I love giving books for presents and this Christmas everyone is getting the perfect cookbook. You know it, there’s a cookbook to suit everyone – no matter the age, gender, personality or cooking prowess. There’s even a perfect cookbook for people who hate cooking.
Apart from the deliciousness of giving someone the gift of both food and enjoyment, cookbooks are great because they make wrapping so much easier. I mean, unlike trying to wrap a bow and arrow set (Christmas 2011, never forgotten), wrapping squares and rectangles is actually good fun.
So, here’s Christmas for you and yours, all very neatly wrapped up. If it’s helpful, skip to the end for my cookbook of the year which may well be the perfect gift for everyone you know. Simplifies things…
1. The perfect cookbook for your teen nephew who can’t even make toast
Rapper Action Bronson will soon have your boy sorted. He’s got a fab YouTube channel, too.
Buy your nephew’s gift here.
2. The perfect cookbook for your great aunty Elsa whose last cookbook purchase was Commonsense Cookery in 1958
Could there be anything more pleasurable than discovering a whole new pantry of ingredients to cook with? You’re so welcome, dear grand aunty.
Buy your great aunt’s gift here.
3. The perfect cookbook for your uncle Tim who is newly divorced and quite lonely
Advice for all the Tims out there: one antidote to loneliness is inviting people over for a meal. The other? Creating something through art. I promise both of these things will make you feel better and they are both covered in the marvellous Around the Kitchen Table.
Buy your uncle’s gift here.
Try a recipe from this book: Apple and blackberry pie
4. The perfect cookbook for your fun, caring tween who loves to bake
This might very well be my own daughter’s Christmas gift this year. She is all of the above, and more.
Buy your daughter’s gift here.
Make one of Katherine’s love letters: Crack for chocolate lovers
5. The perfect cookbook for your husband, hint, hint
I’m sure there are plenty of husbands out there who do the cooking every night of the week, but mine is not one of them. If yours isn’t either, Lucy’s cookbook will make the perfect Christmas nudge. And if yours is, definitely buy it because I have made almost every recipe in this book and they are all brilliant.
Buy your husband’s gift here.
6. The perfect cookbook for your dog loving neighbour who really needs to prune the wisteria taking over the side fence
Before becoming my furbaby’s skinparent, I would never in a million years have understood why anyone would need a cookbook to make dog food. Spoiler alert: I own this book.
Buy your neighbour’s gift here.
7. The perfect cookbook for your best friend’s kid who is tired of bringing a packet of plain chips to the class party
It’s hard to be gluten-free when those ‘bring a plate’ moments pop up. Out comes the old Tupperware container that Mum packs with your usual GF snacks because you can’t have any of the goodies that everyone else brings to the party. This cookbook is how to mix things up a bit!
Buy your best friend’s kid’s gift here.
8. The perfect cookbook for your dad (but it’s really for your mum, but also your dad)
Alice Zaslavsky has the breeziest, friendliest way about all her recipes. It’s like cooking with your best friend (if your best friend happened to be super funny and as talented as a Michelin-starred chef). Your dad will like cooking with Alice a lot.
Buy your dad’s gift here.
9. The perfect cookbook for your newly-single bestie who is everything she needs
Much like Poh, this new cookbook is a beauty.
Buy your bestie’s gift here.
10. The perfect cookbook for the teen in your life who thinks they know everything but really, really doesn’t
I reckon this classic is the ideal starter cookbook. Samin (legend) takes cooking both back to the raw basics and builds a kid into a MasterChef-worthy cook.
Buy your teen’s gift here.
11. The perfect cookbook for your boss who at the recent team morning tea tried to pass off a pimped-up Woolies mudcake as all his own work
Any Ottolenghi cookbook makes excellent gift-giving for the important people in your life. Even the slightly shady ones…
Buy your boss’s gift here.
12. The perfect cookbook for your kid’s teacher who deserves someone else to make her everything in this book forever
After the year she’s had, your kid’s teacher deserves some comfort. Don’t worry, the nonnas will take care of her with love.
Buy your teacher’s gift here.
13. The perfect cookbook for your postie who gives your dog a treat every time he makes a delivery
I bloody love Hetty McKinnon and so will the postie. Love, Fido. x
Buy your postie’s gift here.
14. The perfect cookbook for your friend who thinks using a dinner service is more convenient than cooking herself (Adam knows it isn’t)
Adam Liaw is the thinking woman’s hot tamale – the kind of hot tamale who knows how to use a hot tamale, IFKWIM. Fun fact: not only is he an ex-lawyer, presenter and cooking superstar, Adam also takes the photos for the recipes for his SBS cooking show The Cook Up. AND he can get dinner on the table in under 20 mins. Ahem, when can you move in, Adam?
Buy your friend’s gift here.
15. The perfect cookbook for your brother who enjoys throwing dinner parties that he is yet to invite you to
He will have to invite you now, ha!
Buy your brother’s gift here.
Make a recipe from this cookbook here: Fish pie
16. The perfect cookbook for your mum who enjoys reminiscing about cooking with you when you were four and dropped a carton of eggs on the back steps and the dog ate them all
The story behind this cookbook is almost as good as the recipes. When Daniel and Luke Mancuso lost their beloved mother Teresa to domestic violence, the Greek grandmother next door stepped in and started looking after them, passing home-cooked meals over the fence. These recipes are what that heaven-sent Yiayia cooked to help those boys heal.
Buy your mum’s gift here.
17. The perfect cookbook for your buddy who insists that camping is relaxing once you ‘get used to it’
Boatin’, campin’ fishin’ is BCFin’ fun. Don’t know where that came from. Rest assured, Analiese’s outdoorsy cookbook is far, far classier than your local BCF store.
Buy your somewhat deluded budy’s gift here.
18. The perfect cookbook for your middle daughter who makes spag bol every single time it’s her night to cook
You will be pining for every recipe in Nagi’s book – like everything she does, it’s sooo, soooooo good! Best bit: she’s the ultimate ‘step you through it’ recipe writer. I reckon your girl will soon be starting her own food blog. FYI – this cookbook is my runner up for cookbook of the year… keep reading for the winner!
Buy your daughter’s gift here.
19. The perfect cookbook for your fitness freaky friend who is more press ups than cook ups
Tom seems like such a nice lad – no wonder his recipes are so endlessly wholesome. He’s got some great step-by-step tutorials tucked throughout the pages, too. So he’s a good one to gift to anyone who’s not a confident cook or basically couldn’t be bothered.
Buy your fit friend’s gift here.
Tuck into this recipe from the book: Fish shawarma wraps
20. The perfect cookbook for anyone, everyone, ever
I think Fiona’s From Scratch is my ‘cookbook of the year’, so I’d happily gift it to anyone this Christmas (pick me!). She’s such a beautiful soul and her passion for the earth and cooking comes through in every recipe. I’ve been wanting to do a Buena Vista Farm workshop for simply ages, but haven’t managed to get there yet. Perhaps that will be my Christmas gift to myself this year…
Buy your new favourite here.
There! I told you there’s a cookbook for everyone this Christmas. Gifting, sorted – now for the wrapping…
Feature image by micheile dot com