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Mother's Day gifts to dazzle mom

By J. Scott Wilson, Food Editor
Published On: Jan 30 2012 02:32:19 PM CST
Updated On: May 10 2013 08:45:03 AM CDT
Mother's day gift present

iStock/knape

So here we are, coming up on Mother's Day and you're faced with the traditional dilemma: flowers, candy ... or both?

How about something else? I've been putting aside some choice items for you to pick from, and I'm sure if your mom is any sort of foodie at all she'll be delighted.

So without further ado, let's get looking!

Pepper Up!

I've told you about Pepper Passion before, but one of these beauties makes an even better gift for the elegant mom.

Calling these works of art salt and pepper mills is like calling the Empire State Building a barn. Yes, they're technically in the same category, but the difference is huge. These are absolutely beautiful pieces, each unique and handmade from exotic woods. You'll find species here of which you've likely never heard, from African Blackwood to Ziricote.

The designs are artistic, with a grace that would make them the centerpiece of any table. The inner workings are top-notch, as well, grinding pepper into a fine dust or the big cracked chunks that make gravies and sauces pop at the table.

And speaking of pepper, there is a variety of exotic peppercorns available on the site to pair with your shiny new mill. I've sampled the Talamanca peppercorns, and there is no more fragrant black pepper around, to my nose. It's just great stuff, and invites you to use it on a variety of foods.

These are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but this is one of those rare occurrences where the asking price is completely justified. You won't find these anywhere else, and they easily qualify as "instant heirlooms" by anyone's measure.

Custom Kitchen Duds

The idea of a custom apron may seem outdated, but to me it's just retro enough to be extremely cool. But unless you're a whiz with a Singer, how are you going to pull it off?

That's where All Occasion Aprons comes in. The expert seamstress there can take whatever Mom's favorite fabric is and whip it into an apron that will match whatever color scheme she wishes. Does she have a favorite dress? You can get an apron to match. Is the kitchen blue and white? Avocado? Get her an apron that will harmonize with the decor.

Just drop an e-mail via the link on the front page of the site and talk to the pros. They will help you make Mom an apron that will be the hit of the foodie circuit.

Personally, I have one in green camouflage, cut extra long to fit my overly tall frame.

Sweet Stuff

Of course, gourmet sweets are always a good Mother's Day choice. And Annie Dubois, at TexMexToGo, has a couple of new products that will make the English muffins on mom's breakfast-in-bed tray (you ARE planning that, right?) truly sparkle. Her Pecan Honey Butter and the even more decadent Peach Amaretto Honey Butter are confections of such richness and complexity that they almost defy description.

There are layers of flavor here, especially in the Peach Amaretto, that your tongue will be discovering long after the first bite. I recommend NOT putting any regular butter or margarine on the breakfast bread; just let the honey butter do all the work.

I even melted some of the Pecan Honey Butter in the microwave and drizzled it over vanilla ice cream. It worked like a gourmet version of Magic Shell, leaving me with a honey vanilla treat that, while it wasn't so great for my diet, was fantastic for my tastebuds.

Toy Store

If you can't decide what to get for mom, head on over to the good folks at Williams-Sonoma. There are plenty of sites around that sell kitchen gadgets, but the great grandpappy of all of them is W-S. There's not much that can't be found there, and it's all top-rate.

You can buy mom a gift certificate, or get gift ideas from the experts on the site. Rush delivery is available, so even you "Oh, jeez, Mother's Day is THIS weekend?" goobers can pick up something nice.

You might want to bookmark this one for Father's Day, too.

MOST importantly: Don't just toss mom a gift on Mother's Day. Spend some time with her. See if there's anything around the house that needs doing. Take her out to her favorite place for lunch or dinner. Play Scrabble. Just talk all afternoon.

She's your mom, and you only get one of those.

As ever, I welcome your questions, comments, suggestions for future columns, professions of undying love and large boxes of meat. Just Drop me a line anytime!

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