Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Wish List

Happy New Year! I know you think that I'm a month early, but I actually mean happy new liturgical year. This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent, which kicks off another cycle of the liturgical year. In my denomination, we really try to hold back on Christmas. Advent is a time of anticipation, both of Christ's birth and of the second coming. We don't sing Christmas carols until Christmas Eve, and the greenery doesn't go up in the church until the week before.

However, I don't have that kind of discipline in my own home. Yes, I have an Advent calendar, but it's right next to the poinsettia. The Christmas tree (fake this year, BOO!) is up, and I'll start wrapping a few presents soon. As much as I try not to buy into the consumerist aspect of the holiday season, it is fun to dream of what Santa might bring, and I enjoy picking out and buying gifts for other people. As long as it doesn't get too out of control, giving gifts is certainly a way of showing you care about someone.

Here are a few things that are on my wish list this year:

An electronic kitchen scale is a necessity for accurately weighing flour and other ingredients for baked goods. Volume measurements can add flour leading to dense breads and cookies. Using weight measurements is an easy way to determine accuracy, and with the use of ratios, you can even free yourself from the confines of recipes.


When we were in Sonoma (blog posts to come!), we visited Kendall-Jackson, where the guy working the tasting room had us try a wine out of the bottle and the same wine poured through the Vinturi wine aerator. In a simple step, the aerator developed the bouquet and flavors of the wine. The same guy said that when he goes to a restaurant with a bottle of wine, he always takes his Vinturi and his own glassware!


Speaking of glassware, when we registered for wine glasses when we got married, we only got one kind. No different glasses for red and white wines for us. But then, when we were in Sonoma, we had a lovely pinot noir in a pristine Riedel pinot noir glass, and there really was a difference! Since we purchased some very nice wines in California, including a few we are going to try to cellar, the glassware to enjoy them to their fullest would be a welcome gift.


I don't want to cook all the time, and one of Joe's and my favorite ways of relaxing is to head out on the town to explore new restaurants and hangouts. We like it even more if we don't have to pay full price! And if you read this before Thursday evening, you can head over to Eat.Drink.Smile to win one. Go ahead and enter, even if you're not from Nashville because then you can give it to me!


We're well into the realm of fantasy on this one, but a girl can dream. I think that this is a basic enough DSLR that I could actually figure out how to use it, and my point-and-shoot is getting a little beaten up. I do love the portability of my point-and-shoot, but I crave the pictures that people with DSLRs take.


In lieu of the fancy camera, a portable lighting kit like this one would be really helpful for getting decent pictures on dark winter nights. And it's only about $450 cheaper.

There you have it, my dream/wish/gift list for the holiday season for a cook, blogger, and Nashville foodie.

What's on your holiday wish list this year?