The Last-Minute Gift Every Cook in Your Life Will Love

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Last-minute holiday shopping is one of my least favorite things. I want all my gifts to be thoughtful and special, not something I bought in an anxiety-induced haze. Unfortunately, last-minute holiday shopping is not something I’m wholly unfamiliar with. Christmas is basically here and I am still scrambling. I need a vacation (and at least one strong cocktail). 

A bright spot in my day today was when I was reminded that the best gifts are often ones that don’t come in the mail via triple express delivery that costs as much as the present itself. The best gifts are about traditions, memories, and food — ideally a trifecta of all those things.

Christine Platt, aka The Afrominimalist, reminded me (via Instagram) that recipes handed down from one generation to the next, or from one friend to another, are always a good idea — especially if they are packaged in a cute tin, notebook, or binder.

The Afrominimalist called out this floral-printed box from Rifle Paper Co. (which will even arrive in time for Christmas if you order by December 18!): “It’s sentimental and bittersweet to think of my daughter staining these cards with ingredients as she makes the dishes by herself one day.” 

She also recommends searching out recipe boxes in vintage and thrift stores — and commenters mention binders and notebooks as viable options as well. 

“That exact recipe box has been on my wish list for ages,” writes one commenter. “But I have to be honest with myself, I’m more of a recipe notebook person. These cards make me anxious, I wouldn’t want to mess them up. I make copious margin notes, adjustment scribbles, and sticking to just writing on the lines is simply not how my brain works. Plus the restriction of the category tabs! So stressful.”

I also have to add that Christine’s kitchen makes me so happy. Often, I find that “minimalism” can feel so joyless, but there’s so much color and light and just the right amount of things on the counters! And P.S.: Christine, if you’re reading this, please send me your sour cream pound cake recipe!