Reveillon: Christmas in New Orleans, of course, is a party

Being a (severely) backslidden Southern Baptist, the idea of a midnight mass is foreign to me. After all, nothing good happens after midnight, right? But a reveillon dinner might be enough for me to find religion again. Reveillon, a New Orleans tradition, began in the 1800s as a meal that was eaten in the wee …

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Cuccidati means Christmas in Sicilian

When Wayne Baden was growing up his grandmother made a mysterious cookie every Christmas. Around November, she would open all the windows and roll the buttery dough in the freezing cold kitchen, working fast so it wouldn’t melt. The fig-stuffed treats were covered in “jolly” sprinkles, Baden remembered, but he never knew the name of …

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Learning to go without meat and wheat in WWI

World War I cookbooks indicate most Americans at the time thought protein could only be obtained from red meat, and that without it their health would suffer.  And now, they were being asked to go without meat. Cookbooks written for wartime use tried to re-educate the public. “Although most persons believe that protein can only be obtained …

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Perennial Artisan Ale with a side of toasted ravioli

I was born in St. Louis and lived until I was 7 in a suburb not far from the muddy Mississippi, spending many happy, humid summer nights catching fireflies on its banks. Missouri is not just my own birthplace, though, it’s also the birthplace of the modern brewing industry — a fact that ensured it …

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