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Suppose you were a human being, and suppose you were behind on your holiday planning; but I repeat myself. Never fear, dear readers! Here are some last-minute ideas for the cooks and travelers among you.

In the food world, how about an Instant Pot paired with Melissa Clark’s cookbook focused on the machine? (Or check out her handy guide here.) Or if you’re not into gadgetry, how about Olia Hercules’ book Kaukasis? I went to a dinner prepared by Ms. Hercules recently, and you’re seriously going to want these dishes in your life. And as a lifelong salt addict, I would pretty much die of happiness if someone gave me a big-ass bag of fancy-pants salt. No one likes one-use kitchen tools, but what if the one use is making awesome cookies? I think that’s permissible. And there’s always olive oil clubs, which are the food equivalent of a generic magazine subscription for your niece you don’t actually know that well (but more expensive). You can never go wrong with a bunch of knives!

For the jet-setters in your life, what about a pair of noise-cancelling headphones? Seriously, they are the number one way to improve flying. Or maybe some travel writing to inspire a future journey: I, for one, love Isabella Bird, one of the great travelers of the 19th century. I highly recommend all her travels, but her account of the Rockies is my favorite. She even falls in love with an outlaw! Or check out Joseph Brodsky’s Watermark, one of my favorite accounts of a city that basically no longer exists in any recognizable form. For the more practical minded, everyone needs adapters all the time. As someone whose Google-ability has been basically destroyed by the national parks system, I resentfully recommend these national parks products. And while it may sound lame, a reliable umbrella is a travel essential that no one ever feels like buying. See also: toiletry bags. The internet has been frantically trying to sell me one of these scarf-neck pillows, but I’m not sold. If you’ve tried one, let me know how it is!

For the more altruistic among you, you can always buy a goat in someone’s name. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you need to buy your way back into someone’s good graces, the Leica Q is the most amazing camera and makes even the most mundane travel photos look pretty sweet.

That’s it for this week! See you next week for more of the best in food, travel, and politics from around the web. Tweet me stories you want to see here @caraparks.