Top Picks From Top Knock Knockers
While we’re revved up and ready to look outward during this tenth year and beyond, let’s not forget the leaders who have been the solid foundation of Knock Knock for quite some time—and their inherent solid taste. So, in celebration of our anniversary, we’re looking inward at our executive team and spotlighting favorite items on their product palette. First up: Craig, our publisher, tops the food chain on all-things cuisine.
Food. When I think about food and eating and the significance it has in my life, I think first of how grateful I am that I have never had to struggle with hunger, and that I have been able to afford most foods I have wanted to try.
As a child, I once came home from grade school and announced to my father that stealing was wrong. He replied by concurring that in most cases my statement was likely true, but also told me if a person is starving and steals food from someone who has plenty, it is not necessarily wrong. And he told me that as a child he had stolen food during World War II, when he and his family had none. This rocked my world. Later, it would help me understand my parents’ efforts to try and never waste food, and my own efforts to endeavor to do the same.
Food. I just simply love it. My parents had an enormous vegetable garden, and as a kid I would harvest all kinds legumes and edible treasures. To me, they were treasures and miracles—these living things that started as tiny sprouts and grew into robust plants, yielding morsels like candy-sweet peas, or enormous bottom-heavy fruits like eggplant. I begged my father to let me help in the garden, and he was more than happy to send me out with a pitchfork I used to hunt for gold—gold Yukon potatoes, that is. The garden was my playground.
All this to say that growing food and sharing food was an integral part of growing up for me. And today it still is. Preparing a meal for someone else is an act of caring and love.
I wanted to share some of my tools and “foodie” items (of course, including some Knock Knock products!) that I simply enjoy:
1. Because I am more of a recipe thief than recipe follower, I adore our Recipe Notes Sticky Notes for jotting down my personal alterations to cookbook recipes.
2. This is my great-grandmother’s hand coffee grinder that I use every morning to hand-grind my coffee beans. Making coffee has always been a ritual for me, and the effort of hand-grinding the beans—hearing the whirr and crunch, smelling the aroma—makes me appreciate that cup-o-joe even more.
(As an aside, I am now just realizing I essentially don’t use electric equipment to prep food in my kitchen. I don’t own a food processor, for example, and my beautiful [and useful] KitchenAid has been idle for many years. I actually prefer to do most things with basic tools and my own hands. Perhaps this will turn into—or already is—a new food movement. Huh.)
3. Our very recent title, A Foldout History of Cereal, always brings a smile to my face because the cover features a Cheerio, which reminds me of my European grandmother cringing when trying Cheerios, and making the claim that they tasted “like cardboard with holes in it.”
4. I could not live without my mortar and pestle that I purchased at one of my favorite kitchen stores in Los Angeles, Surfas. I grind so many things in it, including toasted cumin seeds and coriander.
5. Additionally, two key tools I use are my basic tongs and flexible metal spatula—both purchased two decades ago at one of my favorite stores in San Francisco, Cliff’s Variety. It makes me happy that I’ve had these familiar utensils for so many years; they are like old friends who always come through for you when the going gets tough.
6. My all-time favorite food-related title from Knock Knock? Our Foodie Flashcards. To me, it pokes fun at a movement that often seems to take itself too seriously, and simultaneously celebrates the same. It’s smart and funny. My personal favorite card is “spatchcock,” because I never roast a chicken without first spatchcocking it. Seriously! But I laugh out loud every time I look at the “supertaster” card. So, these flashcards are my go-to gift for all those food-crazed friends of mine.