Oh, happy joy, it’s Mother's Day once again. If you're like me, right about now you’re stumped (as usual) in finding a gift for your mom, and/or the other mothers in your life. Never fear: From the backyard griller to the kitchen gardener, I've found some ideas for an unexpected present that will surprise and delight, and I've got some blogs I think each type of mom will love, too -- add the recommendation to your card.The Home Chef
Salt is the multitasking key to preparing fabulous food. It adds flavor, and its chemical magic can transform an ingredient. With three types of salt (fleur de sel, flaky sea salt, and sel gris) and a guide on how to use them, the Meadow Foundations Salt Set ($40) will elevate even the most accomplished home chef’s food another notch.
Blog recommendation: Michael Ruhlman. Great techniques, achievable in home kitchens.NEXT: For the Hostess The Hostess
Make sure every bottle is at the perfect drinking temperature with the Rapid Ice Wine Chiller Sleeve ($9.95) from VacuVin. It can chill a bottle in five minutes and keep it cold for up to three hours—no ice bucket required.
Hedonia. Sean's the host with the most.NEXT: For the Grill Master The Grill Master
The last frontier for most backyard grillers is cooking on planks, but this method isn’t as hard as it sounds -- you can even find cedar planks in the fish section of some supermarkets. But even better are Afire’s grilling planks ($12.99). They're made from all-natural, sustainably harvested wood of various types. The white cedar planks impart a smoky-spicy note to fish, meats, and vegetables, while cherry, alder, and maple are all milder and sweeter.
Recipe: Plank-Grilled Salmon with Peach-Mango Salsa. Texas Cottage Blog's ingredients are so good.NEXT: For the Cocktail Mom The Cocktail Mom
For the purist who wants her drinks well chilled, but not diluted by melting ice cubes, the soapstone cubes ($20) from Teroforma will keep your dram cold without watering it down.
Blog: The Bourbonista. It's about more than just bourbon, and it's hilarious (salty-language warning for the more proper cocktail moms among us).NEXT: For the Forager The Forager
For the devoted DIYer who grows, hunts, or forages everything she eats, Opinel’s mushroom hunting knife ($24.95) is a thoughtful gift. Made in the French Alps, the curved blade makes it easy to harvest wild fungi. There’s also a boar-bristle brush to dust off any soil, which comes in handy when you hit porcini paydirt.
Blog: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. Hank just won a James Beard award for his excellent blog.NEXT: For the Baker The Baker
The ardent baker will be turning out cookies all season long, so make her next year easier with a Silpat baking mat ($19.95–$26.95). The nonstick surface conducts heat evenly, making for better cookies, and are a snap to clean up.
Recipe: Momofuku's compost cookies. I agree with Scarletta Bakes: They're spectacular!NEXT: For the Kitchen Gardener The Kitchen Gardener
The regional produce calendars ($20) from Krank Press have two lists: planting recommendations and what’s in season at the farmers’ market. The letterpress calendars include nearly every U.S. region, such as the Southeast, Pacific Northwest, New England, and more, making these a lovely gift for backyard-to-fork cooks.
Blog: In My Kitchen Garden. For what to plant, how to tend your garden, and how to cook the results.NEXT: For the Everyday Cook The Everyday Cook
The best present to give the person who cooks you three meals a day? A day off! For those of us manning the stoves at home, there’s nothing better. With these printable coupons from Kona Designs ($5), you can give your family’s cook a coupon that promises you will cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner — and maybe even do the dishes. (Can someone please make sure my husband reads this?)
Blog: For recipe inspiration, try Bad Home Cooking: Julie's actually a very good home cook who keeps her recipes real and achievable.
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