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Holiday celebrations and traditions are often defined by gifts and food. So how can you go wrong by combining the two? Kojo chats with guests who are immersed in the culinary world year round about the best cookbooks and kitchen gadgets to give and receive.
Bay Laurel tree. There's nothing like fresh bay leaves. They are beautiful plants and you can grow them outdoors here for most of the year. Bring the pot inside in December and January, and out they go again. Price: $21.99
Corn Zipper by Oxo. So much fun, we argue about who is going to be allowed to "zip" the corn. Price: $13.99
Oxo Box Grater. No messing around with this one -- it's not the box grater you used in your mum's house. This one is sharp! Price: $17.99
Sharp-n-Easy Knife Sharpener. Note, it does not sharpen Japanese knives. Price: $13
Microplane grater. If you don't have one, it will change your life. Price: $14
Cheese Paper. If you know someone who really loves cheese, this is a great gift for them. Cheese paper keeps the air out without suffocating it like plastic wrap does. Price: $11
Citrus mister. This kitchen tool is fun, makes as much or as little juice as you need and prolongs the shelf life of fruit. Price: About $15
Herb-cutting scissors. These are good for multitaskers: they're good for making phyllo as well as shredding cheese. Price: $11.95
Magimix see-through toaster. Now there's a concept! Price: Williams-Sonoma carries it for about $200
Cristel brushed stainless-steel cookware. Removable handles, heavy-bottomed. Price: Varies by set
Tea Forte Cafe cup and tea tray. This thoughtful gift keeps water hot and allows for elegant tea bag resting spot. Price: $26
Classic vegetable peeler, 1947 style. Also a multitasker tool. These are inexpensive and available at outdoor farmer's markets like Eastern Market in D.C. Price: About $5
Derek Brown, co-owner of The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C., breaks out the essential tools for mixing a martini cocktail. From a Japanese ice pick to a julep strainer to a chainsaw, you'll never make a martini the same way again.
Kojo gets a lesson in how to make a classic gin martini from acclaimed local bartender Derek Brown.