Somethings + Nothings: December 22, 2017

We are having a holiday dinner party tonight for roughly fifteen people in which we'll be trying to recreate the major elements of my grandmother's "Holy Supper."  Nevermind that "Holy Supper" should actually be happening in January because that side of my family is Eastern Orthodox and still observes the Julian calendar - we all know we're all going to be on diets in January in Los Angeles and not likely to partake in a meal that consists almost entirely of potatoes and pasta and bread balls.  Fifteen people is probably too many people to try to cook pierogies from scratch for, but since I was able to offload the kolaches and the haluskis, I'm feeling optimistic.  

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The photo above is from last week when I ate at Cafe Birdie twice in the span of 24 hours.  It's quickly becoming a favorite brunch spot, due to the lack of wait time, easy parking, and the biscuits and gravy that Andy keeps ordering.

Did you catch yesterday's post about or afternoon touring a champagne vineyard and having a tasting in the Champagne Region of the French countryside?

We've been kicking around the idea of taking a "no spending January" - sort of a financial diet in the way many people will be taking booze- or sugar-free January's.  Ann Patchett spent all of 2017 on a such a monetary diet and wrote about it for the Times and frankly, it seems entirely achievable.

Borough Market in London is my most favorite place in the world.  This is not hyperbole; I've been there three times and every time I'm there I am overcome with emotion and start concocting schemes to move to London so I can visit every day for the rest of my life, which I firmly believe would be the height of happiness.  It's the closest I've come to a religious experience.  You can take a video tour of this thousand-year-old food market here.


Oh - it's the holidays!  Have you procrastinated on all of your gift-shopping?  If so, here's a list of 10 gift cards you can immediately so as not to look like a chump.

In terms of gifts, a kindly friend-colleague shipped us some of Harry and David's pears, which are currently ripening under our Christmas tree in hopes of being ready for tonight's holiday dinner party.  Turns out these are most the delicious pears you can get and have been a luxury gift for quite some time.  

Soon we will be traveling back East for a quick post-holiday trip.  When visiting Andy's family, we always land in Newark - which unbeknownst to me has a fascinating abandoned theater problem that illustrates many of the economic problems and turns of the twentieth century.

Avene USA

Electric Literature's piece on which books are most likely to be stolen out of independent bookstores, or, a lesson in how to be a cultural cliche.

I was an anxious kid and I grew up to be an anxious adult and this is a thing I try to manage (via lifestyle rather than medication) and so this New York Times piece on how to handle anxiety in children struck a chord with me as a kid who also spent thirteen years dreading going to school very single day.

Do you eat poké?  We eat so much poké that sometimes I worry about the volume of mercury that must be coursing through our veins, but I've always been too nervous about handling raw fish in our kitchen to make it myself.  This Mark Bittman video has me reconsidering how easy it might be make at home, mercury levels be damned.

We don't eat horse in America, but I saw horsemeat restaurants all over France and Italy and had to stop and consider my initial reaction (disgust) given that I'll happily eat rabbit, lamb, and even calf brain.  Why don't we eat horsemeat in this country?  Turns out the answer is about half bureaucratic and half cultural identity.  

Sweaty Betty SALE