Christmas of 2018 is fast approaching and I can’t believe what has happened during the year, it certainly been eventful. So much has happened and all for the better. Now, I want to be completely honest with you, Christmas was never I time I enjoyed, it actual fact, I dreaded it for one reason or another. But things changed and so has my opinion and views on Christmas, I am now the biggest kid when it comes to Christmas and I only have 2 people to thank for this, if you hadn’t guess, Christmas could never be Christmas without good old Santa, Farther Christmas, Chris Cringle or whatever else you may call him, oh and the other person is my amazing fiancee, who absolutely loves Christmas and he has converted me. The other part of Christmas that I love is family, friends and of course the food.
Now, when it comes to Christmas, I am a typical guy, I never know what I want for Christmas, people always struggle to get me presents, oh and there is only so many socks and aftershaves that I can have, even then I only go for one brand of aftershave and socks, they have to be funky (not the smell), they have to look fun and have a personality, not just boring black or white socks. Anyway I am digressing, I wanted to give you some ideas about some fantastic Christmas gifts, this is my 2018 Christmas Gift Guide for Foodies.
Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas is a time for good food, but there is so much rubbish in the shops, it is so much better making your own where you can, but if you are buying pre-made foods from the shops, stay away from the bad stuff and actually treat yourself to something amazing.
2018 Christmas Gift Guide for Food Lovers
The Spice Pioneer
For the foodie who have everything, these are the most awkward to buy for, they seem to have everything, so what can you get that is different and the gift that keeps on giving? Simple, why not get them a Foodie Subscription Box, there are many on the market that you may have hear about, gin, beer, etc etc. Most of them are not amazing and don’t get used. So before you dismiss the idea, this is not any normal Subscription Box, this is something else, something special, this is a Spice Pioneer Subscription Box.
You may be wondering what this is, well this is surly something I would love to get in the post each and every month. A box turning up with a new meal, all the herbs and spices (enough for four people), all you need to add is the the vegetables and meat, an easy to follow recipe card. There you have it, a great new recipe to try for the the couple or family, if there is left overs, I’m sure it’s going to make lunch times that little bit more special.
Now I want to explain, when I say a meal, there is three different recipes in every subscription box, this certainly makes this something special.
The Spice Pioneer sent me two different sets, the first is Monte Baldo, Italy. The recipes include Saffron Risotto, Hunter’s Chicken and Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.
The second is Boston Beach, Jamaica. The recipes include Caribbean Fritters, Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Charred Pineapples, Rice and Peas and Green Pepper, Tomato and Chilli Salsa.
Peter’s Yard: Discovered in Sweden, the home of the Crispbread
Now for a little bit of luxury, like I said, Christmas is a time for good food and this has to be right up there. Peter’s Yard is sourdough crispbread. To put it simply, these are proper grown up crackers, leave the cream cracker to the kids, this is an adult cracker.
So to give you some information about these crispbreads, they are made using a traditional Scandinavian recipe, they are made almost the Scandinavian way, but they would have had to change them a little due to EU food regulations. The crispbreads are made in the UK, made with organic fresh milk, organic flour and a special sourdough which is fed daily and then left to ferment for 16 hours before each batch is baked.
I have some great flavours to accompany my cheeses this Christmas, these are Original. Spelt and Fig, Spelt and Poppy Seed and Charcoal and Rye.
If you have not heard of Opies, than you are seriously missing out. Opies is a family business that has been going since 1880, they are now on their 5th generation in the business, they are truly a family business, making the Classic Cocktail Cherries, Stem Ginger, Pickled Walnuts to name a few. Now Opies has always been a brand I recognised in the kitchen of my grandmother and my mother. There was always a jar of the cherries in the cupboard that would be used when they baked. I have known this brand for a long time. Well Opies have some traditions, they still pack the pickled walnuts by hand and all the fruit in the fruit compotes are all British, not many business can say that. Well they have diversified a little and moved into some other areas, they now have a certain grown up range of Luxury Fruits, these are Blackberries with Gin, Black Cherries with Kirsch and Apricots with Armagnac.
I have used the Black Cherries in an adult smoothie and oh my, it was very special. I am looking forwards to making some apricot muffins for Christmas using the Apricots in Armagnac.
As an added extra, if you are a Great British Bake Off (GBBO) Fan, then those eagle-eyed of you may have been the Stem Ginger that the bakers cooked with, that was all Opies, I certainly noticed and it does make the difference.
For the cook who has nearly everything, you can never go wrong with an awesome recipe diary. What I didn’t know is that the Recipe Diary is a popular present and that Dairy Diary have been Britain’s favourite home diary since 1982!! Well this is the first time that I have ever had one and I must say I am really impressed, you get a delicious recipe of the week, the diary gives a week view every week, it comes with notes pocket, stickers and the coolest part, it lies flat so it makes life in the kitchen easy. I can really start planning my meals for the week, month and further ahead, especially when I need to buy certain ingredients for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings and well, Christmas.
On top of that, the Dairy Diary have a 50th Anniversary Edition of their famous Home Cookery cookbook. This isn’t full of loads of recipes that you would never make in a million years, it’s actually full of recipes that I am looking forwards to trying pizzas, vegetarian and even desserts. They have a great recipe for a Baked Cream Cheesecake, which I’ve always wanted to try by shy away from, but their recipe is very simple to follow, so I will be giving that a try.
Haynes Manual – Men’s Baking and Fakeaways
The Haynes Manual is infamous all over, I don’t think there is a person around that has not heard of the Haynes Manual. They have always made manuals for every single model of car ever going. First published in 1966, John Haynes wrote these books first when he was at school in 1956, but this progressed to where we are today. The Haynes Manuals also included musical instruments such as the Fender Stretocaster, more recently the Millennium Falcon and now into food. That is where The Haynes Men’s Baking Manual comes in as well as the Haynes Fakeaway Manual.
The baking manual covers everything from the basics to bread, puddings and even pies. The book is that good, the chef Tom Kerridge has endorsed it, so if it’s good enough for a chef like Tom, it’s certainly good enough for the baking man of the house.
Next is the fakeaway manual, no this isn’t a typo, it is a book of home made takeaways, because it is not from the actual takeaway, that is why it is called a “fake” away. I love a good takeaway, just as much as the next person, but the two things I hate about takeaways are the cost and the fact that they are usually full of crap. Now you can make the recipes at home yourself, without the need to spend up any more. This will cover takeaways for everyone from Chinese, Indian, American, Pizza, Chicken and more.
I received the items featured within this 2018 Christmas Gift Guide for Foodies for free, in exchange for this coverage. All opinions are my own.