BREAD TOAST CRUMBS: Alexandra Stafford’s debut book, hailed by baking superstars Dorie Greenspan and David Lebovitz, serves up the easiest no-knead peasant loaves baked in Pyrex bowls (!!!) then teaches you to use every crumb. Brilliant recipes that go way beyond baking.
SPIDERS AND THEIR KIN is a tiny treasure, a little book that will get you understanding and appreciating these incredibly important creatures, and even beginning to ID the major groups. Best $7ish ever spent.
WATER RIGHT HOSES: Many years ago I gave away all my too-heavy garden hoses in favor of lightweight, drinking-water-safe and US-made ones by Water Right Inc. The 400, 500 and 600 series each have slightly different diameter; most of mine are 500 series. My favorite color is the olive. The most asked-about tool here in my garden during tours.
NOBLE OUTFITTERS MUDS BOOT: A not-too-clunky short rubber boot that can stand up to all seasons, including mud and snow, is hard to find. This one is a durable winner, and comfortable, too.
SANGEAN WIFI RADIO: I can’t imagine life without my Sangean wifi radio, which through its high-quality speakers (not out of the side of my laptop!) allows me to stream the world’s radio stations–like
DOUGH CUTTER-AS-SCRAPER: For working with dough, yes, but also this: A culinary friend taught me to stop dulling my knife blade by using it to scrape chopped onions, celery etc. off my cutting board, and use a dough scraper instead. Love it.
TEA TUMBLER: A personal infuser, made of double-walled borosilicate glass, that keeps tea hot and yet isn’t hot to the touch. I drink right out of mine (there is a screen up top to keep leaves down), then refill for a second steeping.
PALEO BAKING: Despite being born with severe food allergies, Elizabeth Barbone trained at the Culinary Institute of America so she could then transform almond, coconut and other non-grain flours into gluten-free delights.
NATURALLY SWEET FOOD IN JARS: If your objection to jams, pickles, and other condiments is all that sugar, problem solved. Marisa McClellan’s tempting recipes feature maple, honey, juice and even dried fruits as natural sweeteners instead.
CLEAN SOUPS: Master making a range of broths—delicious “sipping teas” in their own right—and also transform them into health-promoting, delicious soups with food-as-medicine expert Rebecca Katz’s help.