City Palate
City Palate - The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene since 1993

The Entertaining Issue - November December 2017

17 Gifts, Gadgets and Goodies for 2016

by Karen Anderson

Sushi Italia

Even the most modest of take-out sushi inspires the setting of an elegant
table. Bamboo placemats, decorative chopsticks, matching Japanese
pottery plates and teacups elevate the offering at most of our homes. Then
there’s the case of Italian design giant Alessi. When Alessi designer Stefano
Giovannoni got inspired by ancient Chinese ceramics, he produced a
thoroughly modern sushi set of incredible beauty while still paying heed
to form meets functional expression. Buy this Lily Pond sushi set and
suddenly you and your takeout are transported to a place where you’re
sitting under a cherry tree by a lily pond in Japan. Seems worth the price.
Alessi Lily Pond sushi set, $126/set, Reid’s

 

Tiffin Tidings

These old-school Indian Tiffin lunch boxes are likely to gain popularity as we all do our bit to decrease the amount of plastic in the world. Not just for Indian food, they’re useful to keep all sorts of foods separate so you can graze your way through a long day at the office. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they arrived at your desk filled with delicious Indian food like they do in Mumbai? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Watch the movie The Lunchbox and see what happens when a Mumbai Tiffin lunch box goes astray.
Onyx 2 & 3 layer Tiffin lunch boxes, $24-28,
Community Natural Foods

 

The Spice Clause

It’s the spice clause in Santa’s contract. He never leaves the North Pole without this nifty little Camp Backcountry Spice Kit clipped to his sleigh. His elves at The Silk Road Spice Merchant and Camp Brand Goods carefully selected Apple Pie Spice, Driftwood Texas BBQ Rub, Scarborough Fair (yes, a mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme), Inca Fire Salt, and Bow River Fish Blend so that Santa, or anyone with only a pack on their back, can stop by a campfire and cook up a delicious meal to fuel their journey. Whether you’re heading into Alberta’s backcountry or on a whirlwind round the world adventure, you can use the clever carabiner to clip and carry this waterproof spice goody bag along. Camp Backcountry Spice Kit, $65, The Silk Road Spice Merchant or campbrandgoods.com

 

For the Birds

…or at least the bird lovers. These Chirpy Top wine pourers aerate your wine and add cheery chirping to every pour. Designer Matt Ellison likes to add good cheer to his designs. He spawned those now famous fish that gurgle for his Gurgle Pots. I’m secretly hoping he’s working on a bee-shaped honey pot that buzzes as his next project. Chirpy Top Wine Pourer, $30, Britannia Kitchen and Home

 

Let There be (Tea) Light

Light Reworks Upcycle Shop owner Solita Work makes these vintage teacup candles. The shop (which is a kiosk cart at the Calgary Farmers’ Market) specializes in one-of-a-kind objects that artists from the United States and Canada have cleverly repurposed and saved from the landfill. Give one of these to your favourite tea drinker and you’ll be considered charming as well as eco-friendly. Cup of Tea light, $25, Reworks Upcycle Shop in the Calgary Farmers’ Market

Panning for Gold

This is the little something I want for Christmas this year. It’s a beautiful-tolook- at, ever-lasting, hand-forged, carbon steel fry pan and paella pan made by Nanton master blacksmith Martin Reinhard. Each pan has a hand-hammered base and is stamped with a maple leaf and ‘M.J. Reinhard’. They are designed to deliver fast heat uptake and even cooking. The surface will become non-stick with time and proper care. This is a gift serious cooks (and me) will love. It’s like panning for gold and coming up with the mother lode. Tip: For the perfect paella recipe, flip to Geoff Last's column on page 26. Martin Reinhard 8.5- to 12-inch hand-forged pans, $150-$200, Willow Creek Forge Store, 2112-21 St., Nanton, willowcreekforge.com

 

Farm in your Fridge

This urban cultivator unit will allow you to grow grass to your heart’s content. Wheat grass, that is. It will also grow every kind of micro green your crunchy granola heart yearns for. No more picking through soggy brown-edged herbs at your grocer, with this unit you can grow them organically and pick them seconds before adding them to your dishes. Choose from Urban Cultivator’s seed bank of organic non-GMO seeds made for the unit, choose the corresponding settings and grow, grow, grow… in your kitchen cum urban farm. Trail Appliances, Inglewood Gallery $2699

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