Trying to decide what to get mom for Mother's Day 2017? Might we suggest thinking outside the cake pan for the best Mother's Day gifts? We've got you covered with gifts appropriate for any proper food nerd, from the cookbooks we get excited about to the knives that we can't live, or cook, without. Does mom love booze? There's a super-fancy wine appliance for moms who want the perfect pour, every time, and some uber-peaty Scotch for the whiskey connoisseur. And let's not forget the food: edible flowers, cookies, and the Iberico ham we can't get enough of here in the office. Happy shopping!
We know it’s a lot to shell out for an oyster shucker, but we know no price is too much for your mom. Plus, if she loves seafood, this will be worth it—few things taste better than a freshly shucked oyster.
You can’t really go wrong with anything from San Francisco’s Town Cutler, but if you really want to show your mom how much you appreciate her, this hand-forged knife is the way to go. It's a brilliant all-purpose chef's knife with excellent balance and a razor-sharp edge.
Test kitchen director Stacy Adimando says, "I've never been moved by a chef more than Gonzalo Guzmán, and a project more than his new cookbook Nopalito." She should know—she wrote the book with him.
Named after his two Mexican restaurants in San Francisco—and the Spanish word for the edible cactus leaves used in Mexican salads and side dishes—the book is a love letter to traditional Mexican food from a homesick cook who grew up there. If your mom is crazy for tamales, quesadillas, paletas, and flan, get her a copy of the book so she can try her hand at making her own masa.
Spritzes are the cocktail world's rumpled linen button-down: unfussy warm-weather favorites with Italian style to spare. In America, the fatuous white wine spritzer appeared as a sort of halfhearted diet fad in the 1980s, but has since been reimagined as a chic prelude to eating or a softer alternative to heavier-hitting drinks. Whipped up with just a few ingredients, the spritz has a Technicolor genius that lies in its I-woke-up-like-this simplicity. If that sounds like mom, she’ll love Spritz, a recipe book co-authored by our own Leslie Pariseau featuring some golden-evening recipes that mom can set out in a pitcher for her party guests (or herself).
Ronni Lundy's Beard-award-winning cookbook is so much more than recipes: it's a historical, cultural, and personal exploration of Appalachian heritage, documenting the foodways that tie this unique part of the South to the soil. Just the thing for a mom who loves to read cookbooks like, well, books.
And we truly believe you can never go wrong with the gift of dumplings, particularly in the form of this thorough compendium of dumpling knowledge. Dumpling Galaxy will not only tell you what to stuff in your dumplings, but will also give you all the advice you need to make your own wrappers and side dishes.
Staff photographer Matt Taylor-Gross gifted these cute dough cutters to his mom last year and "she loved them." They come in various shapes and sizes, and can be used for more than just biscuits (try them as ring molds for extra-tall pancakes), but really: they will make your mom a better biscuit baker.
If all your mom ever fed you when you were young was Tostino's and pizza Hot Pockets, here's a funny, cheeky way to drop a hint years later. Just kidding. In actuality, this compact pizza contraption is a remarkable tool for making great pizza on with nothing more than a stove.
Make life easier for your wine-loving mum by getting her this swanky gadget from a startup called Plum, which guarantees a perfect pour, every time. Billed as the first super-automatic wine appliance, this sleek, steel-brushed device holds two 750ml bottles, which get individually chilled and preserved for by-the-glass drinking. The machine scans the label of the bottle (there are six million in the database) to calibrate its settings to fit perfectly.
Ask any bartender worth their salt: Scotch is not a "man's drink" (there's no such thing as a man's drink, but that's a story for another time). For mums who love smoke and peat in their glass, we recommend any of the offerings from Bruichladdich, one of our favorite single-malt producers from the isle of Islay in Scotland. The peatiest of the bunch, however, is the Octomore, the world's most heavily peated single malt that manages to still balance the barley with salt, spice, and a smooth, lingering finish.
Is your mom particularly utilitarian? Then, while she probably finds that bouquet of flowers very pretty (and obviously loves everything you do because you are her child and that's what is supposed to happen), she may be wishing they had a life beyond their time in a vase. That's where edible flowers come in. She can use them in potions and more. Even better, they ship overnight, so the flowers will be fresh for mother’s day.
Black eyed pea salads are a staple of the western South, and these pickled peas are perfect with some crumbled blue cheese, but if you simply slip them into a bowl with some corn chips, you'll be the hit of the party. Err, Mother's Day brunch.
Tahini deserves to be a staple in your mom's kitchen, and the tahini from Seed + Mill in New York is a current favorite of ours. It’s perfectly silky, never dry and chalky, even after sitting in the fridge. It’s freshly milled in their store, with the date handwritten on the label. The pretty packaging is a nice bonus.
The world’s best ham comes from Spain. Sorry, Italy, but your pretty prosciutto just doesn’t hold a candle to the athletic Iberico breed pigs that fatten themselves up on acorns for months before slaughter. This is something of a splurge, but one your mum will always appreciate having on hand for impromptu appetizers, cheese plates, or bad-day dinners. Cinco Jotas’ ham is astonishingly flavorful, never too salty, and richly aromatic as the soft acorn-enriched fat melts in your mouth, and these packs are hand-carved and packaged right at the revered ham producer’s aging facility.
These are melomakarona: Greek honey-soaked cookies that have a crumbly, sandy texture, and are traditionally made and shared around Christmas time. These are made by hand and have no preservatives or stabilizers. The buttery parchment paper they’re folded in makes the package feel like it was sent from a doting Greek relative.
While Portland, Oregon-based maker Kati Von Lehman goes back and forth between ceramic, linen, and wood designs, many of her pieces have a whimsy in common—like playfully large handles on mugs, patches of texture on otherwise smooth vases, or mixed or perfectly placed drips of glaze. “All my work is meant to be used frequently,” von Lehman says. No exception to the rule, this hardy ceramic spoon (12 inches) is the perfect sauce stirrer, batter mixer, and server.
“These little bowls are part of a new line of high-fired stoneware that I'm partway into launching,” says creator Sarah Kersten, who’s been selling her work out of Berkeley, California for five years but making it for more than 15. Her line began with fermentation crocks and has since evolved to include dinnerware—some for trendy local restaurants like the design-savvy Octavia in San Francisco. The quail egg speckle pattern is applied individually to each piece, so no two are the same. And as of this month, she’s newly added more plate sizes, a ramen bowl, and a smaller bowl she’s calling an oatmeal bowl.
There's nothing better for grabbing a pinch of salt (coarser-grained kosher salt, please!) and sprinkling it into your food. And this lovely neutral-tone salt pig would look great in any kitchen.