This Christmas, my mom gave me a great treat by taking me to the far side of Vermont to the King Arthur Flour Baker's Store - Yes, an entire store full of baking and kitchen supplies, from specialty flours and grains, stand mixers, their own line of baking pans, herbs, flavorings, aprons... ...and even Himalayan Pink Salt. I read about it once, how the author of this particular book was baffled by the requirement of Himalayan Pink Salt in a recipe- and there it was before my very eyes!
We leisurely strolled through the store... and back through again... mom taking notes of some of the things that caught my eye, then while I went to the bakery to find and consume my first ever genuine croissant (oh my... oh MY.), mom went back and picked up some of the things I liked for my Christmas gifts. This works for mom and myself much better than her trying to secretly figure out what I would like and actually use. Let me just say, the pink salt was NOT on the list; however, the 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast spoon was. Honestly, if you bake a lot of yeast breads, like I do, and buy your yeast in jars, like I do, you'll be surprised at how often you use this little gadget. If you do neither, don't bother with it.
And speaking of gifts for cooks... mom found this picture today. This appears to be my ninth birthday, and I'm quite sure the double-ended rolling pin was a gift I'd requested. It would seem I've been crazy for cooking for some time now! I've moved on to a French rolling pin, but we still have this one. Sadly, just a few months ago the wooden handle gave way and it's now a one-ended rolling pin, but we still use it quite a bit for rolling crusts into pan corners.
With Nana, 1996