We all get to a point in our lives where we are hard to buy gifts for. If I want/need something, I'll go buy it. Finding a gift for me can be difficult.
I received several gifts this year, but two, my favorite two, were gifts that made me immediately stop the momentum of gift opening -- I wasn't concerned what was in the next box, I wanted to dig deeper into this gift. These were both books -- the first was from my mother. The book was Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe, by National Geographic. I slowly leafed through the 320 pages looking at the beautiful pictures and planning my next 200 vacations. I first looked for locations/adventures/meals I've already checked off my list -- most of the ones I had checked off were from the past 2 years (thanks MS). I then looked at options in Vietnam to help beef up our upcoming trip. Very exciting. This is a large coffee table book, that, well, if I had a coffee table, would probably live for years to come. If you want some Nat Geo Food Journey advice for an upcoming trip, let me know and I'll do some research for you. I love to help people plan for their vacations. Highly recommend this book -- go buy it (following the above link will not give me a commission from Amazon, or anything like that).
The second book was from MS. Much like the first book, this book caused the record to scratch and the gift exchanging process come to a complete halt. This book was The Essentials of French Cooking, by William Sonoma. I was never a big fan of French food -- then we decided to go to Paris this past fall. From that point on -- all bets were off. Everything from escargot to lamb chops to cheese for dessert I love it. The books William Sonoma have such great photos and just really make you want to jump in and cook away.
The book starts with a map of France and information on each of their Regions and what they are known for. This book also outlines ideally what style of wine you'd serve with various dishes -- while I'm not a purist or traditionalists in this regard, I do find it interesting. The book is very thorough and starts with hors d'oeuvres continues through desserts. The end of the book has Basic French recipes like Stocks and Croissant dough. How great. I've already made one recipe (this morning) and am working on a second now. See full reviews in the coming days.
What was your favorite gift for Christmas? Do you find it hard to shop for people, as they "have everything". Do you find that people can't shop for you and you get stuck with things like a DVD full of actors that you hate?