Gift for feminist vegan daughter who loves to bake.
December 5, 2018 4:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm buying 21 year old daughter X a PS4. 20 year old vegan Daughter Z isn't so interested in a PS4. She's asked me for books on feminism & socialism (making me a proud dad). She loves baking, ballet, tattoos, and being an angry feminist-socialist. She's super smart, but college wasn't her gig. Ideas?

I am torn. A PS4 would assure parity, but I feel like it's a cop out.

I would love to find some kind of robot or other device that would inspire her to learn coding. But I know that's my dad-voice talking.

So is there some useful baking kit(s) that would be useful to a new baker? Something in the $300 range? She isn't an orthodox vegan, if that matters.

Something that wouldn't sit in her pantry all year round.

And, any ideas for getting a math-phobic, lesbian-vegan-tattooed-feminist-socialist into coding (without a lot of messing with hardware) would also be appreciated.

One more thing. She has a great eye for fashion and makes a little cash pairing and selling vintage clothes.

posted by arkham_inmate_0801 to Shopping (39 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Every baker would love a KitchenAid stand mixer.
posted by lovecrafty at 4:31 PM on December 5, 2018 [75 favorites]

Stand mixer or sewing machine? Magazines about baking, vintage fashion, or DIY sewing stuff? (Ceasing the pressure to learn coding? :) )
posted by salvia at 4:33 PM on December 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

+1 for the stand mixer. Same price bracket as the PS4 if you're in to the whole parity thing.

I'd also take a look at The Power if you want to get her a book.
posted by Aizkolari at 4:36 PM on December 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Get her Cunt Norton by Dodie Bellamy. And anything from Verso Books (they're having their annual 50% off sale right now - OMG). She might want to apply for the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship.

As far as fancy gifts: a gift card to OtherWild, Tomboy X, or Wildfang would probably be dope. Or this book too.

For a code gift: this looks like fun.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:46 PM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, if she likes to quilt or embroider, there are programmable sewing machines. I'm not sure that's quite "learning to code" level programming, but hey.

It might also be good to hear from some vegans on this "stand mixer" idea. (I think of them as useful for either mixing eggs a long time or for creaming butter and sugar.)
posted by salvia at 4:51 PM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also depending on her flavor of feminism (and maybe ask other daughter) there are some branded stand mixers and my sister was always coveting this Wonder Woman one. But I'd go with mixer (do not get any kind other than KitchenAid) and maybe a gift card to King Arthur Flour for a few things to go into it.
posted by jessamyn at 5:05 PM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Does she have a favorite tattoo artist? The price of a PS4 would be great in gift certificate form.
posted by teremala at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2018 [8 favorites]

I’m vegan, and I use my stand mixer. She can cream vegan butter and sugar plus it would be useful for aquafaba if she uses that. And it can be used to knead bread dough too.
I don’t know what it means not to be an orthodox vegan. Do you mean she eats animal products or follows a vegan diet only (technically, vegans avoid all animal products)?
Instant Pots are wondeful for vegan cooking, though not baking.
If she doesn’t have it, she might like the book The Sexual Politics of Meat.
Does she have a lot of cookbooks? Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the queen of vegan baking, and she has lots of books focused on baking. You could get as a set Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan Pie in the Sky.
posted by FencingGal at 5:08 PM on December 5, 2018 [11 favorites]

As for feminism, Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins is a cornerstone. Moskowitz writes great vegan cookbooks, but I'd also recommend the cookbooks from Candle 79 and/or Plum. Both books are a little more high-end than Moskowitz's comfort food, and are a fun treat for a true food lover.
Do you have a ballet nearby? Can you buy her box seats for an upcoming show?
Coding is cool, but if she hasn't shown specific interest, I'd be wary about turning her gift into a lesson. She sounds super rad already.
posted by missmary6 at 5:18 PM on December 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

I for one would be pretty disappointed if my dad got me a PS4 when he knew I wasn't into video games, or tried to push me into learning how to code if he knew I wasn't interested in coding. And I do recognize the intrinsic value of coding. In FORTRAN no less!

Is there a way that you can sound out whether she'd be excited about getting a sewing machine? Pairing vintage clothing doesn't necessarily indicate that she's interested in sewing her own, though I gather that threadpunk is a thing. If it turns out she'd be excited about a sewing machine, doing some research on what constitutes a good entry-level machine would be advisable.
posted by heatherlogan at 5:43 PM on December 5, 2018 [8 favorites]

A bad-ass blender is really important for vegan food (especially for making creamy things out of cashews and the like). I got my Blendtec from the official retailer's refurbished section and I've used it over 2000 times in the last three years (it keeps track!). They're around your price range, too.
posted by Paper rabies at 6:31 PM on December 5, 2018 [21 favorites]

Yes to a kitchen-aid or a robocoup food processor or $$ towards a tattoo from an admired artist.
posted by Grandysaur at 6:32 PM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I am splitting my supporting voice between either a good kitchenaid stand mixer, or an equally good high-powered blender--I have a Vitamix, but Blendtec absolutely makes great ones too. Both are kitchen appliances I could kick myself for not getting earlier in my life, and I figure it's also a good sneaky parent lesson to show instead of tell that a quality kitchen appliance is far and away a happier thing than cheap crappy varieties.
posted by Drastic at 6:46 PM on December 5, 2018 [10 favorites]

nthing the Kitchenaid (my dad bought me mine!), and a few cookbooks. I'll leave vegan recommendations to others, but Feed the Resistance might be a good choice. And if she wants books on feminism and socialism, you can't go wrong with one of Silvia Federici's two new books.
posted by dizziest at 7:23 PM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

A plane ticket and let her go explore the world
posted by LansLeFleur at 7:39 PM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, "pairing!" I read that as "repairing." Sorry for the sewing derail.
posted by salvia at 7:45 PM on December 5, 2018

Yes, a good blender if she doesn’t have one will be happily apppreciated for years.
posted by samthemander at 7:56 PM on December 5, 2018

Another option for a baker (though it depends on what sort of baking she enjoys) is a set of really high-quality baking dishes (bannetons, loaf pans, baguette forms, pie plates or cake pans) of whatever sort.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:03 PM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Most dance studios offer classes at a subscription rate (i.e. a monthly class card with the option to take any 8 classes during the 30-day period). Is there a local studio she's fond of? Groupon might also have some deals.
posted by invisible ink at 8:20 PM on December 5, 2018

I have a few of the Isa Chandra Moskowitz books and they are awesome, I can totally recommend them. And, while I love my blender (mmmm margaritas) there are a bunch of recipes in those books that I can't make because you need a stand mixer to properly blend the nuts and stuff that tends to go into vegan food. So, a bunch of her books and a stand mixer would be a really fantastic gift. Do you know her favourite colour? My boyfriend got me a turquoise blender and that just made it an even better gift because he knew I'd go crazy for the colour. Ask her sister about colour choice if you're not sure.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:33 PM on December 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Zojirushi bread machine.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:39 PM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

You're probably doing this but just to be sure - it's really nice of you to want to go above and beyond and get her an expensive baking gift. Just make sure that you do honor her actual request for books. If I were given some wonderful gift that was completely different than what I'd asked for, I'd feel grateful but also not heard.
posted by trig at 9:50 PM on December 5, 2018 [11 favorites]

Do you know where she goes to get her tattoos? A gift card to that place would be AMAZING! Or barring that a Visa gift card specifically to be spent on a tattoo. (I can pay for all my tattoos on my own now and I still want specific tattoo money.)
posted by Crystalinne at 10:08 PM on December 5, 2018

Here is what I would get her, over other suggestions, and why:

1. Some books from the suggestions above on socialism/feminism, because it's what she asked for. And...

2. A KitchenAid mixer. I would choose this over money for the tattoo because it's not something she is likely to shell out for on her own anytime soon (unlike a tattoo) but it will make her baking life so much better! I would choose it over the sewing, coding, or PS4 suggestions because she already has lots of interests that make for interesting gifts without trying to turn her into someone she's not (and as someone who has received expensive gifts of items I had no interest in, it makes you feel like both an ungrateful asshole and as though your loved ones don't care who you are). Someone mentioned a bread machine above; I wouldn't get that without consulting her. I love to bake bread, and if someone gave me a bread machine, it would sit unused because I like the long, tedious parts of making bread by hand. I would choose the KitchenAid over the blender because, again, baking in particular is her interest and it isn't clear that she is as passionate in making other vegan-based food. And...

3. One or more of the vegan baking cookbooks recommended. I'm not a vegan, but I do love to cook, and based on the above descriptions, if I were a vegan, I'd want maybe one of the Moskowitz ones and one of the the cookbooks from Candle 79 and/or Plum mentioned by missmary6. That way I have a choice of something easier/homier and more high-end to choose from.

I'd only deviate from the above suggestions to maybe get her some good ballet tickets if you think she'd prefer that. She sounds really easy to buy for! Why choose something that's not among her interests?
posted by tiger tiger at 12:58 AM on December 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

One more thing:

And, any ideas for getting a math-phobic, lesbian-vegan-tattooed-feminist-socialist into coding (without a lot of messing with hardware) would also be appreciated.

If you want to try to get her into coding, don't tie it to gift-giving. Gift-giving should be about who a person is, not who you wish or think they should be. (And if she's not interested, let it go.)
posted by tiger tiger at 1:01 AM on December 6, 2018 [18 favorites]

Books: Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed. And Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks if she doesn't already have it.
posted by lokta at 3:51 AM on December 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think books + stand mixer + vegan baking books is perfect, but I would caution against the Moskowitz books everyone has suggested and skip straight to Candle 79 and/or Plum. Moskowitz’s books are so famous and so pervasive in the world of vegan baking that your daughter is very, very likely to have already worked through them if her interest in vegan baking is more than, oh, two months old.
posted by amelioration at 4:25 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Embroidery: sublime stitching
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:42 AM on December 6, 2018

Get her Bad Feminist if she doesn't have it already. Books of essays are a treat because you can just keep dipping into them. A graphic novel such as My Favorite Thing is Monsters might be good too. Maybe go into a bookstore that has graphic novels and ask an employee her age what they are loving right now. You can tell her you had someone her age pick it out in case there is stuff in it that may be weird to get from your dad.

Emily Books does not have a subscription service anymore, sadly, but you might find something she'd love there anyway.
posted by BibiRose at 7:01 AM on December 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Maybe a Sue Coe book?
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:29 AM on December 6, 2018

Definitely get her at least some books! A few recommendations:

For fiction, NYTimes did a great round up recently of exciting books by women authors: The New Vanguard

And a few nonfiction writers making waves:
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister
Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Peterson
posted by veery at 7:47 AM on December 6, 2018

About the suggestion for programmable sewing machine if that means embroidery: I'm trying to learn to digitize embroidery designs. I put it much closer to graphic design than coding; you are trying to translate an image constructed in pixels into one constructed by a series of connected straight lines of various lengths, potentially crossing over each other for add dimension, with limitations on how many layers in one spot are feasible and where colors can be changed. See Urban Threads for my favorite commercial source of ready-made designs.

Point being the coding would be graphics conversion or editing. Also buy the machine with the largest stitch area you can afford because being limited to 4" square sucks.
posted by buildmyworld at 9:39 AM on December 6, 2018

A lot of vegan eating benefits from a food processor - chopping things like nuts and dates up for crusts and so on, but I'll admit I'm thinking of raw vegan desserts more so than baked ones.

Also things like re-usable food wraps (but the beeswax ones might not fit her vegan requirements?), good nut milk bags, reusable market bags are all nice accessories.

For vegan baking there is this book on aquafaba that might be helpful for her, one of the vegan chefs I know is a big fan of using that ingredient and makes wonderful food and desserts.
posted by lafemma at 1:03 PM on December 6, 2018

Another vegan baker here saying +1 for stand mixer!
posted by nuclear_soup at 6:21 PM on December 6, 2018

Perhaps too queer, but indeed angry - the complete hothead paisan
posted by lab.beetle at 7:25 PM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

One year, my dad got me a new bookshelf with one shelf filled with cookbooks and it was the. greatest. As the rest of my bookshelves to this day are saggy IKEA numbers, a hardwood bookshelf itself was actually super thoughtful and useful.

I don't know if she has formally studied gender and sexuality studies but you could just gift her a lil' Feminist Classics Library. Black Feminist Thought (Patricia Hill Collins), Women, Race and Class (Angela Davis), This Bridge Called My Back (Moraga and Anzaldua), The Yellow Wallpaper (Charlotte Perkins Gilman), Dream of a Common Language (Adrienne Rich), Feminism is For Everybody (bell hooks), Stone Butch Blues (Leslie Feinberg), Zami (Audre Lorde), Sister Outsider (Audre Lorde), Sistah Vegan (Breeze Harper), Unbearable Weight (Susan Bordo).

I also love my KitchenAid.
posted by athirstforsalt at 8:09 PM on December 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

Definitely get her some books on Socialism and Feminism because that's what she asked for. Others here have already made great recommendations.

If she does not have a small, sturdy bookshelf, she's going to need one.

Gift certificate at her preferred tattoo parlor.

If she's into fashion, thrifting, DIY, she might like a sewing machine, but that's kind of a gamble.

Round trip ticket to visit a new area! A hip city with a vibrant youth culture!
Train tickets are great if Amtrack is available near you. Adventure! Independence! Solo travel is a far better education for a 20 year old than college imho.

Drop the coding thing. Focus on other interests you can share with your daughter, and other ways she can earn a living. You will both be happier for it. :)
posted by ethical_caligula at 3:44 AM on December 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

She might enjoy Reworking the Ballet: Counter Narratives and Alternative Bodies (I haven't read it, just saw it in a book shop recently).

Also maybe The Year o' Cosm, all of Microcosm Publishing's 2017 publications.
posted by paduasoy at 2:51 PM on December 7, 2018

You guys are all so freaking awesome. I can't believe how thoughtful and helpful so many - pretty much all - of these responses are. Both my girls are going to have a wonderful Christmas this year.

I didn't include this in my question - but this is the first year in quite a long stretch where I have some money to spoil these wonderful women I am proud to call my daughters. And you guys are one of the reasons I'm able to feel confident about my gift choices.

Thanks again!!!

Arkham Inmate #0801
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 1:20 PM on December 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

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