On my gift wish list this year I have two items: green pans and some smaller cast iron pans. I cook primarily with one of our Teflon pans or our only large, extremely heavy cast iron pan. There is a time and ingredient for each of these.
The problem is that I have been meaning to replace most of our Teflon pans because they are scratched and I know that can’t be good for the food that is being cooked in the pan and most importantly for my family ingesting the food (and then some).
The non-stick solution is to replace the old Teflon pans with “green” pans that don’t contain the harmful chemicals PTFE – the chemical found in traditional degradable coating, or the ecologically damaging chemical PFOA.
The best solution is to have a good stock of seasoned cast iron pans. The iron is good for you (at least so far as we know), the pans are pretty much indestructible, and there is no coating to damage or worry about. You can get these locally at Tags and many other hardware or kitchen supply stores and the range in price is enormous.
Füri Knife Set for Children
Rachel Ray has a young chef’s knife set. It is a great gift for children who are really interested in cooking. The perfect gift for your little sous-chef. The set includes: the tadpole Füri knife, the knife guard, and a reversible cut-proof glove. Perhaps this gift is more for the nervous parent than the eager sous-chef, but I think a little extra safety doens’t do anybody any harm. In addition, a portion of the proceeds go towards Rachel Ray’s Yum-O Foundation.
Fruits & Passion – Cucina
I received some free samples of Fruits & Passion’s Cucina line as a Bzzagent, which is a program that does word of mouth marketing. I am a very strong “scent snob”. I don’t like anything overly scented and definitely not artificial. The soap I received was their coriander and olive tree scent. I was really skeptical since I’m only recently a fan of coriander in my food let alone anywhere else. I fell in love with it. Since then, I have visited the store to get myself and some friends and family some of their products for holiday gifts. The Cucina line is really unique. The scents have a good balance and the soap is not too harsh. Both the children and I have used it without any problem. If you are looking for a hostess gift or if you want to give a subtle hint to your husband, perhaps some dish soap in his stocking, then visit Fruits and Passion at the Natick Collection or online. I have to admit that I’m the one in the family who would need the dish soap in my stocking. My husband does dishes around here and he’ll use anything we’ve got, but he definitely notices the “nice stuff”.
Local Gift Certificates
Last but not least, for your local friends and family, teachers, the mailman, whoever you would like to celebrate this season, think about getting them a gift certificate from a local spot. You can find suggestions of great local eateries and food stores in the For More Info box of most of my articles. Cambridge Local First is also a great resource.