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A Sake-and-Soap Set, a Very Useful Bowl, and More Things to Buy This Week

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Sake and soap set, a brownish ceramic bowl, and a delicate cocktail glass
Ellie Krupnick is executive director of editorial operations for Vox Media's lifestyle brands, and focuses on keeping Eater running smoothly. She previously edited Eater's shopping content, as well as lifestyle content on Racked, Mic, and HuffPost.

This post originally appeared on November 11, 2019, in Add to Cart — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.

Gift guides are here! Eater’s gift guide went live last week with beautiful mugs and jugs and glass straws and coffee table books and even toasters to buy the people in your life, plus other takes on gift-giving that (we hope) are equal parts fun and useful. One I particularly liked, for baked goods: If you’re giving cookies as a gift, pick up a cute bread basket and a colorful tea towel to wrap them up in. It’s better than a plastic container. Also: Maybe just buy everything at Target.

There’s no end to good gift advice and product ideas, so expect more from Eater as the month goes on. (Here’s a hint: SNACKS.) And keep your Ask Add to Cart questions coming! As I mentioned last week, I’d love to hear your gift-giving queries so I can use this space to answer them. One I got in my inbox from a reader last week:

“Can you give some good recommendations for gifts for your boyfriend’s mom/mother-in-law for holiday time? I’m thinking about a gift for Thanksgiving, beyond the classic beautiful bouquet of flowers.”

Great question. A few of my ideas for things to buy your (future?) mother-in-law are below.

Things to buy

  • It’s hard to go wrong with food. This Oracle olive oil from the 2019 Eater Gift Guide is particularly pretty — in fact, it looks as expensive as it is. I’d bring it to Thanksgiving as a hostess gift along with a fresh loaf of artisanal bread or fancy olives.
  • I had the joy of sipping from these Stölzle Lausitz grappa glasses last weekend, where they were used for the sake paired with my omakase meal (it was a special occasion!). They’re delicate and elegant but actually not wildly expensive, making for an impressively sophisticated gift.
  • I’ve recommended this before, but it’s worth repeating: For something totally utilitarian yet distinct enough to feel giftable, a berry bowl is a home run. (I myself have given one to my mother-in-law.)
  • For a mom who’s willing to venture beyond pinot grigio, this sake-and-soap set from Oakland’s Den Sake Brewery feels like a nice upgrade from the cliche bottle of wine or fancy soap.

Things to know

  • Another day, another direct-to-consumer cookware brand. The latest is Caraway, which sells its pots and pans in curated sets (a hallmark of cookware startups) and in shades like coral that are alluring now and likely to feel dated in about a year.
  • Meanwhile, cookware startup Made In aims to distinguish itself from the competition with big-name chef collaborations. The latest is a “kit” created with chefs Fabian von Hauske (a 2014 Eater Young Gun) and Jeremiah Stone, which includes Made In’s 10-inch blue carbon steel skillet, a tasting spoon, five ingredients, and three recipes (two new, one inspired by the chefs’ restaurants) that incorporate everything from the kit.
  • Oprah dropped her annual Favorite Things list late last week (this year it’s “presented by Amazon”). The list includes some good finds, like Spicewalla spices (featured in Eater’s gift guide last year) and Baggu bags (in our gift guide this year).
  • Should you just buy stemless wine glasses?? This breakdown can help you decide.

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