Category Archives: Inedible

MOVING DAY!

If you’ve been wondering where we’ve been, the answer is–spreading our wings!  Please follow Blue Jean Gourmet on over to its new home & update your links accordingly.

GUEST POST: THE WEDDING REGISTRY

so, we’re on vacation.  and it’s pretty freaking awesome.  I am very brown & very relaxed & very pleased to offer you today’s guest post from my friend Lauren, who is beautiful and talented and funny and with whom I went to school for twelve years (she was a fellow Christmas pageant Mary).

I know that you’ll appreciate her sense of aesthetics and clever voice as much as I do.  you can find her regularly on her blog, Gathering Moss.

Given that many of my cohorts are getting engaged and planning weddings, I asked Lauren to offer her advice on the kitchen-related part of The Infamous Wedding Registry—an arena in which I have zero expertise!

hi hello, Lauren here. thanks for having me, Blue Jean Gourmet! it’s fairly hilarious that Nishta asked me to guest post, because I’m not that much of a cook. the cooking at chez stone is generally relegated to my husband, affectionately known in blogland as “captain fantastic.” because he is. except not at cleaning up after cooking. but that’s a-whole-nother blog post. I do make a mean vegetarian lasagna (thanks to my dad, who is also one of those fantastic cooking husbands) and a pretty sweet baked gouda (thanks to my mom, queen of the hors d’ oeuvres), so I suppose I qualify as a Blue Jean Gourmet. maybe more like a Tattered Overall Gourmet, but whatev.


something that I am better at than cooking is shopping. that’s really why I’m here. c-fan and I were married last June, so without (much) further ado, my wedding registry suggestions for foodies, wanna-be foodies and all to-be-weds who want a well-stocked kitchen:
I would be remiss to not mention that ubiquitous wedding registry staple, the Kitchen Aid mixer. it comes in a gajillion delicious colors to match any decor, makes many types of food prep gloriously easy, and, if you have generous wedding guests, can be yours for free (well, ok minus the cost of the wedding…). even the non-cooking-inclined may find themselves regularly making brownies from scratch in the middle of the night with this beauty. I speak from experience. highly recommended.

another helpful appliance is the food processor. but beware – all I wanted in life (after my kitchenaid mixer, of course) was a shiny new food processor. which I may or may not have mentioned several dozen times. and I ended up being gifted four. 3 cup, 4 cup, 7 cup, 12 cup…one in every size. The size you’ll actually want depends on how you’ll be using it; for a couple or small family, 4 cups is probably good. If you regularly host large dinner parties or plan on joining the Quiverfull movement, 12 cups may be the way to go.

dishes. you’ll need those. here in the south, we register for both “everyday” dishes and fine china; sometimes even Christmas china, y’all. the patterns you register for are a personal choice – we decided to go with a neutral everyday set, which we can accent with festive linens and accessories. for fine china, we chose a pattern that’s the modern incarnation of my mother’s pattern, because we’ll be inheriting her silver and love sappy stuff with meaning like that (isn’t it sweet how I said “we,” like captain fantastic gave a hoot about dishes?)

the number of dishes you request is also a matter of your lifestyle – if you live in an apartment in the city and rarely eat at home, you may only want 6 or 8 place settings, whereas big entertainers and family types will want 12. if you get extra plates (which can happen if you register for the same item at multiple stores), go ahead and keep them; things break.

other registry staples that you’ll be sure to use often:

a nice set of knives (Blue Jean Gourmet would like to suggest Wusthof as a go-to brand)

a pattern of stainless place settings for everyday use; a pattern of silver if you’re feeling fancy (we registered for a few extra place settings of the family silver that will be passed down to us)

upgrade your pot and pan collection (hard to go wrong with Calphalon)

fill out your assortment of cooking and serving utensils by registering for that slotted spoon/silicone spatula/tongs/pizza cutter/other implement you’re always wishing you had but never remembering to procure.

get some fancy wine glasses. Riedel are a perennial favorite. it’s a good idea to get both red and white wine glasses. if you’re always swilling martinis or sipping champagne, you may want to register for a set of specialty glasses. again, the number you request will depend on the number of people you anticipate needing to serve.

some general registry advice and etiquette:

your registry information does not belong on your wedding invitation; it can spread by word of mouth (traditionally through your mom), on shower invitations and/or on a wedding website if you have one.

it’s advisable to register with at least one national big box store with an online component, like Macy’s, Williams Sonoma or Target; this way, out of town guests can easily choose a gift and have it shipped straight to you.

remember to choose a variety of gifts in a wide price range so that all of your guests will be able to give a gift that’s comfortable for them.

any veteran married folk out there who’d like to share a particular registry item that’s gotten lots of use? anyone in the registry process right now and have a specific question? comment away!


Lauren Stone is an undercover decorator with a day job in communications (much like Clark     Kent, but with a more stylish wardrobe). She never met a topiary she didn’t like. or a piece of chocolate. lauren got into blogging while planning her june 2009 wedding, when she realized that there was a whole community of people out there who would rather be DIYing. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she currently resides there with new hubby, Captain Fantastic, and their giant mutthounds, Marley and Sterling. team stone is on a tireless crusade to turn their little house into a home, one ridiculous project at a time.

Share/Save/Bookmark

CHRISTMAS 2009

par·a·dox (noun) etymology: Latin paradoxum, from Greek paradoxon, from neuter of paradoxos contrary to expectation, from para– + dokein to think, seem

As a literary term: paradox, a statement that initially appears to be contradictory but then, on closer inspection, turns out to make sense.

Life does not do us the courtesy of avoiding Christmas where sickness, death, & other unhappinesses are concerned.  I’d need more than one hand to count the friends who are dealing with some really shitty business as I type this.  Families are unkind to each other.  Parents die, slowly, painfully.  Even losses decades-old pinch and scrape like new.

And there are points of light: the sound of neighborhood kids testing out their new tricycles and bicycles with abandon, the smell of the Christmas tree, the stories your father-in-law tells, the feel of yeast dough between your fingers and the satisfaction of it rising in a buttered bowl, just as it’s supposed to.

Surrounded by people but feeling utterly alone.  Happy to be on vacation but befuddled by the free time.  Knowing the holidays aren’t really about “stuff” but coveting it nonetheless.  Accustomed to indulging every whim & desire, but relenting when the family’s movie choices do not match your own.  Feeling down in the holiday dumps, then feeling like an obnoxious spoiled brat because, you know, your life is REALLY GOOD.

We humans are complex beings, full of paradoxes which make themselves especially apparent as the year winds down to a close.  I find myself tangled up in thought—desire, confusion, nostalgia, regret.  I could easily paralyze myself with the attempt to figure it all out, but instead I think I shall paint my fingernails red, sneak some leftover ham out of the fridge, make myself a cup of really good hot chocolate.  Then sit in a chair and read a book.  Call my mama and tell her that I love her.  Think of my father and cry.

We’re not going to get it all figured out today, or probably ever. Let’s do our best to be good to each other (and ourselves) in the meantime.  Merry Christmas, ya’ll.

Share/Save/Bookmark

THE BLUE JEAN GOURMET GUIDE TO MONEY WELL-SPENT

I did not leave the house today.

before

After a warm and relaxed combined Thanksgiving with our friends Courtney and John, the kind of meal where every dish is stellar and you leave, hugging folks on the way out who you met for the first time on the way in, waking up at the ass-crack of dawn this morning to jostle and shove people out of the way just so I can buy STUFF seems like a total slap in the face to everything I said I was thankful for yesterday.

after

At the same time, while today is Buy Nothing Day in our household, I do not want to sound like a holier-than-thou hypocrite.  I like things—gifts, presents, trinkets, baubles, tokens of affection.  I love to give and receive jewelry (ahem, anyone notice the bday bling courtesy of my sweet spouse?), mix CDs, spa gift certificates, kitchen accessories, homemade goodies, books, sweet-smelling soaps, etc.  There’s something very satisfying about presenting someone with a gift you know they will enjoy but might not have bought for themselves.

What I have a problem with is buying for buying’s sake—this idea that, at the holidays, we have to buy a gift for everyone in our life. Because we feel obligated to?  Because the economy needs stimulating?  Because it’s what we’ve always done?

Many people are starting to buck this tradition, turning instead to gift-raffles, family name-draws, charitable donations, or homemade presents.  I feel lucky that my family, friends, & co-workers aren’t caught up in the gift parade; if we see something we think someone else will like, we buy it for them.  Barring that, we bring each other specialties from our respective kitchens, write thoughtful cards, spend time in each other’s houses laughing, and don’t worry too much about the “balance sheet” of friendship.

As I look around my house today and see my two favorite women in the world, my mother and Jill, this sweet dog Dolly in my lap, and two sassy cats sleeping on the bed, I know there’s not a thing in the world that I need, but there might be a few things that I want…I just have to make sure I am mindful of the difference.

THE BLUE JEAN GOURMET GUIDE TO MONEY WELL-SPENT

Start here.  Stop here, too, if you can:

Heifer International–Heifer works to end poverty and hunger by gifting animals to families in needy communities around the globe.  Every animal, be it a water buffalo or hive of bees, can both feed its recipient family and be used as a potential source of income.  Heifer’s holistic approach includes integrating local customs, respecting the dignity of recipients, & requiring that every family “pass the gift” when their animal reproduces.

Wounded Warrior Project–The WWP seeks to honor and empower severely wounded servicemen and women, many of whom often tragically slip through society’s cracks when returning from active duty.  Given the nature of the ongoing fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, more and more young men and women are face disability and mental trauma, sorry repayment for the invaluable service they have provided.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres–This international organization works in over sixty countries to assist men, women, & children whose lives are threatened due to violence, neglect, or catastrophe.  Winner of the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize, MSF is full of stories that break my heart and make me think twice before I open my mouth to complain.

Water.org–Sobering facts: 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease; An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.  Donate to Water.org and help build wells, sewer systems, and sanitary drinking lines for the one billion people world-wide who don’t have access to safe water now.

CARE–My father gave consistently to CARE his whole life, because he particularly respected the way they work with women to fight global poverty.  CARE believes that by equipping women with the proper resources, they then have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. More and more studies and reports back this hypothesis up.

This list of more traditional gifts is far from definitive and certainly biased in light of my own preferences and the preferences of those I tend to buy gifts for.  Please do leave any suggestions of your own in the comments!

For Her:


INSPIRATION = customized stationery or thank-you notes (I’m partial to this purveyor), a bold, beautiful scarf from your local museum gift shop, a J. Crew gift certificate, a case of her favorite wine, a set of luxurious-thread-count sheets, first-edition or signed copy of a book that’s been important to her.

SPECIFICS
=

Melissa Borrell Jewelry–Distinctive and finely crafted, Melissa’s jewelry is sold in design shops and museum stores across the country.  She’s a hometown (Houston) artist, so I’m extra excited to share her work with you.

Victoria’s Secret Pajamas–Satin pajamas were a gift from Jill a few years ago and I am still in love with them. Too frivolous for me to have bought for myself, I feel so luxurious, indulgent, & movie-star-like when I wear them.

For Him:

INSPIRATION = a nice bottle of Scotch, a sturdy, waterproof watch with some gleam to it, vintage vinyl, a well-crafted pocket knife, Apple store gift certificate, first-edition or signed copy of a book that’s been important to him.

SPECIFICS =

Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses–Why mess with a classic?  A good pair of sunglasses can do a lot for one’s swagger.

iDesign Dock with Power Speakers–Reasonable price, sleek design, badass sound.  Works for iPhone or iPod.

For Mom:

INSPIRATION = high-end candles, an unusually shaped vase, magazine subscription befitting her interests, pre-filled photo frame, cashmere sweater, a copy of the children’s book she read to you over and over again with an inscription from you on the cover page.

SPECIFICS =

Reusable Shopping Bag–I received one of the Reisenthal Mini-Maxi Bags as a teacher gift a few years ago and have been buying them myself as gifts ever since.  Perfect stocking stuffers, they work well for groceries or gym clothes, beach bag or yoga-mat-carrier.

Quilted Jacket–My mom bought herself one of these L.L. Bean Jackets in Cranberry Red and loves it!  It’s quite easy to guess jacket size, but if you get it wrong, L.L. Bean has a very forgiving return policy & excellent customer service.

For Dad:



INSPIRATION
= a grill or grill accessories, food-or-wine-of-the-month club, magazine subscription befitting his interests, pre-loaded ipod, expensive & silky dress socks, a copy of the children’s book he read to you over and over again with an inscription from you on the cover page.

SPECIFICS
=

Jerky of the Month Club
—This one really doesn’t need an explanation.  At the very least, this gift is least likely to be duplicated by a sibling or relative.

Classic Leather Jacket–This sleek zip-up may not be your dad’s style, but bombers and motorcycle jackets are also to be found.  Remember, it’s our job to help our dads be stylish. Don’t fall down on your duty!

For the Foodie:


INSPIRATION = really nice stemware, quirky tea towels, a gift package of your favorite locally-produced goodies, a stack of cookbooks, a set of nesting mixing bowls, fancy salt, a stunning platter.

SPECIFICS =

White Truffle Oil
–D’Artagnan is the place to find gourmet goodies, but if you need a sure-to-please gift, try this truffle oil.  Packs an incredible flavor and can be used in dozens of applications, from risotto to pasta.

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese–Jess of the beautiful blog Sweet Amandine turned me onto these folks and I’m so glad she did.  You can order their Cheese of the Month or buy a la carte from such goodies as their “World’s Best” Mac and Cheese Kit or 6th Anniversary Collection.

For the Bookworm:

Of course, taste in books is highly personal, but here are some old & new BJG favorites.  Each title links to a description.

FICTION =

*Young Adult*

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)–I took this book home one weekend and couldn’t put it down. I then passed it along to Jill, Sonya, Courtney, John, all of whom had similar responses.  Even better?  Catching Fire, the sequel, is just as good.

Beastly (Alex Flinn)–Every one of my students who have read this modern re-telling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast has loved it, and you can feel good about gifting it because the messaging is solid.  A movie based on the book is scheduled to be released next year, so get them to read the book first!

the dead and the gone (Susan Beth Pfeffer)–Another riveting, intense piece of young adult fiction that translates easily to adult readers.  I’d especially recommend this one for young men or reluctant readers.

Willful Creatures: Stories (Aimee Bender)–One of my all-time favorites, this collection of stories is astonishingly creative and moving.

The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz)–My favorite book club read of 2008.  Highly inventive, blooming with verve.

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlife (David Eagleman)–Devoured this in a few afternoons.  Perfect bedside-table book because you can pick it up here and there without missing a beat.

NONFICTION =

Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children (Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman)–Jill ordered this after we read these authors’ Newsweek cover article, Is Your Baby Racist?  Urgent arguments, substantive research, approachable tone.

Losing Mum & Pup (Christopher Buckley)–A fugue of a book from a square-jawed author. Incredibly touching, especially as someone who has experienced the loss of a parent myself.

Color: A Natural History of the Palette
(Victoria Finlay)–I bought this book at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gift shop and read it on the plane home.  It’s a stunning account of where color comes from, with travel vignettes I still recall vividly.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan)–This book has become somewhat ubiquitous, but for good reason.  If you haven’t read it yet, do.  A book must be powerful if it convinced Jill to buy organic dairy!

For the Pet/Pet-Owner:

INSPIRATION = goodies from Doctors Foster & Smith, handmade wool sweater from Chilly Dog Sweaters, a new collar or leash from Swanky Pet.

SPECIFICS
=

Homemade BJG Dog Treats—as featured a few months ago, these Peanut Butter Treats have never met a dog who didn’t wolf them down!

Furminator—The most incredible pet brush I have ever experienced, with both dog and cat incarnations.  It seriously changed the quality of life for this multi-pet household!  Worth every penny.

For New Babies/Expectant Parents:

INSPIRATION = restaurant gift certificate to the couple’s favorite restaurant, a “coupon book” for future babysitting, body butter & other bath goodies to pamper the pregnant , classic children’s books to build the baby’s library, a diaper bag with a sense of style.

SPECIFICS =

Urban Tots—All kinds of cuteness available here, but I’m especially fond of the Fruits & Veggies onesies, with colorful silk-screened designs and clever slogans: 100% Organic (broccoli), Ripe (banana), Squeezable (orange).  Packaged adorably in green paper berry crates.

Urban Smalls—because every baby needs a vinyl-backed bib that says “MUSH: IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER.”  Other fun baby hats, pants, onesies, & shirts are also available.

For the Kiddos:



INSPIRATION = a Kiva credit, allowing them to finance microloans to entrepreneurs worldwide, movie gift card, gardening gear to help mom & dad, a purse or wallet for that grownup sensation.

SPECIFICS =

Ugly Dolls—So ugly they’re cute.  Even big kids like them!

The Lightning Thief series–Conceived by author Rick Riordan, these novels draw upon ancient Greek mythology to imagine a world where the gods and goddesses of Olympus are alive and well (and living at the top of the Empire State Building).  A great choice for kids from 8-14.

One-Stop Shops:


Duross & Langel—I fell in love with this haven of thoughtfully made bath-and-body goodies on a recent trip to Philadelphia and came away with adorable shark-shaped soaps for my godsons, Moroccan Cedar shower gel for Dave, hand-repair salve for my mom, and dermabrasion face cream for Jill.

Lake Champlain Chocolates–Yeah, I’m kinda obsessed with these people.  They’re a small-batch operation with excellent customer service (Once I placed a big birthday order for a friend using the wrong address. Needless to say, it didn’t reach her, but even when I realized my mistake and offered to pay again, they sent a duplicate order to the right address free of charge).  Everything they make is delicious, but allow me to recommend Vermont Country Gift Basket, Hot Chocolate Sampler, & Organic Holiday Truffles.

BUILT NY—These are the folks responsible for the good-looking neoprene protective coverings you’ve been seeing everywhere.  From laptop sleeves to lunch boxes, you could (literally) have everyone covered with one order.

& last but not least…

Your local bookstore—If you’re not sure where to find an independent, locally-owned-and-operated bookstore in your town, consult this list.  Then plan to spend a good hour or two browsing and setting aside goodies for the ones you love, knowing that the staff will be much more likely to actually help than at a big-box store.  Though a local bookstore’s inventory will be smaller, keep in mind that they can almost always order a particular title for you at no extra charge.

Share/Save/Bookmark

A BLUE JEAN PSA–TAKE TWO

Ya’ll.  Please go buy this kitchen soap.  (It’s even on sale!)

coconut-lime-verbena soap

Come home and wash your hands.  Repeat.  It’s okay, you can repeat, because this stuff is so moisturizing and lovely that it won’t wear out even really sensitive skin like mine.  But even if you don’t repeat, the fresh, subtle scent will stay with you all day.  No, they’re not paying me to say this, although that would be nice.  It’s just that my friend Romy keeps this in her guest bathroom and I finally decided to buy some for myself and now I’m in love.  And when you’re in love, you just can’t keep it to yourself.

So, thanks.  You can go back to your lives now.  Be sure to come back tomorrow, though, for blackberry upside-down cake…oh yes oh yes oh yes.

HOMEMADE DOG TREATS

***GIVEAWAY UPDATE***  Thanks to all who entered; we love hearing about everyone’s doggies, and were tempted to just send you all treats!  However, the random number generator did not suffer from such emotional entanglements & chose commenters 10 & 11, Cheryl & Christy, as our lucky recipients.  They’ll be receiving their treats later this week.  We promise to do this again soon, and in the meantime, urge you to give the recipe a try yourselves.  xx, BJG

Allow me to introduce you to the Blue Jean Puppy.

LD anticipating a biscuit

Pup-pay!  I know, she’s freaking cute, right?  Calling her a puppy, though, is a total misnomer as our L.D. (which stands for Lucky Dawg—we didn’t name her, okay??) is fourteen-plus years old, which for a yellow lab means she’s approximately 107.

I did not grow up with dogs.  In fact, I didn’t have pets of any kind until I met Jill.  At the risk of vast cultural generalization, I’m like most Indian kids I know this way.  Our parents came from a context where it’s tough enough to feed your kids, let alone an extra, alien mouth.  In India, as in many parts of the world, wild dogs run in packs on the street, largely ignored or dodged by citizens.  Having a pet in India is, for most, a status symbol of opulent, extreme wealth.

My parents also fended off any potential begging-for-pets by making it very clear that my mother was allergic to dog & cat hair, so it wasn’t going to happen.  Given this, I made do with vicarious enjoyment of my neighbors’ and friends’ animals; it was never a serious “upset” for me that I didn’t have pets.  As it turns out, the “your mother is allergic” bit was all a ruse!  Oh the lies we tell our children.

Of course, now that I live with this sweet thang (& two very sweet cats in addition), I can’t imagine my life without animals in it.

in the backyard with the dog

We’re probably not going to have our LD for too much longer.  I don’t like thinking about it, not one bit.  Since she’s my first pet, she will also be my first pet death, and I’m not looking forward to that.

I try to stay focused on the fact that our old dog is happy, healthy, and aside from having to wear a diaper these days, enjoys an excellent quality of side-angle dog biscuitslife in her twilight years.  Including these homemade dog treats.

These treats are incredibly easy to make, and they’ve never met a dog they didn’t like (LD, Tillie, Kathleen, Digby, Doodle, Penny, Dillon, Gunny, Murphy, & Buster can all attest!)  And, you don’t have to feel guilty giving these out, because they’re full of only good stuff.

To share the love with some canine friends of Blue Jean Gourmet, we’re having our first giveaway! I’ll be baking up a fresh batch of dog treats this weekend and mailing them out to a few lucky dawgs (c/o their BJG reader-owners).

If you’d like to enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling us about the dog(s) in your life by the end of the day Monday (June 29).  We’ll draw a couple of winners on Tuesday (June 30) morning & notify them via email.

In the meantime, I’m going to go ahead and post the recipe for these treats here, because should you win, your dog may well become addicted.  I’m just sayin’.

PEANUT BUTTER DOG TREATS
adapted from a recipe generously shared by Denise Duncan (who makes them for Molly, Max, & Sophie!)

2 eggs

dog biscuit makings sideways

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup water

¼ cup peanut butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

optional: We keep wheat germ in the freezer to add to smoothies & breads, so I always throw a dash in for puppy health benefits.

preheat oven: 400 degrees F

Combine flour & oats in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly, using a large spoon or your hands.

At this point, you may need to add extra water or extra flour depending upon the texture of the mix.  If you plan to roll out the treats, you’ll want the dough to be pretty stiff and so add more flour.  If you plan to make drop treats, a wetter mixture will do.

(option 1) Roll out the dough in two batches, using more whole wheat flour for the counter.  Somewhere between ¼ – ½ inch thickness is best to insure that the treats stay crunchy but don’t burn.

Use cookie cutters or just a knife to make desired shapes.  Place on a well-greased sheet pan and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Check for browning on the bottom of the treats; cool on wire racks until they’re a safe temperature for your puppy to sample.

(option 2) If you’re thinking, heck, my dog couldn’t care less what shape these things come in, he/she just wants to eat. them. all. now!  then you can either roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls or just scoop out about a tablespoon’s worth at a time onto well-greased cookie sheets, placing them about an inch apart.

Flatten the treats out with a floured palm and bake for 20-25 minutes (because they’re a little thicker than the rolled-out version, they’ll take a bit longer).  Cool on wire racks; let the dog or dogs in the house taste-test for you to assure quality control.

LD crunching on a biscuit

Share/Save/Bookmark

QUICK! QUICK! FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS…

Father’s Day is one week from today, people!  So, just in case you haven’t gotten on the ball yet, here’s a no-frills smattering of gift ideas:planetearth

If you’ve got the funds, spring for a Kindle. Who doesn’t love a fancy gadget? Great for traveling Dads/husbands/etc.

The BBC’s Planet Earth series is available on DVD, visually stunning, and great for families to watch together.

homegame200 I heard this fantastic interview on NPR a few weeks ago with Michael Lewis, the author of Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood.  He happens to be married to Tabitha Soren (remember her from MTV?) and wrote a no-holds-barred account of his journey from reluctant to enthusiastic dad.  Based on the interview, the book promises to be a hilarious read.

record player

For the music aficionado, I love this combo record/CD/radio player.  Excellent retro styling.

Build-your-own shaving kit here; browse through clever t-shirts for hipster dads here.

You knew I was going to offer some foodie ideas, right?

glasses I am a big fan of these “Ottimista/Pessimista” glasses in either beer or wine size.  If Dad’s really into beer, give him a home brewing kit; is he more into wine?  There’s a starter kit to DIY that, too.  Should you have a grilling master on your hands, monogrammed grill tools may be the way to go, and I don’t think one can go wrong with a set of beautiful steak knives.

If you really want to win points for originality, allow me to point you in the direction of the Jerky-of-the-Month Club.  A new flavor, every month for six months.  The internet is a wonderful thing, no?

Last but certainly not least, consider giving a Kiva credit, not just for Father’s Day but for any gifting occasion.  The recepient uses the credit you gave to loan out various amounts to entrepreneurs all over the world.  Each invidual’s picture and story are featured on the website, and Kiva notifies you when the money has been paid back so you can loan it out again and again.  An extremely empowering thing for individuals on both sides of the bargain.

sangria with pitcher (big)Of course, you may be planning to cook for your Dad on Sunday; don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Friday we’ll feature an excellent brunch menu of Eggs Benedict & The Best Bloody Marys.  In the meantime, the Summer Classics Series will continue on Tuesday with a big pitcher of Sangria.  Ole!