Fondue with care
The fondue forks pictured on the right caught our eye (I told the others round the fondue set not to wave them around!) in the David Mellor catalogue. They're French, made of olivewood and cost £4.15 each; the companion tongs are £6.20. Buy them, and many more beautifully designed and crafted objects for cooking and eating with, from www.davidmellor.co.uk
Griddle me this
If George isn't already earning his keep on your kitchen counter, get one up on the neighbours with the Cuisinart Griddle & Grill. Not that we'd want to knock George Foreman's Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine (who would when the man was once a boxing champ?) but dare we suggest that Cuisinart's just a little bit smarter? It's brushed stainless steel, opens out to twice its size for grilling, drains off the fat and the grill plates can go in the dishwasher. The Griddle & Grill is £99 from John Lewis, Selfridges, Harrods and independent cook shops or 0870 240 6902 for more stockists.
The best canned fish is far too good to give to cats. La belle-iloise's hamper of fish in tins includes fish soup, mackerel rillettes and top tuna. Just as important, they look so pretty - almost too good to eat - they are worth showing off. And at £18.90 it would be a crime to eat it all straight away. From www.thefrenchhouse.net, 0870 901 4547. The catalogue is full of home and kitchen stuff sourced in France for that bit of Dordogne chez vous.
A good Christmas
Last year's must- have gift was a goat. You gave a card to show you'd made a donation to charity on their behalf. This year, www.thoughtful.org combines the donation with an appropriate token to wrap up and hand over. All gifts are £30, a fraction of which pays for the actual present while the rest goes to participating charities including FARM Africa and Marie Curie Cancer. Buy a 'Crisis Christmas Pudding' and you get a Harrods pudding and also pay for a homeless person's Christmas dinner. One bottle of this Holy Land olive oil from Palestine pays for an olive tree - the charity YCare is using the proceeds to help the local economy by replanting olive groves, destroyed by the conflict.