HAPPY HOLIDAY$$$$$$$. If you came here for a sweet little ditty about the “true spirit” of the holidays, you might be in the wrong department. Unless that true spirit is SPENDING! Jingle jingle jingle! Ho ho hoooo! (That’s me ringing a set of reindeer bells and cackling wildly in the aisles of Target.)
Ladies and gents, we’re here to celebrate the best part of the holiday season (other than the cheese balls): OPENING PRESENTS. Receiving presents. Thinking about what presents others have yet to bestow upon me. Exchanging mediocre presents for what I really wanted. But before I get to that last part, you could just buy me exactly what I desire from the get-go—these 12 unnecessary-but-beautiful-and-often-useful kitchen items. Stuff I want! Stuff I might need at some point! And I can’t be the only one.
Do you need any of these items to successfully make a Basically recipe? No. But will you be glad to have them? Will you show them off to your friends, family, and pets? Will you sleep with them by your side? Yes, yes, and yes.
All products featured on Basically are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.
A Cheery Red Cherry Pitter
Once a year I make a cherry pie. Once a year I make a cherry galette. Once a year I make cherry clafoutis. And a few times a year I need to pit Castelvetranos. That rough math comes out to: JUST GET ME A PITTER.
Buy it: $12 from Target
A Moody Mortar and Pestle
I wanna smash some stuff. A mortar and pestle has utility, yes—it brings out your spices’ freshest, boldest flavors. But it’s also great for crushing nuts (for this omgawwwd romesco sauce) and cramming garlic into a paste. Let’s now focus on where it really functions, and that’s lookin’ pretty on open shelves. This big black marble one portrays a cook who is serious and glamorous. Me me me! I could also smash any home intruders over the head with it. Now that’s useful!
Buy it: $150 from Food52
Speaking of things that look pretty on open shelves, I don’t need a donabe! But I WANT one. Oh yes. Handmade earthenware. Even heat and insulation and “far-infrared ray-distribution.” Think of all the healthy soups and steamed black bass fillets I’ll whip up in this when I have the upper arm strength to get it down from the shelf.
Buy it: $180 from Jinen
A Tiny Tomato Knife
I have a big serrated knife, but life is too short for such long knives. I need a small guy to cut tomatoes from the months of July through October and grapes from January through December. You don’t cut grapes year-round? You do now!
Buy it: $9 on Amazon
An Expensive Apron
There comes a time in every cook’s life when she knows that her smash burgers will be crispier, her pasta glossier, and her potato slices thinner—if only she had the right apron for the job. The kind of apron that will manifest into better cooking. If you look the part, you’ll become the part. Years of experience? Who has the time? This deep denim-looking apron from Freitag is sturdy yet lightweight and already broken-in (it’s linen and hemp, something eco-friendly called F-ABRIC that can go weeks without washing). It hides oil and food stains. It has pockets. It has cool and adjustable stripe-y straps. It’s $150?!?!! It’s COMPOSTABLE. Worth every penny, of someone else’s pennies.
Buy it: $150 from Freitag
A Set of Frenchy Steak Knives
Laguiole is a style of knives made in the village of, you guessed it, Laguiole in central France. It’s largely ripped off at tourist shops in New Orleans and on the internet at large because it has no trademark. So this set, in olive wood with an unnecessary holder with a prominent metal seal sold by trustworthy Williams Sonoma, is how you say, l’égit. But the absolute pleasure of a Laguiole knife is the tiny bumblebee on the handle. That’s what we’re here for.
Buy it: $100 for 6 from Williams Sonoma
A Rectangular—I Said Rectangular!—Tart Pan
If I had my very own tart pan, I might bake three to five tarts annually. That’s 65 tarts a decade, adjusted for inflation! But it’s gotta be rectangular. Long-legged rhubarb was born for this moment. Every tart made in a rectangular pan is like buying a work of art already custom-framed. Pleaseeeee!
Buy it: $18 from Williams Sonoma
A Pretty Green Casserole
Like the donabe, whatever you cook in a pretty casserole can go straight from oven-to-table. As a person who could tone it down a notch, I dig the calming minty green of this one made by BergHOFF. Sure, I have an oil-splattered Lodge Dutch oven (thanks, Santa!) that serves the same functional purpose. But the Lodge, at this point, looks like it’s survived a ride on the back of Mad Max’s Interceptor. It’s been through some shit. The BergHOFF is like changing out of your overalls into your church clothes. Nice.
Buy it: $180 from Food52
A Speckly Spoon Rest
Oh, you think I could just wipe the counter after? Are you crazy????
Buy it: $28 from Schoolhouse
A Lazy MF-ing SUSAN
Food on the table is meant for sharing, but I can’t stop everything I’m doing to keep passing the salt and chile crisp. But if there’s going to be a slab of spinning wood on the center of the table, it needs to look as good as a vase of flowers. This one from Terrain is mango wood (?!) and brass with a scrolling subtle leaf pattern.
Buy it: $100 from Terrain
A Salt, I Mean “Sel,” Jar
Put this salt cellar on the lazy Susan, call it a day. It’s glass and has a nice riveted pattern and a wooden lid that nestles in. Classy. I like the “SEL” label because my guests will think, “Oh, she must speak French,” increasing my worth in their judgmental, Francophile minds. Fooled ‘em!
Buy it: $18 from Magnolia Market
Trivets That Looks Like Cute-Ass Leaves
JUST LOOK AT THEM.
Buy it: $64 from Garmentory
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit