Story by the Staff
Photos by the manufacturers of the products proposed.
2021 Gift Guide
During the year-end holidays, we propose to our readers products and services we have tested and think will be of interest to them, as well as making sense to purchase. There is a separate beverage and drinks section with suggestions and to see that click here. This year, unfortunately, we did not find many items that we tested and would suggest.
The first suggestion is really based on a simple idea; I don’t understand why nobody else thought of creating something like it earlier!
It is a carbon-fiber credit card holder, made by Ekster® Wallets B.V., having a patented card ejection mechanism that revolutionizes the way you interact with your credit cards. Takes up to 7 cards in the actual holder, plus a few more or business cards in the pocketed flap covering the holder. The contents are quickly and smoothly fanned out at the click of the button at the holder’s bottom, to make access effortless.
It comes in a Brown or Black leather finish (Parliament line), as a carbon-fiber card holder or as an aluminum holder in 8 colors or with a camo finish in 4 colors. An integrated RFID blocking layer fends off data skimmers.
Another product from the same producer is a beautifully designed brown leather billfold.
Designed to give quick and effortless access to cash, it has an attached removable cardholder secured with a magnet (please note that the magnetic insert is not recommended for individuals that have pacemakers or defibrillator implants); there is also a credit card-sized tracker unit that can be secreted in the central pocket of the card holder and, once the card is activated, a cell phone can then track where the wallet is, through a global lost-and-found community or at close range through a ring that helps you locate it easily. I wish I had the wallet with the tracker card last time I was in Rome; perhaps I would have been able to track the pickpocket that lifted my wallet while I was riding a streetcar.
All three items can be purchased as a bundle and there are other individual products and bundles one can choose for one’s own use or as gifts; see the entire line at https://ekster.com/
If you are interested in classic American Southern cooking, a new book called “Burgoo, Barbecue & Bourbon” might be of interest. Published by the University Press of Kentucky, it is written by Albert W. A. Schmid, with photos by Jessica Ebelhar.
It has such little known recipes as Kentucky Colonels’ Burgoo, Pork Barbeque Burgoo, Dr. Goepper’s Barbeque Sauce and Dru’s Stovetop Barbeque. Also side dishes such as German Potato Salad, Carrot & Resin Salad, Four Bean Salad plus an outstanding Cornbread recipe, Kentucky Beaten Biscuits recipe, desserts, and much, much more. Southern American cooking with a Kentucky accent at its interesting best!
We got an outstanding home espresso machine for the office. The DeLonghi La Specialista Prestigio counter top, “professional” Espresso & Cappuccino maker, uses either whole beans or pre-ground espresso coffee – in our experience freshly roasted beans make a much better drink. The Sensor Grinder has precise, consistent grinding and grinds as well as tamps the optimal dose for a perfect cup. It has dual water-heating systems, one for extracting coffee and an independent heater for steaming milk and frothing. It also has a “Dynamic Pre-Infusion” system, that we have not seen in many other machines that works by automatically adapting the pre-infusion length to the density of the coffee dose, to ensure the entire surface of the coffee dose is evenly wet. It allows one to choose between 3 temperature profiles to set the right temperature for the coffee beans you select. It is a bit on the pricey side for a home machine, but if you are an espresso aficionado like we are, it’s worth it. We found ours at our local Bed Bath and Beyond at a very good price. For freshly roasted, very aromatic, high quality beans, see our story about Java Love.
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