So yesterday I posted about the booze-related goodies I got for Christmas; today it's time for the cooking-related swag!
Most excitingly, my Lovely Bride© got me a KitchenAid Classic Plus stand mixer. This was No. 1 on my wish list with a bullet, and she managed to buy it right under my nose without me knowing, making up some cock-and-bull story about how they didn't have the right model in stock, and the rebate coupon she had wasn't valid, to convince me she hadn't been able to get it, when in fact it was nestled in the back of my car! Way cool! Plus which, even though an entry-level model, it represents a significant enough investment to serve as a "$100 tennis racket": a de facto commitment to actually cook. Now my big decision is whether I should paint hot-rod flames on it, like Alton Brown did his. Prolly not, I think.
But speaking of Alton, my next bit of foodie goodness under the tree was his Good Eats 2: The Middle Years.
Last under the tree — but definitely not least — was Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food, which I blogged about after following an article about DIY sous vide cooking to the author's blog. I'm only halfway through reading it (look for a detailed review in an upcoming post), but already I can tell it's so much more than a hacker's guide to homemade gear (not that that wouldn't be great). Instead, it posits a whole science-geek approach to cooking: While it's full of recipes, hints, tips, and hacks, it's really about a kind of kitchen philosophy. Great stuff.
But wait! There's more!!
In addition to all those things, I got a Barnes & Noble gift card, which I used to purchase the New England Soup Factory cookbook. I'd looked at this in the store even before Christmas, but when I went back, I found it was sold out. During after Christmas shopping at another location, I found a copy and snapped it up. All the soups sound great; the only problem is that most of the recipes are for 8-10 12 oz. servings... which is quite a lot for the two (and occasionally three) of us. Not to worry, though; I think I've got a solution... about which, more tomorrow.