simple gifts

by Stacy

It wasn’t our usual Christmas this year, but we had family, food, and festivities. We also had presents!

Unsurprisingly, I got a nice stack of books. Mmmm, books.

christmas books

A few for reading: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris, and Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

And a few for cooking: The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (this book is gorgeous), The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Mollie Katzen of The Moosewood Cookbook, and Cooking by James Peterson

Most of my cookbooks are still in Minnesota, but should be arriving via special courier (thanks, Dad!) in a few weeks. I’m hoping to do a bit of a “cook the book” type project next year to make myself use the cookbooks I have instead of just pouncing on recipes from the blogs I read. I have already started flagging a few in each of these books!

As much as I love books (and trust me, it’s a lot), a fantastic gift arrived with my husband’s parents who drove to California from Arizona to spend Christmas with us.

christmas citrus

Fruit! They have a lemon tree in Arizona, so not only did they bring us a huge box with lemons, but my husband’s aunt and uncle also sent along over a dozen giant ruby red grapefruit (and a few teeny limes!) from their tree. I’ve been enjoying the grapefruit for breakfast, and have even shared a few with my husband.

ruby red grapefruit

Yum. No scurvy here! I can’t wait until our tree’s tiny limes are big enough to harvest.

Now I just have to decide how to use all those wonderful lemons. The possibilities are endless…

A few other gifts were kitchen-related and will appear in the next few posts! What was your favorite gift, either that you gave or received? I gave my husband a computer game and don’t expect to see him for a few days.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Hodge Podge December 31, 2009 at 6:48 am

Cookbooks and fresh fruit that is the jackpot in my mind. I got a composter for Christmas that I’m so excited about!


stacy December 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm

With our CSA share, we’ve been so inundated with veggies that I feel guilty buying produce. This is seriously some of the best grapefruit I’ve ever had. Yum.

Oooh, a composter! We’ve talked about taking advantage of the storage bin sales to get a second bin for the patio. I love presents that sound strange but are actually really good gifts (we got my in-laws a “travel kit” we assembled for their upcoming trip to China, including hand sanitizer and Pepto Bismol — they loved it).


Karen Sue December 31, 2009 at 9:56 am

So what’s the corduroy and denim book about? I have been living with a hubby who has been hacking and coughing for 2 weeks, so I’ve been downing oranges and OJ pretty heavy. Fruit just gives you that boost. Is your tree outside? I’d have to grow one inside, but I’m being tempted to get a small one and try it.


stacy December 31, 2009 at 1:23 pm

David Sedaris writes humorous memoirs. He’s a frequent contributor to This American Life, one of the best shows on public radio. I recently read his newest book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, usually reading an essay each night before going to bed. I kept laughing so much that I would have to explain bits to my husband who finally just read the book when I was done and really enjoyed it, so he bought me this one for Christmas.

Yep, we keep the tree on the patio. We’ve brought it in a few nights when it got below 45 degrees, though. We wanted something that we couldn’t have in the Midwest, and this qualifies! They can live indoors in the winter, but they still need lots of sunshine. We specifically chose a dwarf variety that could live in a container.


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