Hanukkah is almost over, and with Christmas a little less than two weeks away, it’s time to get your gift situation locked in. For our money, food-related gifts are always a safe bet, whether last-minute or not. But before you finalize your Amazon order, consider spending your dollars on some of the items listed below, all of which are made, written, or taught by Brooklyn locals.
In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean
Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen
We wrote about Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Hawa Hassan, and her new cookbook, last month. ‘In Bibi’s Kitchen’ is a compilation of recipes from eight East African countries bordering the Indian Ocean, each contributed by a different bibi, the Swahili word for grandmother. Recipes for quintessential dishes from this region, like Ethiopia’s doro wat or Somalia’s Suugo Suqaar, are accompanied by intimate portraits of bibis and their families and useful facts on each country’s history, culture, and geography.
Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes For When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason
Writer and Brooklynite Julia Bainbridge has extensively covered the world of non-alcoholic drinks, and her new book is filled with recipes that put as much emphasis on flavor and technique as traditional alcoholic cocktails, contributed by bartenders around the country. Recipes range from the Cherry, Ginger, and Coconut Cream Ale to the Verjuz Spritz, a mixture of unripe fruit juice with tonic and soda waters.
Coffee and Beverages
Vietnamese Coffee Lover’s Bundle
Nguyen Coffee Supply
Brooklyn’s Sahra Nguyen launched Nguyen Coffee Supply in 2018, bringing responsibly grown Vietnamese coffee beans to the U.S. from a small farmer in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. In addition to her beans, which are roasted locally in Red Hook, Nguyen also sells the small metal coffee filters known as phin. The Vietnamese Coffee Lover’s Bundle comes with three phin – a four-ounce, a 12 ounce, and a 24 ounce – as well as a trio of the brand’s signature beans. There’s also the Original Phin Kit, which comes with one bag of beans and a single four-ounce filter.
Order online from the Nguyen Coffee Supply website. Delivery by 12/24 not guaranteed as of yesterday.
Small Batch Aperitivo and Bag-in-Box Cocktails
Greenpoint distillery St. Agrestis has recently begun offering three of their pre-batched, handcrafted cocktails – a Negroni, a Manhattan, and a Boulevardier – in boxed form. The 60-ounce boxes come completely ready-to-drink, and are enough for about 20 cocktails. Also available are the company’s signature amaro and aperitivo.
Available to order online. Customers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens should order by end of the day on Tuesday, December 22nd for delivery on Wednesday.
Anjali’s Chai Masala and Resilience Turmeric Elixir
Woman-owned brand Bija Bhar is currently selling jars of Brooklyn-based founder Anjali Bhargava’s chai masala blend, created in partnership with spice company Burlap & Barrel. The blend contains single origin and equitably sourced spices like ginger, saffron, and black pepper, as well as Bhargava’s own Hawaiian turmeric. It can be purchased on its own or in a bundle with Bhargava’s Resilience Turmeric Elixir powder, the brand’s flagship product.
Order online for holiday shipping by Monday, December 21st, though they advise doing so sooner.
Condiments and Jams
Hot Pepper Sauce
Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce
Black-owned hot sauce company Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce crafts its eponymous product with fresh hot chiles, vinegar, and ingredients like horseradish and mustard. Founder Andre Springer, drag performer and Bed-Stuy resident, offers four varieties, all inspired by his Barbadian roots: the original Hot Pepper Sauce; the mild green Mx. Green Sass; Oooomami, and Spicier Smoke.
Trade Street Jam Co.
Minority and woman-owned jam company Trade Street Jam Co. sells fruit-forward jams in flavors like Smoked Yellow Peach and Strawberry Chipotle & Fig. Founder Ashley Rouse, a chef with over 15 years of experience, crafts her jams in small batches using a minimal amount of sugar, emphasizing the flavor of each fruit.
Merry Melon Pan Holiday Treat Box
Hadley Go Lucky
Prospect Heights pastry chef Hadley Hauser offers a full menu of made-to-order baked goods inspired by nature, Japanese culture, and pop culture favorites like Animal Crossing and Star Wars. For the holidays, Hauser is selling her Merry Melon Pan Holiday Treat Box, complete with homemade cookies and a Japanese snack bread called melon pan (not actually melon-flavored), shaped like a Christmas tree. $4 from each box sale will be donated to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, the largest emergency feeding program in NYC.
Order online by Friday, December 18th, for pickup between December 22nd and 24th. Preorders for shipping are closed.
DIY Miso, Kombucha, and Vinegar Workshops
Fermentation start-up Contraband Ferments is offering an exciting array of virtual workshops on how to make products like miso and kombucha at home. Participants learn about the history, science, and nutritional benefits of fermented food, and are provided with a list of ingredients to purchase ahead of time.
Workshops can be purchased online.
Zoom Cooking Classes for Kids
The Dynamite Shop
Started in 2017 by cookbook author Dana Bowen and food writer Sara Kate, The Dynamite Shop is an online culinary school aimed at getting kids excited about cooking. They offer both individual weekend classes and a longer after-school program, called The Dynamite Dinner Club, and each class is centered on either a single recipe or a full meal. Kids learn to make recipes like fall vegetable bibimbap with a fried egg, sheet pan pizza, and chicken tikka masala.
Classes can be purchased online.