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All I Want For Christmas

November 30, 2016

All I want for Christmas is peace on Earth and good will towards our fellow human beings. But I’m not sure that’s possible, and if it is possible, it’s not coming anytime soon. Part of the problem is that a lot of people want a lot more stuff. And more stuff comes at a cost.

Here’s the funny thing. I don’t want anything. I don’t.

My birthday is coming up, and I don’t want a single thing. I don’t want kitchen tools. I don’t want electronics. I don’t want books. I don’t want music. My liquor cabinet is full. There’s no room for special wine. Gift cards are a burden. Cash finds a way to just disappear into the ether.

If you are present shopping for a bunch of people, I’m probably the worst person to be on your list. Fortunately, I’m not on many people’s list, because I don’t typically give presents either.

Really, more than anything else, I want a few more hours of sleep. And time can’t be bought.

That said, I’m a realist. And right now people are out and about buying presents for themselves and others. This is the annual consumer purchasing frenzy. So who am I not to offer advice to people on what to buy for their friends and loved ones who are into food and such.

The Sizzler
One of the best things that I received as a gift in the recent past was something called The Sizzler. AlbanyLandlord ordered a few direct from Japan, and paid some absurd amount of money to have them shipped internationally. Now, they are sold in California. They may cost a little more, but the store is offering free shipping on orders over $150.

Part of me wants to buy 17 of these things and just hand them out like Johnny Appleseed. The things are flipping brilliant. And everyone who buys large format bottles of beer should have one.

Cast Iron
It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken of the glories of a well seasoned cast iron skillet. My three pans are my most prized possessions. I kid you not. I’ve had them for almost twenty years, and I use them all the time. If you don’t have one, get one. If they are too heavy for you to use comfortably, get a French black steel frying pan.

If I wasn’t so up to my neck in cookware, I might actually think about adding a classic French steel omelette pan to my collection. But in good conscience, I can do no such thing.

That Damn Carrot Peeler
Yeah. OXO. My old one died. The store I went to didn’t have the OXO so I got something that looked good. It’s not the same. It’s worse. So I had to buy another one of the stupid carrot peelers that changed everything.

Beer Glasses
For a while I was drinking my fancy beers out of a pickle jar. My friend Greg eventually gave me a stemmed glass from Rare Form. And just recently I picked up a three pack of Spiegelau beer tasting glasses. Man, I love these things. They absolutely make the beer taste better. It’s true. They are kind of amazing.

But if I add more glasses to our household, I’ll have to get rid of other glasses. And right now, I’m not prepared to ditch some of my other favorite glassware, even though I’ve spent precious little time over the last couple of years making cocktails.

The last time I put together a list like this, my mom sent me something from the post. The pressure cooker she sent is still fantastic. It does make amazing chicken stock.

This year, I have all of the things on the list. So it’s a less helpful too.

I suppose that she could always get me whatever kind of microphone I might need to make a reasonably good podcast. It seems as if people liked the one I did with Chris. And while my writing won’t stop, it might be nice to mix it up a bit. Plus my mother is one of the people in my family who think a podcast would be a great idea. She can probably turn to my sister in trying to identify the required equipment.

Here’s what I know.

If I need to go out and buy a microphone or some other stuff to do a podcast, it’s never going to happen. But if the tools just showed up at my door? Well, that’s another story. Just don’t ask me what podcasting gear I want. I have no idea.

Like I said. I’m the worst.

In all seriousness, I do like to help. So if there’s some other category of stuff that I missed, and you don’t feel like searching for my gear recommendations in the archive, fire off a question or comment, and I’ll do my best to respond quicker than usual.

Hope the shopping goes well. Maybe you could do me one little favor. While you are out and about, please try to be good to each other, and remember the reason for the season. Thanks.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2016 11:08 am

    I just needed to mention, that I didn’t believe it until I tried it, but these are THE BEST damn vegetable peelers I have EVER used. And way more ergonomic than you’d think.

    • albanylandlord permalink
      December 1, 2016 11:38 pm

      Yeah, I was doubtful, but they are great.

  2. November 30, 2016 12:06 pm

    That OXO peeler is the greatest. My MIL turned me onto it a few years ago and it really is unparalleled.

  3. November 30, 2016 3:27 pm

    My dude and I recently moved in together. He is a serious beer geek. Your glasses comment made me laugh — we currently have about four cupboards’ worth of glassware. I keep asking if we can pare it down a bit, but the idea horrifies him because obviously you can’t drink a stout out of the same kind of a glass as an aged sour, etc. And heaven forbid I suggest we just buy some uniform pint glasses — no, we need various stemware too. In fact, he and his friends have come up with their own hashtag: #properglassware

  4. November 30, 2016 10:13 pm

    Hey brother, you thinking you’ll record to your computer or phone? For computer – the USB Blue Yeti $100 from Amazon (or should I not tell you the cost and gift it to you) ;) for iPhone, there’s the Blue Mikey. Either way, remember to wear headphones and position the mic close to your mouth. I’d recommend the $10 desk clamp mic arm from Amazon. Oh, and for young master fussy, I’m hoping someone will go in on this with me (

    • November 30, 2016 10:23 pm

      This sounds like a decision for you and mom to make. But I think my best possible podcast would be a discussion between me and a weekly guest. Does that mean two microphones? Or like one speakerphone kinda mic? I’m relying on your expertise.

  5. Dave S permalink
    December 1, 2016 7:10 pm

    OXO peeler! Lost a crappy, old, non OXO, one somehow, bought an OXO randomly. Changed my life in a tiny, good, way.

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