The driving force behind this series is that you don’t need to spend that much to spread serious joy to the cooks and eaters in your life. Gift guides that sing the praises of Le Creuset Dutch ovens and copper saucier pans drive me crazy. Sure, those things are lovely to have to any kitchen. But they cost an arm and a leg, and more to the point, everybody already knows how great they are.
So today’s recommendation is an exception—in half measure, at least. It’ll set you back $95. But on the other hand, I feel sure that it’s never been highlighted in a gift guide before—mostly because it is a non-essential kitchen item for which you can buy a perfectly acceptable substitute for a small fraction of the price.
But you know what? There should be room in every kitchen for a non-essential tool that provides aesthetic pleasure as well as functionality every single time you use it. And for me, that is this Simon Pearce 48-ounce mixing bowl. Actually mine is a soothing (and apparently discontinued) celadon green—which is one reason I wouldn’t sell it for $200.
My wife and I only bought this bowl because we had excess credit from our wedding registry, and a surfeit of ideas for how to spend it. But I use it nearly every day—and have done so for all the years we’ve been married. The little handle on the back is a piece of stealth ergonomic genius in its shape and weight balance. The spout works like a charm for pouring pancake batter. The glazed ceramic does not react with tomatoes or other acidic foods that aluminum would taint. The bowl is microwave and oven safe. (I originally thought I’d try to make some sort of potted bread with it, but never got around to that.) It retains heat, so it’s a great way to keep something warm while you work on another part of your meal. And it’s good-looking enough to be set right on the table.
An off-the-wall idea, no doubt, but one well worth mulling.