Food by VICE

The MUNCHIES 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Julia Ziegler-Haynes

Behold: the five things that Julia Ziegler-Haynes wants to see under her tree.

by Julia Ziegler-Haynes
Nov 1 2014, 1:46pm

To spread MUNCHIES-style holiday cheer and play Santa for our valued readers, we've put together a gift guide that showcases some of our trusted hosts' favorite things. Behold: the five rustic, home-style tools and flavors that Julia Ziegler-Haynes wants to see under her tree. Freshly butchered meat and small-batch cocktail bitters? Sounds like our kind of holiday, too.


1. DIY Pantry Foods

I know it may seem like a Portlandia joke that got taken out back and beaten to death, but there is a reason why homemade edibles in glass jars are omnipresent in this day in age—they are cheap, easy and from the heart. One year I bought a ton of Weck condiment jars and with the help of some online guidance, concocted my own mustard to give as gifts. I bought circular butcher paper stickers at Staples and designed a snazzy label in Photoshop, like a good little hipster. It was fun and not too challenging and people were seemingly impressed. And although there is no way to confirm this, I imagine that for weeks following the holiday, every time my friends made a sandwich they thought "What a fucking class act. Honey, let's add Julia to our will." (Weck canning jars, from $3) Buy Now ›

2. Butchery Class

If you happen to have a budding epicurean in your life, a nice idea might be to gift them a butchery class. In most metropolitan cities these days you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a purveyor of local, sustainable, grass fed and Harvard-educated meat. These fine establishments often hold classes for folks who want to get their hands on some sinew, and learn why it's not always appropriate to laugh or ask, "When can I meet her?" when a butcher recommends a "Boston Butt that can last all week." (Brooklyn Kitchen butchery classes, prices vary) Buy Now ›

3. Jenny Pennywood Linen Napkins

I'm obsessed with artist Jenny Garrido's line of over-dyed and hand printed linen napkins and tea towels. Particularly the indigo and screenprinted designs, which make for a ruggedly beautiful napkin that can really take a beating no matter how sloppy your Joe is. (From $32) Buy Now ›

4. Diptyque Candles

These bad daddies keep things kosher (not literally) in the restroom when you are hosting large gatherings. They not only freshen the air with the scent of a sun ripened fig, they also create the most perfect, soft and flattering light that won't harshly interfere with your party guest's primping (which guarantees that random hook-ups will occur more frequently). I hope Santa brings me the Figuier large indoor/outdoor candle—it's got over 150 hours of burning time, therefore less likely to burn the house down if you drunkenly forget to blow it out at the end of the night (please don't do that). ($290) Buy Now ›

5. Fee Brothers Cocktail Bitters Set

Speaking of boozers—this 12 bottle set of bitters is kind of the most genius holiday gift. It enables you to go buck wild, shaking up both classic and more innovative cocktail recipes (celery gin and tonic anyone??) and then come January 1st, you can just be virtuous (or pregnant) and have a good old glass of tasty bitters and soda while your liver recovers. A no-brainer investment, as they last forever in the fridge. ($98) Buy Now ›