I try to tune them out, but I’m a total sucker for Xmas gifts-for-cooks stories. Not because I need ideas, being a total Scrooge when it comes to the greed holiday. Mostly I like to see what new idiocy is on offer. Right now the season’s winner has to be a stalk of brussels sprouts, dressed up with a ribbon. Bring me tiredest flowers from the corner deli anytime over that. I also wonder if so many compilers have any idea how wrong it is to advise giving knives. It’s bad luck; you can only trade them for something (like a penny) or you risk severing a relationship. I still blame myself for busting up a marriage by presenting the bride and groom with his and hers Wustofs eons ago. Of course, the De Longhi deep frier didn’t do so well by another couple. But I doubt an $18.95 Spanish food dictionary would have been any better. That publisher must believe in San Nicolas.