For all those headed out there in the next few days to hunt down one last gift for your holiday list, we’ve got a few ideas. In fact, last-minute gifts are practically the only kind we give. So here goes:
1. Buy a couple of Ball or Mason jars from your local hardware/kitchenware store and any of the canning, pickling and preserving books cataloged here by the Punk Domestics, a very modern DIY site dedicated to preserving traditional foodways. (We must admit our favorite is Tart & Sweet, by Brooklynite Kelly Geary, whom we’ve lauded countless times on these digital pages ourselves.)
2. Pick from any of the brainiacs-on-food books on this holiday gift list from our current issue paired with a food (or beer) mentioned in the book. Handily the brand-new Oxford Companion to Beer already comes wrapped with one, if you buy it from Brooklyn Brewery, whose brewmaster-in-chief edited the whole shebang.
3. Walk into any of our borough’s incredible food shops–Prospect Height’s Bklyn Larder, Stinky Bklyn on Smith Street, Valley Shepherd Market, new to Park Slope, or Radish, Depanneur, Bedford Cheese or The Brooklyn Kitchen, all in Williamsburg–as we’ve noticed every single one of ’em has some very sweet box sets of incredible locally sourced foodstuffs at various price points, and most are open through Christmas Eve.
4. One lovely bottle of hard liquor, especially lovely locally made hard liquor. Sure, Tuthilltown or Cornelius Applejack from Harvest Spirits upstate count, but why not go for something really, really local? Like Brooklyn Distilling and Breuckelen Distilling, New York Distilling Company and Kings County Distillery–many of whom we catalogued right here last year. (In fact, New York Distilling Company just opened up their bar and tasting room, The Shanty, at 79 Richardson Street at Lorimer in Williamsburg.) Beyond those four companies, a new bottle we’ve just tried is Brooklyn Republic Vodka, made in the Navy Yard and smooth enough to stand up to our favorite Russian quaffs. Better still, look at that bridge on that elegant glass bottle: Aye, she’s a beauty. Like the rest of our Brooklyn-made beverages, this one is found at liquor stores throughout Williamsburg, Greenpoint and most of brownstone Brooklyn, but also at Long’s Wine & Liquors, the blossoming Bay Ridge wine shop we covered in 2009.