Chow Bella

AndyTalk: Top 10 Things Not to Give a Cook

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9. Do not buy a cookbook with a non-food theme.
I have a Friends Cookbook that I've never even leafed through. So we're clear, it's not a book of Quaker recipes. It's based on the old TV series. If your friend is a serious cook don't get her a gag gift cookbook.

8. Don't give something made of plastic.
There are probably a lot of exceptions, but cooking is natural and organic. There are issues about whether some plastics leach into our food. Glass, ceramics, and stainless steel don't react with food, and they're green. If you take care of them they last forever. Plastic is the wrong kind of forever. Note: silicone is not plastic, and there are a lot of great silicone utensils and they're reasonably priced.

7. Don't give a holiday-themed cooking gift.
By definition it won't be used until next year, and only if the recipient remembers he still has it. Such gifts are strong candidates for next year's office gift exchange.

6. Don't give highly decorated potholders.
A person trying to take a turkey out of the oven doesn't need to contend with all sorts of animal appendages hanging off an oven mitt. And, such dangling modifiers are destined to become encrusted with food, and then bacteria.

5. Don't give a vacuum sealer unless it's for someone who's been wishing for one.
If you really want to give the gift of food storage get some containers that are oven and microwave-proof and stackable as well.

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Andy Broder