Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wacky Christmas Gift Ideas

Look, it's a K-Tel sunset!

That's what I think every time I see a shaft of sunlight piercing the sky, particularly if it's early morning shafts or end of the day shafts. They have an unearthly radiance about them that screams I AM GOD LOOK AT ME. In a nice way, of course (I always picture God as a kindly old man with nice manners). I realize this sounds weird, but there it is. Every time I think: "that looks like a religious record cover."

Everyone seems to be blogging about their favourite gift ideas right now, and as I was trying to pilfer some ideas get inspiration I came across some, well, I'll use the politest word I can - odd ideas. First off, this came in my Twelve Days of Cookies email from the American Food Network (you can sign up for it here). Every day I get a Christmas cookie recipe from a famous TV cook. The recipes have names like Throw Down Blondies and Paula's Snowflakes and they all seem to involve triple amounts of everything. While I've never actually made any of these cookies I can't seem to resist reading about them. There is something rather compelling about all that excess.

Anyhow, I noticed in one of the sidebars that someone named Bobby Deen had a recipe up for Double Chocolate-Walnut Meringue Cookies. While my first thought was that any adult with the name Bobby Deen should really be singing religious tunes instead of baking (with my photo as his album cover) I couldn't help but be ever so slightly scandalized that he called his items meringue cookies when anyone could see that they were macarons. As in French macarons - more specifically Parisian macarons. Google the word - and if you see a hit from Ladurée click on it. Oh heck, let me make it easier...click on this link here. See what I mean? It's not a meringue cookie, it's a macaron, although in a pinch I will accept the term macaroon; I don't want to give the idea that I am a zealot about this, but this recipe makes me bristle with indignation. If we're not careful they'll be doing things like changing the name of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone to something like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Oh wait, they already did.

Next up: Fruit necklaces: $35 each. Someone has taken slices of real fruit (in this case a starfruit) and dipped them in glitter resin. These are part of the Holiday Gifts Under $50 series. I don't know about you, but wearing a piece of dried fruit around my neck sounds weird. I worry slightly that a bird might come and start pecking at me, or that someone will mistake me for a weird survivalist who carries emergency rations around with them.

Mr & Mrs Muse salt and pepper shakers: For the person unclear on the concept of the muse, evidently, because instead of a statue of a naked Greek goddess or two, this set consists of two smooth white heads, one moustachioed (evidently the Mr.) and one with lips (and the Mrs.) They will, we are told, keep our table "fun" and "playful." It's also $48. Hmmm. I don't know about you, but this screams fun and playful to me. Not.

Here's another in the Bad Idea File: Word Appetizer Dishes. "If you are what you eat" the ad announces, "then you should act how you serve." So, for $25, you too can act SHARE, LAUGH, and PARTY. Just don't ask me how to accomplish this. The idea of having serving dishes that say things like PARTY worries me somewhat. I am uncomfortably reminded of those wooden signs several of my outlying relatives have sitting on their cupboards, signs announcing things like FAMILY and LAUGHTER and LOVE LIVES HERE. I would, I can confidently say, visibly cringe if anyone bought me either these dishes or one of those wooden signs. Some of us thrive on cheese, some of thrive on irony. Give me irony every time.

Finally (I can only handle so much distressing consumerism at a time), there is the 3-in-1 Breakfast Maker. Yes, Gentle Reader, such a thing really does exist. It's here. It will make coffee, toast and fry and egg, all in one handy, space-saving unit. It's cheap and it looks it: $43.99. Gosh, can we elevate the art of cooking any higher? Given this object, I think not.

Now, I have to go. In the time it took to write this I have another Food Network cookie email, and I really must check it out.


Suji said...

I'm glad I'm not buying it because I might actually eat that glittery, fruity thing. I'm not subscribing to those emails...you write them so much better! :) Happy Holidays!

Heather said...

35 bucks for a piece of dried fruit?!?! Sorry but that just sends the bits of Scots blood in me into a tizzy. I've got a jar of dried apple slices (lovingly dried over my fire!!) that I could send you and save you the money. ;-)

However, that 3-in-1 breakfast maker sounds like just the thing. I've got a 3-in-1 breakfast maker but at 6 foot 3 he can hardly be thought of as a "space-saving unit".

That photo is beautiful. I recall having a K-tel album or two, pretty sure one had My Sharona and Tired of Toein' the Line on it.

Happy Christmas to you, Shelia. Hope you got your annual fix of Love Actually, I just did.

sheila said...

Happy Christmas Suji! Stay away from glittered pieces of fruit!

Heather, my 3-in-1 might not be very space-saving but he's way cuter than the Target unit (which is probably something my teenage unit would LOVE when he moves out, lol). He also makes a mean latté. Note that the Target unit only does drip.

Happy Christmas! I was thinking about you last week when I had my annual Love Actually fix! Sigh. It's such a great movie. "Sh@t bugger f*ck wanker a$$ head and h*le"