When I was five or six, I decided to celebrate Father's Day by making my dad a gourmet meal. I carefully selected the best french fries out of a frozen Ore-Ida bag, plopped them in water to give the dish a soup-like quality, and garnished my creation with chocolate and strawberry syrups. It was—in my opinion—a masterpiece, and I was completely satisfied with the fake "oohhhs," "ahhhs," and "yums" that in my young mind were real. Needless to say, my dad didn't actually eat the concoction (but I thank him for humoring me!).
Now that I've grown up, my gift-giving skills have improved, but Father's Day always leaves me clueless. I don't know whether it's the fact that guys are so dang hard to shop for, or if it's because I feel like I've already given him everything there is to give. So this year I set out to find some truly unique—and useful!—gifts. Maybe after reading this, you'll be as inspired as I was.
Electric Smoker. Nothing is as quintessentially "dad" as grilling on a warm summer night. And this smoker can cook up to 50 pounds of meat at once. Smoker ($80), by Brinkmann, from The Home Depot, multiple locations including 1520 New Brighton Blvd., Mpls., 612-782-9594, homedepot.com 1938 Black Leather Butterfly Chair. Ideal for sport watching, beer drinking, novel reading. Chair ($399), from CB2, 3045 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 612-821-9303, cb2.com Iron Range Key Fob. Enough searching for misplaced keys. Now he can keep 'em together—in style. Key fob ($35), by Leatherworks Minnesota, from Forage Modern Workshop, 4023 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-886-3603, foragemodernworkshop.com 15-Piece Knife Set. Even if your guy doesn't cook, he'll appreciate the ease of cutting into a steak with these handsome blades. Knife set ($200), by Schmidt Brothers, from West Elm, 3879 Gallagher Dr., Edina, 952-835-8332, westelm.com On the ROCK Glass with Ice Ball Maker. A specially designed glass allows the ice ball to swirl seamlessly, while releasing aromas and flavors. Perfect for scotch, whiskey, and bourbon drinkers. Glass and ice ball mold ($19.99), from Brookstone, multiple locations including Mall of America, 952-858-8848, brookstone.com "Dads Are The Original Hipsters" Book. For anyone in need of a laugh, hand over this hilarious coffee table book. Book ($13), also from CB2 Tie-Tracker Revolving Tie Rack. Maybe he likes to control his own tie style, but you can keep him organized with this revolving tie rack. It even has a light for easy closet searching. Tie rack ($50), by Perfect Solutions, from Sears, multiple locations including Ridgedale Center, Minnetonka, 952- 542-2079, sears.com Classic Horn Shaving Set. Ergonomically designed and made with hand-selected horn, this is one of the classiest shaving sets around. Shaving set ($475), from The Art of Shaving, Mall of America, 952-854-1441, theartofshaving.com Dad's Day Off Pinot Noir. The name says it all. Whether he's a suit and tie kind of guy, or a stay-at-home dad, he deserves to sit back and relax with a glass of this spicy/fruity vino. Bottle ($9.99), from Haskell's, multiple locations including 5155 W. 98th St., Bloomington, 952-893-5440, haskells.com