We hope by now you have received and are savoring your winter issue of Edible Long Island. As you can see, we have all been quite busy and, have to admit, have done a fabulous job telling the stories of how Long Island eats and drinks. Our contributors have given of themselves, heart and soul, and we are hoping that you might have a few moments to look over our holiday gift wish list. If you cannot deliver the goods…we understand. Perhaps, in your off-season, you might be inspired by our culinary inclinations and take to the kitchen yourself. Collectively, we have the inside line on food scene here on Long Island and are always happy to advise.
All the best for a tasty New Year,
Team Edible Long Island
Top on my list is a new Wüsthof Classic 7-inch Santoku knife. My old one got me through culinary school and years of fast paced New York City catering and when the handle broke so did my heart. It’s the best reasonably priced, all-purpose knife I’ve found. Keep it sharp with a diamond steel sharpener. Don’t worry about splurging on this one, a simple Home Depot variety works just as well.
Elizabeth Rexer Leonard
Dear Santa please send me: aFord F150; someone to help me finish installing my hoop house (it’s naked!); a John Deere tractor for my husband to play with: and a magical fairy to come clean out my garage and sharpen all my garden tools.
A CSA membership. Community supported agriculture is not only a great way to patronize your local farmers (and on Long Island, there are still many!), but it’s an exciting adventure every time you open the box. What new (and scary!) vegetable will you get to try? What new challenge will you win (I see you, kohlrabi!) when you’re faced with an alien crop? What delicious discoveries will you make? Perfect for the cook, the foodie and the locavore in all of us, this makes a great gift to look forward to.
A KitchenAid stand mixer. I don’t have the space for one in my kitchen, but boy, would it make me feel legit. I fantasize about rolling out my own pasta, grinding my own meat and watching meringue rise with the touch of a button. This is a dream gift for anyone who likes to putter around the kitchen and make fancy things from scratch. A DSLR camera. One with a food setting and whose flash doesn’t turn a sizzling, juicy ribeye into a hunk of brown sadness in dim lighting. Because let’s face it: there are only so many pictures I can take of my dog, and my food is far more colorful on any given day. A Weber gas-start charcoal grill. Nothing beats the taste of charcoal on a juicy burger or a Nathan’s hot dog on a toasted Martin’s potato roll. With this design, you get all the convenience of a gas grill with an easy-start button, but all the flavor of a classic kettle grill. P.C. Richard & Son sell this particular model with a built-in charcoal storage container and generously sized table for prep-work.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky
I must confess that my secret edible themed item on my Christmas list is actually the cookbook I recently bought for my son, a 13-year-old aspiring chef, huge Top Chef fan, with quite a palette and a knack for cooking. In Tom Colicchio’s beautifully photographed Think Like a Chef he breaks down restaurant cooking techniques—everything from sautéing, to braising, roasting and making stocks and sauces—and gears them to the home chef. He offers several ways to use simple ingredients to create a multitude of delicious meals.
A selection of stinky cheeses from Murray’s Cheese, especially Epoisses de Bourgogne, a pewy favorite which translates to “completely worth the effort.” Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food II to see what else Alice has dreamed up to do with vegetables. More Tovolo red silicon spoons—my new favorite kitchen utensil.
I want sanity, Santa. I also want a secondhand copy of Al Columbia’s Pim & Francie—The Golden Bear Days.
I like to think that I’ve been a very good girl. I helped some honeybees, almost entirely eliminated GMOs from my diet and volunteered on some farms this year. Yeah, yeah, I snuck in a few pieces of Halloween candy and drank perhaps a bit too much wine on a few occasions, but we’re cool right? (I’m sure sleigh riding is stressful and you sneak in a glass or two of Long Island cab franc during your break, eh? *wink*). If you feel so inclined to reward me for my efforts I would love the following simple pleasures:
A gift certificate for dinner at Roots Bistro Gourmand in West Islip. A Dutch oven to make coq au vin (you and Mrs. Claus are more than welcome to join for dinner. I wouldn’t hate it if you threw in a bottle of Shinn Estate’s Wild Boar Doe or the like, as well). Pretty, pretty please reserve me an organic, pasture raised lamb from Jennifer Murray on the North Fork. I’ll try super hard not to be a baaaah-d girl next year. Most importantly, I really want everyone everywhere to be able to enjoy a warm, delicious and joyful dinner together with loved ones for Christmas. I know you saw me almost back into a beehive with a tractor, but I hope you won’t hold it against me. I promise to leave you some killer Christmas cookies and Oak Tree milk from East Northport. Ho ho ho!
Natalia de Cuba Romero
My kingdom for a gas stove, a school lunch program that is good enough to stop me from having to get up at 5:30 a.m. every weekday to make and pack hot meals for my first grader and more opportunities to teach young people how to feed themselves cheaply, easily and well.
Erin Zammett Ruddy
I just gave birth to my third child so all of my culinary Christmas wishes involve things I had to abstain from for the past nine months. First and foremost, wine (specifically Kutch 2011 McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir), dirty martinis with blue cheese-stuffed olives (preferably enjoyed while sitting in front of the fire at Prime), raw cookie dough (Santa may not actually get any cookies this year), the Omakase at Nobu in New York City (I’ve been dreaming about the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno) and pâté—slathered on a baguette—from Cassis, to be washed down with a glass (or two) of Sancerre. So, anyone know any good babysitters?
I always appreciate a good local cheese, cured meats and artisan crackers platter, great for when some friends pop over. Erin at American Cheese in Sayville makes the best! Throw in some Black Mission Fig Bitters from Brooklyn Bitters to make some rye-based holiday cocktails and then let the joy sharing begin!
Sofia Del Gigante
On the top of my list this year is The Craft Beer Cookbook, by my fellow food blogger Jackie Dodd! Also loving this super cute necklace on Etsy. Yes, real women do drink craft beer! For the kitchen I must have this black and white chevron pot holder to match my pegboard pan rack! Lastly I need a gift card for Relish in Kings Park because I am obsessed with their cheesy grits and applewood smoked bacon!
I am asking Santa for two tickets (one for my bayman husband, Brad) to see the Dave Matthews Band this summer at Jones Beach. Truly believing that giving is better than receiving, before the show I would like to assist Rustic Roots Delivery backstage with their annual delivery of locally sourced goodies for the band’s pre-show farm-to-table feast. (Brad is coming…I sure hope Dave likes clams.) In return, I promise I will share every detail on social media. Speaking of social media, I have my fingers crossed that Santa will bring me a new phone (my current one is on life support). Hey Santa, since this is a wish list, how about the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its super-duper 41 megapixel camera? I would really like to up Edible Long Island’s presence on social media in 2014!