With the winter holidays upon us, you might be thinking about gifts for your friends, familia, and activist comrades. We thought we'd share these ideas with you.
1. A gift basket with a cookbook, or a few of your favorite recipes, and some ingredients—
When Catriona's nephew Cisco moved into his own apartment, his mom Christine wrote out family recipes for chile beans, green chile stew, and red chile enchiladas. She used index cards, and gave the recipes with ingredients and a mixing spoon. Contents of gift basket in above photo are Rancho Gordo Vaquero Beans, Ancient Agro Vermicilli for making fideo, Gold Mine Organic Masa Harina, and a small package of epazote.
2. Gift a few jars filled with organic beans, pumpkin or chia seeds, amaranth, quinoa, etc—
Use recycled jars or buy ball jars, used for canning, at the hardware store. In the canning section, they sell plastic lids for canning jars which are excellent if you are using your jars to store dried goods. Make labels with the product packaging or make your own.
3. Gift small jars filled with dried herbs, dried flowers, spices: Mexican oregano, Epazote, Cumin, Coriander, Dried Chipotle Chile Powder, Bay Leaves, Vanilla Beans, Hibiscus flowers, etc—
We like Spicely Herbs as they come in small quantities and have organic options. Another online source that has a great reputation is Mountain Rose Herbs. Mountain Rose Herbs sells organic hibiscus flowers for making jamaica or tacos.
You could also mix up a blend of spices, like the ones we use for Chicana Power Chile Beans (p. 111), which includes cumin, coriander, allspice, oregano, ground ancho chile, cayenne, and paprika.
4. For a friend that likes sweet breakfasts, support White Earth Land Recovery Project with a gift of wild rice pancake mix and maple syrup—
5. A crock pot is a great gift—
We are big advocates of inexpensive, simple models....they last forever and do the job. Read the reviews online to get ideas and then buy locally: This one is small. This one is larger. You can also find crock pots at your hardware store, drug store, flea market, or thrift store. Our current crockpot came from a thrift and we've been using it for five years, after our fancier one broke.
6. If you think the person is willing, a tortilla press is not too expensive, readily available and a thoughtful gift—
Luz recently lost their tortilla press. I know, how is that even possible!?! We just bought this model and we like it. You can find tortilla presses, including this model or something similar, at your local Mexican market or online.
Gift the tortilla press with instructions for making corn tortillas (p. 155) and tlacoyos (p. 138 and 141).
7. For something really special, give your loved one a molcajete—
Buy a vintage molcajete on ebay for about $30 or a new one at your local Mexican market.
8. For the young ones, children's books—
Gary Soto's Too Many Tamales
Jorge Argueto's Salsa: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem (drop dead gorgeous artwork by Duncan Tonatiuh), published by Groundwood Press
Jorge Argueto's Sopa de Frijoles/Bean Soup available at Luna's Press & Bookstore
9. Inspire with Chicanx Artwork—
Support contemporary artists and share their work with loved ones. These artists have reasonably priced prints and posters for sale.
10. Last but not least, we think our book makes a thoughtful gift this season—
Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing Link to A/K press, who is distributing our book online. Or ask at your local bookstore or online purveyor.
Check our Resources page for additional ideas of where to source these and other products and ingredients.