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Dear readers,

If, like me, you are in the whirl of last-minute shopping, rejoice! It may be a slightly more stressful state of being than our more early-bird friends enjoy this time of year, but the hubbub is energizing too.

For procrastinators like us, Kerry Newberry has assembled a list of last-minute gifts for the wine lover — not wine itself so much as other wine-centric items, including some fun-sounding trips. And over at the New York Times, Mark Bittman has a stellar list of gift ideas for non-cooks — among them, a cooking lesson that you provide.

Speaking of holiday hullabaloo, I loved Joan Menefee’s recollection of working at Portland’s busy Elephant’s Delicatessen many Decembers ago. As Joan says, “Our culture emphasizes rest and contemplation at the holidays. It is well worth remembering, though, that some of us can slow down because, from October on, another group speeds up.” She’s talking specifically about food workers, but of course, retail clerks, delivery people, and many others work double-time during these busy weeks.

As food writing teacher extraordinaire Dianne Jacob posts on her Will Write for Food blog this week, gratitude is a powerful force. Here’s a toast to everyone who’s working long hours and double-duty to make the holidays bright.

Kim Carlson
Editorial Director

Featured Stories

Be whole

Nina Lary shares a succinct lesson in the ancient tradition of wassail.

roasted potatoes

Holiday parties on a budget

The authors of ‘In the Small Kitchen’ know how to throw a party without breaking the bank.

Featured Recipes

Sweet Potato Latkes

Culinate member Eamon Molloy makes these delicious latkes.

Crystallized Ginger
Butter Squares

From San Francisco’s erstwhile China Moon comes this lovely cookie.

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