Though I wouldn’t be the least bit disappointed to find a box of Recchiuti burnt caramel hazelnuts in my stocking, there’s nothing in this shop that I love more than those elegant, jewel-like pates de fruits. 1 Ferry Building Marketplace, S.F., 415-834-9494
This has been an excellent year for cookbooks and there are quite a few that I would like, but I’ve narrowed down my list to just three essentials—Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal, Mourad: New Moroccan by Aziza’s Mourad Lahlou, and the revised edition of one of my all-time favorites, The Italian Baker by Carol Field. One stop at our local culinary treasure Omnivore Books and you can get them all. 3885 Cesar Chavez St., S.F., 415-282-4712
St. George Spirits Gin The Alameda-based distiller recently released three versions of my favorite spirit. I don’t mean to be greedy, Santa, but would it be too much for you to bring me one of each? You can find them at Cask, 17 3rd St., S.F., 415-424-4844
Galen Garretson’s Town Cutler, a new knife shop in Nob Hill, is full of blades I covet, but I’d be happy with a high-carbon stainless steel Zanmai VG-10 Gyutochef knife. 1005 Bush St., S.F., 415-359-1519
I realize that I’ll need more than a chef’s knife if I’m going to butcher an entire cow, but go ahead and sign me up for 4505 Meats’ Whole Beef class anyway. I’m sure Ryan Farr will loan me a saw.
And of course, I need a way to deal with all the extra calories that come with being a food writer. For that, I’d love a sweet set of wheels from San Francisco–based Public Bikes. 123 South Park, S.F., 415-896-0123