Linda got her very own K-Sabatier au carbone knives. A 10" cook's knife, engraved "I am Linda's;" and a 4" paring knife, engraved "I am Linda's Too." The profile on the old cook's knife was starting to get screwed up because it had been sharpened so many times over the years, and I never had a matching paring knife. Also, no doubt about the ownership of these babies!
We got another coffeemaker. This one is a Royal Coffeemaker modern Copper balance, vacuum syphon. It's gorgeous.
It needed a new grinder. I impulsively bought a KA Pro Line because I liked its looks so much, Can you blame me?
It undoubtedly would have been fine, but I did a lot of research, got a lot of advice from other coffee "enthusiasts," panicked, and changed my mind before it got here. It turns out there are issues, so tomorrow it gets exchanged for something not nearly as good looking but supposedly a much better performer; the Breville Smart.
Don't worry, the spiffy new coffee pot will live in the dining-room, while the plain-jane grinder is relegated to hide in the coffee room with the espresso machine and its grinder.
We ended up doing a lot of driving around when we were in Northern California, including a stop at Michael Chiarello's store in Yountville. But we didn't buy any cooking stuff or even any wine while we were there. Just lots of Christmas stuff. We did do some cheese shopping while we were up there, and ended up going to the Matos Cheese Factory.
The factory itself is a small out building on a smallish dairy farm (lots of dairy up there), in exurban Santa Rosa, up a long dirt road. Thank God for GPS, right? Anyway, the family owners, their cheese factory and their cheese have strong Portuguese roots, but the lady working the counter was from Mexico. We ended up entertaining one another in Spanish making fun of the Portuguese, while Linda walked around the farm. Beautiful farm, very well maintained; but with enough mud, cow-poop, and cats who work for their living, to be a working dairy operation and not a "hobby" farm, if you know what I mean.
We got the Spanish speaking discount and ended up with an immense piece of cheese. Great stuff, we're still working on it.
We also bought a bunch of cheese at the Molsberry Market in Santa Rosa. Good cheese selection, but it's just a super market and not very picturesque. Among other delicacies -- cocoa rind dry Jack.
I got a couple of cookbooks from Santa. Santa was inspired by the fabulous dinner we had in Healdsburg at Zin on the same trip to give me, Down Home: Downtown, Seasonal Recipes from Two Sonoma Wine Country Restaurants. The other was Adrian Ferra's, The Family Meal. At first glance, both books are fabulous.
Edited by boar_d_laze - 12/28/11 at 8:45am