Green Christmas: The Kitchen Gadget Wishlist

by - Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Boy loves kitchen gadgets. More than once, we have been rushed out of Bed Bath and Beyond because he just can't stop looking at that big wall of kitchen stuff. I can't complain, because he does all the cooking in our house. So life is good, even if we do spend an inordinate amount of time inspecting spatulas.

We are pretty practical gifters- I think we both like the feeling of accomplishing something, so a fun kitchen gadget is like the best of both worlds! It check something off the "Still Need" list but can give him something new to experiment with.

The Boy's List:
Kitchen Island
Vegetable Peeler
Potato Ricer
Mortar and Pestle

Mandolin- "I've done enough slicing this year that I think a mandolin would be a real time save. Hopefully, that's true and it doesn't end up like the poor julienne peeler thing that is so lonely in the drawer." 
from npebaysale

I found this cool pre-used mandoline slicer on Etsy that came from an estate sale. The price is right and it looks pretty cool. Might be a winner.
from Lehman's
I did find this cool cabbage cutter at Lehman's, which may not work for every job, but seems like a fun toy to shred things with. And anything that makes lettuce more fun is probably a win.

Kitchen Island- "While I love our kitchen, the biggest downside is a lack of continuous counter space. The one long stretch has mostly been taken over by a dish drying rack, stand mixer, fruit bowl, and other miscellaneous stuff, leaving us with two smaller counters on either side of the stove for food prep, and they share the space with the knife block, paper towels, etc. Anyway, so while the kitchen feels large, it gets awfully cramped. A kitchen island can help us solve any counter space issues." 

I should have expected it, but I was honestly blown away by how many cool kitchen islands were on Etsy (and cheaper than a lot of what I have seen elsewhere). Seriously, if you are thinking about any gift this Christmas, check Etsy before you settle on your options, because they may have more than you expect! Also, you might find some inspiration and take on the task yourself!

from Herb's Furnishing
I think the winner might be one of these streamlined, simple, but gorgeous kitchen islands from Herb's Furnishings. Nothing fussy, but they make their furniture out of reclaimed wood, and we don't need a bunch of extra doodads.

We did get this last Christmas, and I absolutely love it. Herb's Furnishings helped us get exactly what we needed, and the island probably gets more compliments than anything else in our house. 

You love the idea but want a different design aesthetic? I got you. Here are some more- 3 Hands Furniture (gorgeous), Wooden Whale Workshop, 2nd century furniture, and Colorado Tables.

from Our Vintage Kitchen Co
I found a number of gorgeous kitchen islands that look like repurposed dressers, like these beauties from Our Vintage Kitchen Co. I think this particular one is a little feminine to give my husband for Christmas, but there are lots to choose from.

This one from CS Antiques rides that line between shabby chic dresser and clean, modern kitchen.  Maverick Industrial has a simple but masculine island to butch up a kitchen. This island from Ezekial and Stearns also feels a little rustic and masculine while staying light.
from amazon
We have eyed Catskill Craftsman kitchen islands for over a year now, but only the all wood islands are made in the United States. My favorite is the French Country Workcenter, which is very simple, but since we would move it back and forth, it is better to not have too much on it. They also have drop leaf ones, to make the worktop even larger. This would be my second choice, since it has that clean craftsman look that would match our kitchen (can you tell I've thought about these?).

John Boos and Co makes moveable islands and carts at Sur la Table. They are not cheap (WAY too expensive for Christmas gifts unless you are ridiculously swanky), but they do look beautiful.

Vegetable Peeler- "The vegetable peeler is probably the most straightforward ask- we used to have two, but the first was super dull and unhelpful, so we ditched it. Now, the other one is starting to get dull too. Can you sharpen them? I don't know. But we peel a lot of veggies (especially carrots for the Bub)."

from amazon

Rada Cutlery makes Made in America vegetable peelers which are under 10 dollars and would do the trick. Definitely would be a winner! They also have a deluxe version. Done deal. You can also find a ton of vintage options from Etsy (for 8 bucks- why did I buy so many new things all these years? Screw you, Bed, Bath, and Beyond).

Potato Ricer- "If we are going to perfect gnocchi, a potato ricer is key."

I had bad luck finding potato ricers that are made in America (a few on Amazon came up, but I couldn't verify that any were made Stateside). On the other hand, I found a number of awesome vintage options that are still ready to use!

from Taming Chaos
The majority of the vintage potato ricers look just like this one from Taming Chaos. They are steel and have a little bit of rust, but most are described as still ready for use . And they come in lots of bright, vivid colors.

Mortar and Pestle- "I want to do more of my own spice grinding. Right now, whenever I need to grind saffron or coriander seed, I end up either just trying to grind it with a spoon in a plastic bowl (saffron) or putting it between some paper towels and using a rolling pin (coriander). Neither method is very effective, nor do they look as magical as a mortar and pestle." 

A mortar and pestle can be a helpful tool that you can find in all sorts of pretty materials and makes. We already love Fletcher's Mill salt and pepper grinders, and they also make a mortar and pestle! We may do this, so we can continue to support a company we already love. Lehman's sells a marble mortar and pestle which looks simple, lovely, and cheap!
from Betelgeuse Pottery
Etsy has some great options as well- my favorites are probably ceramic mortar and pestles like these ones (with a notch, so smart) from Betelgeuse Pottery. It really just depends what kind you want. You can also find plenty of vintage options, like this wooden set from Thumb Buddy with Love or a marble set from the rhubarb studio.

from Jenn Erickson Art

I am also seriously considering one from Jenn Erickson Art in Boston, because she has a nice variety of ceramic mortar and pestles in lots of colors. They are just rustic enough to be a good gift for a guy, but they also seem a little dainty and pretty. I love ones from Seabloom by Rainy, because they can be used in your kitchen or for your altar grinds. Multi-tasking! Backyard Ceramic sells a floral morter and pestle.

A Few More Ideas for the Foodie You Love 

If you are The Boy, go away! Seriously!

from Urban Cheesecraft
DIY Cheesekit- I LOVE this idea from Urban Cheesecraft out of Portland, Oregon. You can make your own mozzarella! I feel like this is just the kind of project we would find fun, and it might just be a neat addition to his foodie arsenal.

Oyster Knife- This may not be as fun as a Nessie Ladle or garlic carriage, but this Dexter-Russell oyster knife  might encourage The Boy's new plan to make oysters at home, because they are so expensive when you eat out. I may buy this one.

Jacob Bromwell Funnels- Ok, I think maybe this 100+ year old company's products are the kind of thing you buy once you are a little more grown up, and you realize it's important to buy things that will last. We found one of their sifters at Goodwill, and jumped at that gem, and now I am considering buying him a frying pan or funnel that will be part of our kitchen for the rest of our lives.

Pizza Cutter- These pizza cutters by Epicurean are eco-friendly, made in the US, and just look cool. I like that the shape is flat, so you can fit it easily in a drawer. In our house, we eat pizza a lot, so this might make a good gift, or it might work in your house!

Graters- Microplane makes all sorts of graters, mostly in the US. I know we love ours. This is a medium ribbon one, in case you use a thicker cheese.

from amazon
Pans- USA Pans are made in Pittsburgh, and are basically the best pans made in the States. They manufacture for all the fancy kitchen stores, but you can also get their pans for perfectly reasonable/ comparable to lesser pan prices. If you are shopping for a cook, and something needs replaced, join me in supporting this awesome company.

Lastly, I will buy him this, because how can you not, really.

from Crafts Gone Awry
Hope this helped you get inspired to gift your favorite cook some used and Made in the US stuff! Don't settle!

If you want more shopping inspiration, check out all the shopping lists here.

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