Holiday Gift Guide 2020: PART 3  

Stephyn, Design Associate 

During the Holiday Season, it’s good to remember that not everyone enjoys receiving gifts in the traditional sense. For some, their “Love Language” is Acts of Service: they feel most loved when you do something with or for them that makes their life a little easier or frees up time to do something they enjoy.  


One such act is making a thoughtful, beautiful meal for your loved one. Something as simple as preparing your partner or child a heartfelt (and potentially adorable!) breakfast, lunch or dinner goes a very long way. Here are some gifts with the act of preparing a meal as inspiration!

A lovely glazed clay rice cooker is elegant enough to place on display & practical enough to use every day to create incredible dishes.

For the child at heart, or a child (who also loves rice!), this adorable rice ball shaper! Who knows, it could inspire a young one to want to help out in the kitchen?

This Onigiri rice ball shaper is simple yet sophisticated & keeps hands clean(er) while making the perfect-shaped rice ball.

Tamagoyaki Pan for making rolled Japanese omelettes could elevate breakfast to a new level

Wooden Bento Box that’s handsome and useful would be a lovely thing to pack lunch in, even if your loved one is working from home. There are a million options, from compact to generous in size & from durable stainless steel to colorful recycled plastics to classic bamboo & wood.

Furoshiki wrapping cloth to secure that Bento: this one is from a local company called Kiriko Made, whose mission is to try to create timelessly designed products that last, merging Western & Eastern culture, the new with vintage. There are many patterns & colors, but I love this cheery one for gray, wintery days

It’s hard to top SE Portland for its density of Asian food markets, though there are little gems throughout the Metro area. Most are small, family-run shops which are best explored in person. But if you want an introduction to a wide variety of regional offerings, Fubonn Shopping Center is a good place to start. They’re on SE 82nd Ave between Division St & Powell Blvd.

Founded in 1916, Sheridan Fruit Market is one of my most favorite old Portland businesses, with an excellent meat counter, delicious deli, bulk food offerings both standard & hard-to-find, great groceries, beer & wine with, of course, top-notch produce. Please read up their COVID guidelines for shopping, or you can opt for curbside pick up.

Since 1975, Kitchen Kaboodle has served Portland with cookware, bakeware, cutlery, tools, small appliances, & dinnerware. You can shop online or visit one of their shops in NW, NE, SW or Hillsboro.

Portland also is also graced with a small number of East African markets & restaurants, so you can either try your hand at cooking Ethiopian, Somali & Eritrean recipes, or order take out from the seasoned pros. A personal favorite near ARCIFORM: Queen of Sheba Restaurant.