HandPicked 8–Christmas Stuff That Matters

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Christmas 2014 is almost here. And what an unbelievable year 2014 was!

Are you ready for the good times the holidays bring?

Are you preparing something new to eat or are you relying on time-honored favorites?

Or both?

We hope your holidays are festive, fun and full of cheer.

Here’s our late December HandPicked 8. Enjoy.

1. Let’s start with this: Why You Should Give These Ugly Root Veggies a Chance. Laura Tedesco writes on YahooFood.com that paying attention and preparing root vegetables such as kohlrabi, celeriac, and parsnips will yield delicious, healthy results.

2. Oh, that Congress of ours! Perhaps it will never be known how much malarkey was tucked inside America’s final spending bill to keep the government operating. The New York Times‘ Robert Pear reports–In Final Spending Bill, Salty Food and Belching Cows Are Winners. How did real food fare? Stay tuned.

3. NPR-thesalt’s Eliza Barclay may be on to something. In her post, Our Ability To Digest Alcohol May Have Been Key To Our Survival she posits that we gained the ability to digest and even use alcohol constructively a very long time ago, at a critical moment in our evolution. This is good news for a lot of us use alcohol constructively to survive the holidays!

4. John T. Edge’s Top Ten Dishes of 2014 is a very nice photo collection of southern dishes and southern places. John T. Edge writes about the foodways of the American South in Garden & Gun, among other places. Check him out.

5. We love the thoughtful, meditative atmosphere of TheKitchn.com. Their series, Weekend Meditation yielded this beauty, Making Soup in My Mother’s Kitchen. You’ll love this.

6. Here’s a nice, shiny present for you–Saveur Best Food Blog Awards for 2014. They have compiled their faves in all categories. It’s so fun to click on each and every one of these brilliant sites. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

7. Speaking of end-of-year lists, TheAtlanic.com has posted their The Best Food Books of 2014. Corby Kummer has assembled a stellar group of books from this past year. Full disclosure: some of our friends’ books are on this influential list!

8. We can’t speak for everybody, but we think one of the best examples of hip Christmas music is Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. YouTube has made it possible for everyone to give it a listen right here. It’s perfect to play as you work in the kitchen, hang with your family or sip a delicious wintertime drink.

And that’s some of the good stuff on our plates. Have a wonderful holiday season and be safe and warm.

Photo credit: Staci Strauss