- Hogshead cheese shaped like a Christmas tree! Yes, it’s holiday shaped hogshead cheese, handmade by the nice folks at Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse in Laplace. No, I don’t have a picture, but the small, party-sized gelees cost less than $5. Truly, a gift for the person who has everything. Note: probably not well suited as a stocking stuffer.
- How to Be a Breadhead: A Beginner’s Guide to Baking, by Fr. Dominic Garramone. This little spiral-bound baking instruction manual is simple enough for older kids, but provides enough detail for curious adults. A bonus–it’s written by a priest, so your ultra-Catholic cousin/neighbor/coworker might like it a bit more than usual. Complete with lots of black and white photos, the book is organized around three master recipes, with variations and detailed shaping instructions.
- Madame Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery, recently updated by Poppy Tooker. The perfect book for a cookbook collector with local interests, it’s a reprint of the 1937 edition of a cookbook originally printed in 1900. Madame Begue, an early and much celebrated New Orleans chef, ‘invented’ brunch, and Tooker has updated some of the classic creole recipes for modern cooks.
- Reprints of vintage WPA food posters, available at the Historic New Orleans Collection’s online shop. “Your Meat is Going to War” is pictured above.
- Citrus trees, especially Owari satsuma, blood orange, and Improved Meyer lemon varieties. Almost anyone who lives in a detached house has sufficient yard room for a citrus tree, and the three mentioned varieties produce well in coastal Louisiana. Trees are readily available from Banting’s Nursery, Perino’s Garden Center, or other area nurseries. Container-grown citrus can be planted immediately, or kept on a sunny patio until late January or early February.