Steve and I too old and too suburban to be true Brooklyn Hipsters. Still, we have always liked making shit and reinventing old shit and so we're, I suppose, the elder statesmen of the Artisanal Pickle crowd. Here are some of the things that we have or we covet that would make that crowd happy.
1. The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters. Waters, not Martha Stewart, is the true grandmother of the hipster movement. She was organic and veggie oriented, when Martha was still hand stenciling her dining room in Connecticut. I love this cookbook, because it starts with vegetables. Vegetables aren't treated as a side dish in a middle chapter of the book; vegetables are king of this cookbook. She tells you how to clean leeks and beets and then how to cook them in ten different ways. She has chapters of carbs and meat at the end of the book, but they aren't the highlight of the cookbook. It's an essential book for anyone who has ended up with three bags of mysterious CSA vegetables and zero knowledge of how to prepare them.
2. Kalustyan's spices. Whenever we're in the city, we try to stop off at Kalustyan's spices. We bought some great stuff at Chelsea Market last week, but Kalustyan's is an old favorite. And they have an online store now.
3. Royal and Langnickel Oil Color Painting Artist Set for Beginners. I have two huge empty walls in my living room, which are badly calling out for ART! I could buy something, but that's tres boring. I think I'm going to make my own abstract paintings over winter break. I have a long list of shopping chores this afternoon, and I plan on picking up a large canvas and some tubes of oil paint at Pearl. If I fail miserably, I'll blow up a few of my pictures and put them in some IKEA frames.
4. A Wall Mounted "Craft Brewed" Bottle Opener. I'm buying a bunch of these and giving them out as host/hostess gifts this year.