Brinda Ayer of Food52 Shares Her Go-To Gifts That Aren’t Just “Stuff”

Brinda Ayer of Food52 Shares Her Go-To Gifts That Aren’t Just “Stuff”

By Samantha Daly
The publication’s editorial lead has some bright ideas for useful presents that actually bring joy.

It’s likely the case that you’re spending a lot more time than usual at home these days. And if you’re anything like me, you’re also spending a lot more time thinking about how much stuff you have in your home (in retrospect, I didn’t need to invest in that power juicer back in April). 

With that in mind, this year, I’m looking forward to giving gifts that won’t take up too much space (or budget) but that still feel extremely special. The goal is that each of these will bring my loved ones sustained joy. (And I only give gifts that I’d also like to get…*hint hint* to family and friends.)

—Brinda Ayer, Food52 editorial lead 

Brinda Ayer is the editorial lead at Food52, where she oversees the brand’s digital features and recipes, cookbooks, and more. She loves stinky cheese, chewy Neapolitan pizza, and tahini-swirled anything. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @brindayesterday.

"These felt flowers and eucalyptus branches from Global Goods—who works with female artisans from around the world—add instant color and warmth to any space and never wilt. And the adorable holiday ornaments (including the infamous pizza rat!) are such a lovely treat at this time of year."

Global Goods Partners Holiday Felt Garland
Felted and festive. Deck the halls, trim the tree, line the stairway, spruce up the mantel—this festive garland is ready to add a festive touch anywhere you please. And since it’s made from felted wool, it’ll help you ring in the season next year (and the year after that…).
Global Goods Partners Christmas in New York Felt Ornaments
Bright lights, little ornaments.

"Brooklyn-based Raaka is one of my favorite chocolate brands. Its sustainably sourced, unroasted beans offer such interesting texture and a deep, chocolatey flavor to each bite, not to mention the natural endorphins you get from eating chocolate in the first place. A daily dose of Raaka for a whole month? That’s a lot of happiness."

Raaka Chocolate Daily Dose Chocolate Pack (30 Pieces)
Bean to bite. A month’s worth of chocolatey pick-me-ups? Count us in. This box is filled to the brim with 30 bite-sized bars, each one individually wrapped and ready for snacking (or stashing in the pantry for later).

"If you’ve ever opened a bottle of nut butter only to be disappointed by a bland and oily product, Big Spoon will win your trust back. Their handcrafted nut butters come in so many wonderful flavors, and this sampler pack allows you to try a few at a time before doubling (or tripling) down on your favorite."

Big Spoon Roasters Handcrafted Mini Nut Butter Sampler, Set of 4
You butter believe it. Our love for these nut butters could fill a book—but in a nutshell? They’re handmade to order in North Carolina, so they come fresher than fresh. Then there’s the ingredients, straight from producers who live and breathe top-notch quality and sustainability.

"Anyone else been going through a ton of hot sauce these last few months? I really can never get enough. This truffle-infused kind adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to your eggs, grilled cheeses, soups, roasted potatoes, anything, without overwhelming or muddying the flavors as can be the case with truffle-y products."

TRUFF Truffle-Infused Hot Sauce
Truffle twist.

"Brightland’s incredible olive oil is as amazing to taste as it is to look at (that packaging design!). The purity of the product, made entirely from Californian olives, is evident in every drizzle. It’s not so precious that you can’t cook with it, yet it can hold more than its own when you’re dipping bread into it, making it a gift your loved ones will actually use every day (the best kind, if you ask me!)."

Brightland 100% Extra Virgin Heirloom Olive Oil
Chance of a drizzle. You’d be ahem hard-pressed to find a more lovingly crafted (or strikingly-packaged) olive oil. Consciously produced in California, these oils come in a glass bottle that's been UV-powder coated to protect its precious contents from damaging light.

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