Friday, December 24, 2010

Last Minute Stocking for the Person with No Hobbies

   My dad has no hobbies.  Walking and working are the closest thing he gets to a hobby. Needless to say, he can be very hard to shop for.  Walking requires little "equipment" and there are no gadgets or accessories that can be bought.  Last year I got him a really nice pedometer, but after that, his "hobby" needs were totally filled.  Socks and underwear are the things he gets most excited about around Christmas time.  He is very particular about his socks and underwear; they can only be bought at JC Penny.  However, he refuses to set foot in the mall, so those are the only things he ever asks for for Christmas.

   We have to get really creative with him sometimes.  He loves grilling, but has everything he needs for that because he's not exactly the most inventive with the grill.  Just slap the meat on, turn it, take it off when it's done.  He also loves sausages and cold cuts.  Cured meats are the next closest thing to a hobby that he has.  Trail bologna, pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, capicola... anything ground and encased or left to dry until it will keep indefinitely is right up his ally.  So for his stocking this year we got a few seasonings for grilling and sausages.

  1. World Market Mesquite Seasoning ($3)-- Basic seasoning blend of paprika, garlic, and onion with the flavor amped up by cumin, orange peel, and chipotle powder
  2. World Market Chicago Chop and Steak Seasoning ($3)-- An all American blend characterized by ground mustard, lemon peel, and celery seed
  3. Olde Thompson Peppercorn Mix ($9 on website, $7 in stores)-- Black, green, white, and pink peppercorns in a disposable grinder  (my dad adores fresh cracked pepper!)
  4. World Market Blood Orange Milk Chocolate ($2)-- Classic combo with a twist, I'll probably be the one who ends up eating this.
  5. Sweetridge Dark Chocolate Cocoa ($1)
  6. Volpi Romano Salame ($5)-- All natural, dry-cured, and aged salami crusted in cracked black pepper
  7. Daniele Hot Abruzzese Sausage ($5)-- Dry, spicy, full flavored pork sausage from the Abruzzi region of Italy
  8. Market Classics Split Pea Soup Dry Mix ($4)-- My dad loves split pea soup but we don't often indulge in the request because we don't usually keep split peas in the house.  This base has all the essentials; you just have to add an onion, some stock, and a couple other kitchen basics.  Also, there is a recipe on the back so he can make it himself!
   Dried meats and seasoning blends are readily available in many grocery stores.  All of these items were purchased at World Market.  Other great, easy to find, last minute, food-oriented stocking stuffers include:
  • small sample sized coffees
  • mini bottles of hot sauce
  • trial sized oils and vinegars
  • chocolate stirring spoons, purchased or home-made
  • chop sticks and oriental soup spoons for the Asian food lover in your family
   You still have one day left to finish and finalize your gifts!  I hope this was helpful either for today, or for a jump start on next year's ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Nice ideas... looks like a good stocking to me!!

    Merry christmas!


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