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Published 11/11/2021 Updated 02/14/2022
Where did this year go? Didn’t 2021 just begin? Whether you are ready for it or not, the holiday season is just around the corner. Usually, we publish our holiday gift guide closer to the end of November. This year, we decided to publish it a bit early because of the supply chain obstructions due to many issues such as the pandemic.
We personally love and use all of these products listed below. Before getting started, we wanted to state that, as always, many items on this list are influenced by our Korean and Southern heritages and cooking habits. Hopefully, you will find something on the list to love as well. If so, let us know in the comment section below.
Let’s start shopping!
2021 Ultimate Gift Guide for Friends & Family
Below, we list our favorite gift ideas for the 2021 season. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at [email protected].
1. For the Vegetarian or Vegan: The Korean Vegan Cookbook
The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma’s Kitchen is written by Joanne Lee Molinaro, an American attorney and vegan author, blogger, and Youtuber. This cookbook takes you on a journey through her upbringing with North Korean immigrant parents, her relationship with Korean food, and adapted Korean dishes to fit into a vegan diet. For those who desire delicious recipes and a great book to read, you will not be disappointed.
Just note: Some ingredients in her recipes can be difficult to find if you do not live near an Asian grocery store or want to order ingredients online.
2. For the Sustainable Kitchen: Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
These days, in our household, my husband and I are becoming more and more conscious of our waste. As we try to live more sustainably, we have reduced the amount of meat we eat, as well as how much plastic we use daily. One of my favorite sustainable brands is Bee’s Wrap. They make reusable beeswax food wraps that can easily replace plastic wrap or plastic bags. In the end, they help the environment and save you money!
3. For the Clumsy Chef (or Eater): Tide To Go Wipes
Last year, we included Tide on our holiday gift guide as a stocking stuffer or affordable option. Once again, we are including it this year. Let’s be honest, when recipe testing or eating I (Emily) am messy. I get food all over me all the time, even when being extra careful. So, to me, this item is a lifesaver. Maybe it will save you a little embarrassment too!
4. For the Farmer’s Market Shopper: Reusable Produce Bags
Once again, we are trying to eliminate as much plastic as possible from our day-to-day use. Instead of using the plastic bags available in the produce section of the grocery store, try using reusable produce bags! The bags are great to use in your regular grocery store or while shopping at your local farmer’s market.
These shopping bags are reusable, washable, and biodegradable!
5. For Korean Cooking: Ttukbaegi (or Ddukbaegi)
A ttukbaegi (or ddukbaegi) is a traditional Korean earthenware pot used to cook different soup and stew dishes. If you or someone in your life is interested in traditional Korean cooking, I recommend getting one of these pots! You can use this pot to make dishes such as gyeranjjim (steamed eggs), doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew), and more.
In our house, we own a large ttukbaegi for 6-8 people and a small ttukbaegi to use when cooking for 2-4 people. We recommend getting a size that fits best for your needs.
6. For Southern Cooking: A Cast-Iron Skillet
You will find a cast-iron skillet in almost every southern kitchen. In many Southerners’ minds, the cast-iron skillet is necessary to make truly delicious family recipes such as gravy, cornbread, and more. Much of this belief stems from the layers of seasoning on the pan created from years and years of use, often generational.
If you are new to cast-iron cooking, I know that cleaning the skillet can be daunting. Check out our post about cast-iron care to help you get started!
7. For Those Cooking With Their Kids: Child-Safe Kitchen Step Stool
Every parent would love a little helper in the kitchen, especially if you want to teach them to cook from a young age. These days, you can buy kitchen helper stools so your children can reach the counter. The stool has protective bars on all sides to keep your child safe and sturdy. Soon, they will be learning how to help you cook AND CLEAN in the kitchen!
8. For the Person Who Needs a Burst of Energy: Death Wish Coffee
We all have that friend or family member who is overworked and tired. This year, give them Death Wish Coffee–otherwise known as the world’s strongest coffee. Soon, they will wake up with the extra caffeine in their system. The fact that the coffee also tastes really good is just another extra perk!
9. For the Serious Cook: Le Creuset Cookware
I am a HUGE fan of Le Creuset. These pots have all the perks of a cast-iron skillet without the pains of seasoning the pans. Le Creuset is made by coating cast-iron in enamel. So, they cook evenly at low temperatures and can easily be cleaned with soap and water.
The best part? These cooking pans are completely non-toxic. These pans do not contain any chemicals or materials that react to heat or certain ingredients.
We Hope You Enjoyed Our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide!
In the end, we hope you enjoyed our 2021 holiday gift guide. If so, let us know in the comment section below.
If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at [email protected].
And, finally, we would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow us at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to our blog by joining our mailing list. We hope you enjoyed this 2021 holiday gift guide! Thank you so much for stopping by!
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