You have exactly 5 days of postal service delivery to order any online gifts for Dad for what in my house is called “the second most important holiday of the year.” What’s the most important holiday of the year you ask? Is it Christmas? Shalom. Is it Hanukkah? Nope. It’s my Father’s birthday.
Luke…it’s your father.
If your family is anything like mine, you are in a mid-week panic about finding something for your Dad that makes any sense at all given his seemingly hidden interests and hobbies. Have no fear. Here are some quick gift ideas that may work for you. There is something here for history-obsessed Dad, Dad the chef, Dad the metrosexual, Dad the gardener, Dad the Golfer, Lumberjack Dad, and First-time Dad.
1. Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook : Milk
One of my favorite, easy to follow cookbooks, gifted to me earlier this year from my brother and sister-in-law. Milk, the cookbook by Christina Tosi, reveals the recipes of one of New York’s favorite dessert hot spots. For the dad who, like me, loves to bake, this cookbook features the best in cookies, cakes, pies, ice creams and more! The best thing about this book is that it’s directions are easily laid out in groupings, so that beginner chefs can more easily understand what steps can be accomplished at the same time–something I’ve never seen elsewhere. Some of the irresistible recipes featured in this book were starting blocks and inspirations for recipes on my blog, including the double chocolate malt ball cake I made on mother’s day. $23.00 from Amazon.com
The dudes behind Millstone Cellars have spent a decade refining their craft developing ciders and meads with old world methods out of an 1840’s gristmill in Monkton, Maryland. Millstone creates beverages from ingredients sourced from local farmers in Northern Maryland and features creative and unusual flavors, like smoked fish peppers, local heirloom apples and wildflower honey. Millstone currently sells bottles in stores in Maryland for $24.00. But if you beat down their door at 443-470-9818, who knows what’s possible in the way of shipping!
Who says Aprons are for ladies!? Hedley & Bennett’s aprons are handmade in Los Angeles from serious materials like denim and canvas and feature reinforced stitching to protect the messiest Dad Chef and the most serious professional or home-cook. The materials and adjustable straps with brass hardware can all be customized with a range of funky colors and patterns and personalized with Dad’s name.
If your dad is like my dad and watches nothing but repeat WWII history shows on the History Channel, he will love this book by Daniel James Brown–the irresistible true story about the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew team and their path to Olympic gold. $8.22 on www.amazon.com
I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad get down in the dirt to plant anything at all, but if I were a dad, I would love to have this very special handcrafted toolset from www.fisherblacksmithing.com for $174.00. Forged in the hills of Dol guldur….er…I mean Montana, these antique looking blacksmithed tools with walnut handles are heirloom quality and are sure to make any horticulturist dad feel like a pro (the key to dad-gifting happiness).
6. Shaker and Cocktail Book from The Mason Shaker
I recently spotted this duo on a trip to the Stone Barns Education Center in the Hudson Valley (just north of New York City) while on a tour learning about sustainable agriculture. The new Mason Shaker Cocktail book was available in their fantastic gift shop, and I thought…what a clever, easy to store, easy to clean, little invention! For $55.00 for both the book and the shaker, it’s not a bad deal!
This curvy carafe works much like a standard French Press… without all the plunging. Add grounds and hot water to the glass container, attach the lid with mesh filter, wait 4 minutes, and you’ve got the perfect cup. Also includes a stirring stick and a neoprene jacket to keep your brew warm. $99.00 from www.intelligentsia.com
This grooming essentials kit is perfect for the high-maintenance man in your life. New dads, young dads, and old dads, will all benefit from this $100 gift set from www.baxterofcalifornia.com. The well-designed box is made of 100% post-consumer recycled content and 10% of all kit sales are donated to the Surfrider Foundation to help protect the world’s oceans. The products have not been tested by me, but my friend Dillon Pena (a make up artist for Beyonce among others) assures me that the products do a top job.
This $100.00 “billboard” diaper backpack from www.dadgear.com is a heavy doodie…oops..I mean duty waterproof backpack for the active new dads on the go. With 13 compartments, including a diaper hammock, you’ll be able to store your clean wipes separate from your dirty diapers with ease. Good luck staying dry new dad!
For $299.00 you can help your dad move into the digital age before it’s too late (gasp!). If he’s anything like mine, he will be thrilled with this integrated GPS system that helps golfers track their game and view the statistics instantly on their iPhone or apple watch. Data, such as the distance of your dad’s shots, puts per round, and driving accuracy are all recorded through a small piece that attaches to the top of the golf grip without affecting the players swing. www.golfsmith.com
So this is a bit more lumbersexual than lumberjack, but for the suburban/country dad who needs a manly place to lay his logs, or needs to get the message that her should really stop using your antique chinese farmers basket that you bought at a flea market in New York in 2004 (just saying…), this durable gem made from recycled old fire hoses is handmade in Oakland, California and can be found for $120.00 at www.uncommongoods.com.