Two weeks before Christmas, my recently retired engineer husband suffered an uncharacteristic attack of nostalgia and announced he was going to make his family’s holiday cookie recipes for the kids, his sibs and nieces, and even the neighbors. I guess man cannot live by Erlangian Distributions alone. Frankly, this put terror in my heart. As my Thanksgiving column about my pie-making fiasco made clear, I am not a baker. Cookies are a lot easier than piecrusts but if Olof, who has never baked anything ever, was counting on me for guidance, this could be a disaster.
Living in a stress-filled electromagnetic soup has created a nation of insomniacs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 50 and 70 million American adults suffer from sleep disorders. If you’re among them, conider making the new year the time to muffle the static in your head, ease tense muscles, trigger sleep hormones (serotonin and melatonin) to flow freely and get your long overdue beauty sleep. Let’s toss the sleeping pills and indulge in soporific foods. Pleasant dreams.
Recently, a friend invited me to go with her for a reading by her psychic. The friend swears by this psychic-cum-tarot-card reader and insists that she would never make a major move in her life without consulting this woman.
Culinary predictions for the new year include this Kitchen Shrink’s observations for what to expect on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves. As the economy hobbles into a slow- healing recovery, some scrumptious indulgences are coming out of hibernation, while sustainability, seasonality and farm- to table-ethea remain status quo.
Christmas brings a bounty of seasonal goodies to our tables from the much-lampooned fruitcake to close cousins of stollen and panettone. Here’s a decadent sampling of traditional holiday favorites from fruit to nuts.
Imagining Amazon delivery drones in La JollaAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced that within four to five years, Amazon packages weighing five pounds or less and being delivered less than 10 miles from a distribution center could be delivered aerially by drones, all within 30 minutes of ordering. Even Bezos conceded that there were definitely kinks to work out with the new vehicles, like making sure they didn’t land on someone’s head.
I don’t think anyone would argue with me when I say that the gift-giving season can get totally out of hand. For years now, I have required the kids and spouses to submit gift preferences for themselves and the grandchildren by EOT (End of Thanksgiving). I figure that if I’m going to spend all that money and all that time to buy and wrap, it should be something the recipient actually wants. I go off-list from time to time if it’s something I really think they’d like or if not, can easily return.
Aromatic herbs and spices scream holiday cheer along the produce aisles. Here’s a winter wonderland of quintessential holiday flavorings to help you get the most from your sweet and savory treasured recipes.
The downside of being a multi-ethnic household this time of year is that I’m always afraid the Menorah will set fire to the Nativity scene.
‘Tis the season for stuffing your face silly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, punctuated by some fattening pit stops (Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas and various holiday cocktail parties). According to studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, although the average holiday weight gain is only one pound, it is not reversed during the spring and summer months, accounting for the increase in body weight during adulthood. Let’s leave the belly fat to Santa, and make this one a healthier, slimmer season, excluding high-calorie, artery-clogging celebratory monsters from the table.