Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.
This week was basically a countdown to the holidays. I finished up some projects at work, bought final presents and cards, and met up with friends whom I haven’t seen in a while. Last night, I took a walk down the street with my boyfriend in his neighborhood to look at the light display pictured above. I’m a big fan of Christmas decorations.
The end of December has always been one of my favorite times of year. I’m not a fan of the weather, per se, but I love all the lights, decorations, presents, and most importantly, cooking. I’m planning on spending tonight and most of Christmas Eve making babka. Stay tuned for pictures on Instagram.
I hope that you have a fun, restful Christmas if you’re celebrating. Even if you’re not, I hope you enjoy at least one or two days off of work. I think it’s important to slow down this time of year and enjoy life’s small pleasures, whether that’s trying a new recipe, taking a walk to see the Christmas lights, treating yourself to a few chocolates, or doing whatever most brings you joy.
Without further ado, here is Dimanche:
I’m reading Michelle Obama’s memoir and I’m so into it. I went to Cornflower Coffee and Tea for the first time yesterday and spent a couple hours reading and enjoying a pot of Earl Grey tea. An old colleague of mine told me recently that the audio book of the memoir is narrated by Michelle Obama, so I might have to download that and listen after I’m done reading the book.
I’m extremely worried about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Earlier this week, I read an article with Ruth saying that she’s in good health and almost recovered after breaking some ribs in a fall last month. Now, new sources are reporting that Ruth had cancerous nodules removed from her lungs. I literally can’t write about this without getting massive anxiety so I’ll leave you with the story from CNN.
I couldn’t stop laughing at this first-person account of a New York Jewish woman trying to become a Southern lady for a week. Yes, the story plays into stereotypes but some of the dialogue and situations ring true. The writer is commissioned by her editor to follow tips from Reese Witherspoon’s new memoir and how-to guide, “Whiskey in a Teacup,” and hilarity ensures. Check out the story in Vulture.
Customer service reps for DNA testing companies are starting to become like therapists. I thought this article about the reps was fascinating, especially when they talk about the phone calls they get and the incentives the company gives them following a particularly stressful call. Check out this article in Bloomberg for perspectives from the customer service reps and people learning startling information about their family via DNA testing.
St. Louis made Food & Wine‘s top five list of places to eat in the U.S. and everyone in town freaked out. Kudos for the magazine for confirming what we all knew already. There were some well-deserved shout outs in the article for Chef Rob Connoley, Balkan Treat Box, Vicia, Logan Ely, and other local restaurants and chefs who are shaking up the city’s food scene. Check out the full list in this Food & Wine feature.
Speaking of St. Louis… Chef Ben Grupe, a James Beard semi-finalist and the former executive chef at Elaia in St. Louis’s Botanical Heights neighborhood, is hosting a pop-up series next month. Grupe will prepare small, seasonal plates with Midwestern ingredients. Read more about the dinners in my latest story for St. Louis Magazine.
I really enjoyed this story about baking reducing stress. I agreed with pretty much all of it except the part when a food writer is quoted saying that baking is cheap and easy. I don’t think it’s either of those things but it is very relaxing via mindfulness. Read the full article in The Atlantic.
Last but certainly not least, I made tomato sauce two times last week because I had so many tomatoes from Tony’s Family Farms and MightyVine. Tony from Tony’s Family Farms supplies produce for restaurants in St. Louis, and one of his partner farms is MightyVine in Chicago. MightyVine specializes in glasshouse tomatoes, which can grow year-round despite very cold external temperatures. I was lucky enough to get a crate of their tomatoes from Tony so I made some delicious tomato sauce. Get my recipe in one of my latest blog posts.
Enjoy your week and holidays! Here’s a song to get you started. It’s my favorite Christmas song.