrive, and again when the party’s over, take advantage of a green, chemical-free air fresher option with the misting Vermont Soap Aromatherapy Air Freshener, which comes in Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemongrass scents. Subtle and not as overwhelming as chemical-laden air fresheners, the Vermont Soap air misters freshen rooms without being obvious, imparting only a hint of aroma. The Vermont Soapworks Company also has a sweet lineup of bath and sink soaps, shower gels, mini soaps for stocking stuffers, hand soap for children, and much more – all organic and natural. Peruse the impressive offerings at http://www.VermontSoap.com
Who invented the stretching plate cover for saving leftovers? Brilliant! These Cover Mate food covers are stretchy, BPA-free, Latex-free and PVC-free, and can be used in the microwave. Preserve your food with these simple-and-inspired Cover Mate bands, which come in a variety of sizes and are washable. Visit http://www.Covermatecovers.com for more information and for ordering.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are!