Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs

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Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak
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Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs

Possessing a perfect combination of effervescence and technical know-how, Julia Child managed to usher a Betty Crocker nation out of the processed-food aisles and back into their kitchens. That mentality is seeing a resurgence today, and Julia has inspired yet another generation of DIYers to discover the beauty and simplicity of traditional French cuisine. (Write-ups by Alicia Purvis-Lariviere)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

Julia Child was a huge fan of Descoware, a now-defunct Belgian line of enameled iron cooking pots. Whether braising, baking or simply simmering a soup, it’s hard to do without a good casserole. Luckily, Le Creuset has carried on the tradition with almost identical cookware, one-upping its predecessor with an array of sassy colors. Their 5 1/2-quart casserole is a perfect size for the home cook. $240 • The Kitchen Engine • 621 W. Mallon Ave.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients,” Julia said. Where better to acquire the best our area has to offer than Main Market? Throw some chocolate, wine, and cheese in a basket you’ve been itching to get rid of and — voila — instant thoughtful gift! Be sure to include some Straus Family European Style organic butter for those extra-special baked goods. Trust me, there’s a difference. $8 • Main Market • 44 W Main Ave.

In 2008, the Office of Strategic Services declassified the late Julia Child’s personnel file, outing her as a World War II research assistant responsible for processing all kinds of secret intelligence. The job also led her to Ceylon, where fellow OSS employee, foodie extraordinaire and future husband Paul Child was also posted. I’d like to think she used all kinds of cool spy technology, such as this high-resolution self-contained spy camera pen featured at the Spokane-based Spy Store (yes, that’s right, our city is rad enough to have a store that sells spy equipment). Channel your inner secret-agent-Julia! $129 • The Spy Store •

It may be one of the more diminutive editions in her impressive oeuvre, but Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom ranks among its most important. Filled with shortcuts, base recipes, improved techniques and an itemized list of recommended tools, it packs the punch of a 135-page cheat sheet to the books that took the master decades to perfect. $15 • Auntie’s • 402 W. Main Ave.

When asked what she believed was the most important tool in the kitchen, Julia simply replied, “a good knife.” The 7-inch Wusthof Grand Prix Santoku knife is the perfect size to handle most cutting jobs in the kitchen, and the little gill-like indentations in the blade prevent food from sticking to it. $73 • Bitterroot Cutlery • 4025 N. Government Way, CdA

Pumped to make gratin dauphinois and peach clafoutis tonight but not so jacked about all the damn peeling ahead? A good peeler is a must in anyone’s kitchen. OXO’s set includes the regular and serrated varieties, the latter specializing in soft, fleshy fruits and veggies like tomatoes and kiwi. $15 • Williams-Sonoma • 808 W. Main Ave.

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Gifts for Bad Cops

You want to be better. Maybe you want to be better at your job, more effective at catching the bad guys and making the world a safer place. Maybe you just don’t want to crack and go apeshit on anybody. Practice and precision, my friends. Here are our suggestions for you. (Write-ups by Joe O'Sullivan)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

Ready to step back and find inner peace, the path to nonviolence? Head to the Davenport Hotel for the 65th Annual Northwest Buddhist Convention. Rev. Marvin Kenji Harada of the Orange County Buddhist Church is the keynote speaker. Sweetness. $90 for adults ($115 after Dec. 31) • Davenport Hotel • 10 S. Post St. • Feb. 17-19

Want to relieve all the aggression you built up during a day of interminable altercations with suspects? Hop on this balance board — use either your hands or your feet — to release the tension from your muscles and get those endorphins flowing. $25 • Spokane Exercise • 530 W. Main Ave.

Does going to a safe place mean pulling the trigger? Head to the gun range with these splattering targets. They look like a mix of a zombie and an office worker, or an office-worker-turned-zombie. Or a zombie-turned-office-worker. But who cares? The point is you’re letting off some steam. $8 • The White Elephant • 1730 N. Division St.

All that working out and you’re still stressed? You need aromatherapy. Light up some incense, stick it in a miniature elephant, and take a deep breath. Comes with two scents: musk and amber. Really, are there better smells out there? $7 • World Market • 6125 N. Division St.

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Gifts for the Allergic

Kudos to you human tanks out there — ye who laugh in the face of the common cold, wear shorts through winter and deem sneezes the call of the weak-willed. Not all of us are so lucky as to have been born with robot parts for innards.

It does seem like the world is getting a little more sensitive though, right? Everybody’s allergic to something these days — not just the penicillin and shellfish of yesteryear. Wheat, soy, dairy, dust, pet dander, hay, latex, fragrances — even light — have become the latest human kryptonite. And so here are a few little items that can make someone’s holiday just that much more comfortable. (Write-ups by Leah Sottile)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

Of all the things out there to be allergic to, can we all agree that being photosensitive — essentially, allergic to sunlight — is the shittiest allergy one could have? To have to sit in the summer sunshine under an umbrella … that’s gotta be the pits. Hope is found in this inconspicuous jar, though. By day, it looks like a frosty little mason jar — the kind of thing you might keep sugar in. But set the jar on a windowsill during the day and the sun will charge up the LED light. Later, it will produce a soft, ambient sun-like glow. Part candle, part bottled sunshine, it’s the kind of thing that could make just about anybody smile in the doldrums of winter. $40 • Boo Radley’s • 232 N. Howard St.

Sweet-toothed coeliacs, lament no longer! Valerie Cupillard has got your back! The acclaimed French cookbook author gives the gluten-intolerant recipes for things they probably never thought they’d eat again: brioche, sponge cakes, crepes. Full of bright, colorful food photos, Cupillard’s book instructs readers how and when to use quinoa flour versus rice flour, and how to make a gluten-free cake rise. You know, the stuff that keeps coeliacs awake at night. $25 • ABC Christian Bookstore and Vegetarian Food Outlet • 3715 S. Grove Rd.

Candles should be a tiny, comforting luxury — not something that makes you nauseous or brings on a headache. People with sensitivities to fragrances are in luck with Big Dipper Wax Works candles, sold locally at Sun People Dry Goods. Find everyday glass jar candles, votives, tapers and even tiny tea lights made from beeswax. And, for the holidays, they have packs of 45 Hanukkah candles ($23) or a three-pack of holiday candles in spice, pine and mint scents. $1-23 • Sun People Dry Goods • 32 W. Second Ave, Ste. 200

Avoid explaining your allergies and make an impression with Café Press’s genius allergy-friendly buttons and T-shirts — like the clever “No Nuts for Me” buttons, and “PeaNOT” shirts. There’s lots of double entendres here to keep these things light-hearted, but there’s some real use to them, too. Like the “No Dairy!” baby onesies. Others are just straight-up hilarious — can you really picture yourself wearing an “I’m allergic to cats” sweatshirt? Head to the Café Press website and search “allergy” to find some gems and some snicker-worthy duds. $4-$32 • Café Press •

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Gifts for the 1 Percent

You see them around. They lurk around Huckleberry’s, or the Spokane Club. They have the pallor of Elmer’s Glue and more green than a Christmas tree farm. They are the 1 Percent. They might have everything, but, for the sake of propriety or even, possibly, necessity, you still have to buy your local affluent white man something for Christmas. Here are some ideas to jog your mind. (Write-ups by Chris Stein)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

Nothing says you’re living the life like hanging around in a bathrobe all day. After all, when your money’s already been made (and then some), why bother with button-ups? The modern 1-Percenter wants the one item of clothing he wears in a typical day to be as posh as him, and made by the same guy that makes his suits. That’d be this Hugo Boss Bath Robe, priced at way-too-expensive and perfect for a man who has everything yet prefers to wear, well, nothing. $129 • Nordstrom • 828 W. Main Ave.

The price of this vinegar would suggest that King Midas himself touched the bottle. Not the case: This balsamic vinegar is uncut with wine and older than the author of this article. And it’s from Italy. All 1 percenters like things from Italy. Don’t deny the prince in your life the opportunity to make the world’s most expensive bruschetta. $189 • Oil and Vinegar • River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave. #201

When the 1-Percenter can’t finish his 1990 bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in one night (or morning), he must cover it with something. But you wouldn’t want a crumbly cork to pollute a bottle of fine red. Opt instead for a hand-blown glass bottle stopper by local lamp worker Ken Frybarger. $45 • Tinman Gallery • 811 W. Garland Ave.

The government wants my money! My land! My Lincoln Town Car! These are the worries of the cultured 1-Percenter. What will put the inconsolable richie in your life at ease? How about a lobbyist? For about $5,000 a month, Strategies 360, a Seattle-based consulting and lobbying firm, will have one of their men be your eyes and ears in Olympia. $5,000 a month, maybe • Strategies 360 • 1505 Westlake Ave., Suite 1000, Seattle

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Gifts for Revolutionaries

You aspire to topple crooked bureaucrats and put thieving corporations out of business. You envision a utopia where everyone isn’t royally screwed. You write political pamphlets in your spare time. But bear in mind, the business of revolution is business. And we’ve got a few, ahem, accessories that any successful revolutionary will need. (Write-ups by Joe O'Sullivan)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

We’ve been hearing a quite bit about the Occupy Wall Street folks and their ilk not having any sanitary places to, er, occupy. So give this present to your aspiring revolutionary, to make sure he or she can keep generally clean wherever the uprising happens to occur. Comes with toilet seat and bucket. Brilliant. $18 • Cabela’s • 101 North Cabela Way, Post Falls, Idaho

You can’t beat The Man without first knowing what’s he up to. So grab a pair of binoculars and start spying. These 10x50 lenses will help you zoom in and stay appraised of your oppressor’s every movement. $25 • The General Store • 2424 N. Division St.

Face it: It’s not so easy to keep your smell desirable while you’re wallowing in the wilderness of civil war. These little gems will make a great stocking stuffer for your hygienically challenged class warrior. Liberté, fraternité and minty freshness! $3 • Auntie’s Bookstore • 402 W. Main Ave.

No uprising is complete without fashion. Better still, to have a local twist. Try “Spokanarchy” if you’re feeling chaotic, or if you want the more traditional route of independence, go for “Spokanada” or “Spoklahoma.” $16-$17 • Boo Radley’s • 232 N. Howard St.

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Gifts for the Needy

While checking gifts for loved ones off your list, consider also helping someone less fortunate. There are many possible items you could choose to donate and numerous organizations you could choose to donate to. These are a few suggestions given to us by local charities. If none of them strike your fancy, or your own finances are a bit difficult this year, pick your favorite organization and donate a little time. (Write-ups by Lydia Zuraw)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

Fingers, along with noses and toes, are the first to freeze when the weather turns cold. Well-insulated gloves are usually better remedies for this than stuffing hands in pockets. Expensive-looking items can be a burden to homeless men living on the streets or in a shelter, but these plain black gloves provide the comfort and warmth expected from North Face gear without the conspicuous branding. Buy it: $65 • The North Face • 714 W. Main Ave. • Donate it: House of Charity • 32 E. Pacific Ave. • Mon-Thurs, 8 am–5 pm

High gas prices have encouraged many to abandon their cars in favor of bicycles and buses, but this isn’t an option for the sick kids staying at the Ronald McDonald House, where they receive treatments from local hospitals. The gift of a gas card — much-needed, according to the organization — can help parents ferry their sick kids to get the treatment they need. Buy it: $10 or $25 • Tesoro2Go • 3158 E. 17th Ave. • Donate it: Ronald McDonald House • 1015 W. Fifth Ave. • Mon-Fri, 8 am – 6 pm • Sat-Sun, 9 am to 9 pm.

A clean dog is a happy owner. Help the ownerless pups at the Spokane Humane Society look their best with all-natural peppermint and tea tree conditioning shampoo. This hypoallergenic product lathers well, rinses easily and is made with pure essential oils that heal skin irritations. Buy it: $13 • Urban Canine • 1220 S. Grand Blvd #C • Donate it: Spokane Humane Society • 6607 N. Havana St. • Mon-Fri 11 am–6 pm • Sat-Sun 11 am–5 pm

Help a woman in the Childbirth and Parenting Assistance Program adjust to motherhood with a soothing newborn sleeper. This model from Fisher-Price has an adjustable incline for babies who need their heads elevated, and it rocks easily with a gentle push. Buy it: $60 • Babies “R” Us • 6104 N. Division St • Donate it: Childbirth and Parenting Assistance (CAPA) Program • 12 E. Fifth Ave. • Mon-Thurs, 8 am–5 pm

Board games like Apples to Apples Junior, which helps kids develop their vocabulary, are both educational and fun for elementary school children in the Salvation Army’s afterschool program, the Link. Donate this favorite childhood game today. Buy it: $24 • Uncle’s Games, Puzzles & More • 404 W. Main Ave. • Donate it: The Salvation Army • 204 E. Indiana Ave.

Show a child suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, famine or poverty somewhere in the world that they are loved by sending a box of gifts. Through the Operation Christmas Child website, you can virtually pack an empty shoe box with gifts, a personal greeting and a photo, and the organization will deliver it to a child in need. You can even track your box to its destination country, where it will be hand-delivered. $35 • Samaritan’s Purse •

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Gifts for Jetsetters

Help the jetsetter on your list — whether she’s a business exec or a frequent-flying couch-surfer — prepare for the boring knowns of travel (the cramped airplane seats, the musty hotel room), so she can be less prepared for the great and surprising unknowns that the road has to offer. (Write-ups by Joel Smith)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

Just ask Rick Steves. The Seattle-based chronicler of quaint European adventures swears by the use of noise-canceling headphones on long international flights. The headset samples the ambient sound and plays it back through the earphones — but in reverse phase, thus canceling out the ambient sound. The result isn’t complete silence, but it’s quiet enough that your jetsetter will arrive in Qatar feeling far more refreshed than if he’d spent the flight being pummeled by the drone of the engines. The bonus is that this set — the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC1 — is a fraction of the cost of fancy Bose headphones, and their slight cups fit more readily into the seat-back pocket. $150 • Sears at NorthTown • 4750 N. Division St.

One of the coolest gifts you can get a traveler (I love mine), this Flip-style digital video camera shoots in 1080p HD, it’s built like a tank, and you can film up to 10 feet underwater. Auteurs will find a lot lacking, but its portable size and ease of use mean that when adventure strikes, you’ll be capturing it all, while others fumble for their lens caps. $135 • Best Buy • 15223 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley

God help your favorite jetsetter if he has to stumble out to the Louvre or the Hanging Gardens without a strong cup of caffeinated something. If he packs this immersion heater with him, he won’t ever have to worry if he’s stuck in a hostel with no coffee machine or hot water (it includes a European adapter plug). You just drop it in your cup and bring your morning to life. $15 • REI • 1125 N. Monroe St.

Clocks and watches may be going the way of the rotary phone, but up in the rarefied air at 30,000 feet, where connectivity is forbidden and time zones fly by, this little multi-function clock from Eagle Creek is still pretty handy. Your giftee can figure out how much her dollars are worth in St. Moritz, check the time in 16 different cities around the globe, set her alarm, and sleep soundly all the way to Switzerland. $17 • Mountain Gear • 2002 N. Division St.

Northwest Maps has a ton of great stuff for the eager traveler, especially those stomping through the Northwest. But for the more globally minded, get them this trio of books from Lonely Planet: The Travel Book (which profiles every country in the world), The Cities Book (with tidbits and stunning photos from every burg worth mentioning), and their Guide to the Middle of Nowhere (if your traveler is of the misanthropic variety). $115 • Northwest Maps • 10525 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley

Don’t let your traveler be caught out in Wales or Wallonia. This little beauty of an umbrella has a 40-inch arc but folds down to just under seven inches, making it eminently pocketable and ready to wield. $18 • Bergman Luggage • 707 W. Main Ave.

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Gifts for Local College Sports Fans

Anyone can wear a sweatshirt or put a bumper sticker on their car. Diehard college sports fans need to show their pride by branding much more unusual or unexpected items with their school logo. Here are some creative ways to perpetuate the love and support of the fan in your life. (Write-ups by Lydia Zuraw)

Gifts for Aspiring Julia Childs
Young Kwak

For descriptions of each item, hover your mouse over the image.

Since 2003, it’s been a Cougar tradition to have a WSU flag waving in the background of every ESPN College GameDay broadcast, regardless of who’s playing, and where. The idea began on a fan forum, with the reasoning that if GameDay won’t go to Pullman, Cougars fans would go to GameDay. Each week, the 3-foot-by-5-foot crimson flag is mailed to the next operative in the network, who unfurls it for the camera-wide shots. If your giftee this holiday season can’t crack into the network, they can at least wave the flag proudly in their living room. $40 • Washington State University Bookstore • Compton Union Building • 1500 NE Terrell Mall, Pullman

Babies don’t care about college, but their parents do. Help mom and dad alums show off their Whitworth pride by dressing their new family member in Pirates baby booties. The red-and-black footwear will fit 3- to 6-month-olds. $9 • Whitworth University Bookstore • 300 W. Hawthorne Rd.

Give this hat to the Zags nut on your list and they’ll fit right in down at the Kennel. It may be embarrassing and/or extreme, but wearing a large stuffed bulldog on your head is the mark of true dedication. $25 • Official Gonzaga University Fan Shop •

It’s tailgate time! Whether you like your burger as red as the Eagles football field or well-done, this set of non-stick grilling tools will cook it to perfection. The spatula, barbecue fork and heavy-duty tongs are stainless steel, with wood handles branded in Eastern Eagles lettering. $27 • University Bookstore • 152 Pence Union Bldg, Cheney, Wash.

Look your most dapper with a Suntime pocket watch in gold tone plating and matching 12-inch chain. Hopefully the Vandals logo and quartz-accurate Japanese movement will ensure that you’re never late for a game. And for those who don’t wear gold, the watch also comes in silver. $60 • VandalStore • 710 Deakin Street, Moscow, Idaho

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The Empire Strikes Palestine: A Film Festival @ Magic Lantern Theatre

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