I have a little tradition when I finally complete my holiday shopping. It involves me, alone, sitting at the Mayslack's bar indulging in a little beef monstrosity. But I'm not there yet. So yeah, I'm madly searching the Internets and hitting the stores this week to finish the list and get to the sandwich. I thought I'd share a little of what's out there for the Serious Foodist, in case you're still working toward your sandwich as well.
For the Geeked Out Gastronomist: The one who sleeps with pictures of Herve This under his pillow.
Yes, Virgina, there is such a thing as a home immersion circulator. The SousVide Supreme is the easy-to-use countertop version of the molecular gastronomist's best friend. Heston Blumenthal himself had his pudgy little fingers all over the design of this model. So bag it up, dunk it in the water, and get your Voltaggio on.
Or you could simply send your loved one to the mecca of geeked out food, and enroll them in Spain's first school dedicated to molecular cooking.
For the Medi-o-phile: She's beginning to wear on the servers at Bar La Grassa with her "When I ate gnocchi with the Pope" stories.
There's a piece of Italy with your Eater's name on it when you adopt an olive tree in the Nudo grove for a year. Not only will they support sustainable/artisanal growing practices, they will get two harvest packages from their tree: one with organically produced extra virgin olive oil, and another with three tins of infused oils.
If you care to tread more locally, you could always make the trek to The Olive Grove and bottle your own assortment of first-pressed and flavored oils.
For the Lactose Lovin' Apartment Artisan: He's mulling over the urban chicken thing for 2010.
Home brewing? Mastered that. Home wine making? Drank that. Home cheesemaking? Hello. The kids from UrbanCheeseCraft think you shouldn't be afraid of curds and whey, with their DIY kits you can have fresh mozz or goat cheese in no time flat. You don't even need a goat.
If they need to fully immerse in cheese knowledge before undertaking their craft, sign them up for Surdyk's American Artisanal Cheese class and buy them a copy of The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin.
For the Devoutly Snout-to-Tail: She'll tell you that bacon is so last year, chicharrones is where it's at.
Beyond ANY of the fabulous prints or tee-shirts from SF's 4505 Meats, you might be inclined to get her a copy of Julie Powell's Cleaving but what she really wants is Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing .