Holiday Reading

Christmas_OrnamentOver the next week I am hoping (barring book stuff) to catch up on old newspaper articles, mostly from the Wall Street Journal, but also, for instance, “The Luckiest Woman on Earth” by Nathaniel Rich from the August 2011 Harper’s. That is not a typo—I’ve had that clipping for more than two years. Also, please don’t tell me who won the 2012 election.

But there are stories I have caught up on and duly recommend:

The future of ice cream is gelato, no surprise. Interestingly, Häagen-Dazs rolled out its first gelato to no fanfare in 1998. Today, the brand’s Sea Salt Caramel is going gangbusters while the Limoncello supposedly has “a bite of vodka.” (You can never escape it!) Click here for more.

At some point I’m going to write about how my high school phys. ed. teacher tarnished my GPA by giving me a quiz in his health class—on football strategy. My classmates on the team had no problems answering questions about Army and wishbone formations and what is the word for the space between two linemen (gap). But I was clueless at the time and failed that test. I played tennis and didn’t watch a second of football. But over the last 17 or so years, I caught up, though I am still learning. (What the hell is an illegal shift? 4-3? 3-4? The secondary?) Yet I can’t get enough, even though my last-place Redskins have been painful to watch this season. One book that would seem to be enlightening is Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football by Nicholas Dawidoff. In the Wall Street Journal, the author explains the thankless tasks of assistant coaches, culminating in the head coach’s call sheet each Sunday.

Did Phyllis Richman invent the term “comfort food”? My food-writing mentor, typically humble, has her doubts. But she writes a followup on food we find comforting in the Washington Post. (One recipe, for a lobster pot pie, comes from the Griswold Inn in Essex, Conn.—where my wife grew up and where I’ve dined on numerous occasions. Sadly, I’ve never seen the pot pie on the menu, but the clam chowder is comforting in its own way. Do add Outerbridge’s sherry sauce.)

Won’t you save the Mustard Museum? I would if I could. Had I known it was in Middleton, Wisc., I would’ve even stopped in (while reporting on Death’s Door distillery in the same town). More here.

And finally, on airlines and airports. There’s a battle over elite fliers being waged by airline lounges—take, for instance, Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse (I’ve been told there’s something called a Grey Goose Bar). Airline food (at least for business class and above) is being improved—or so I here. Apparently, altitude affects taste, and the solution is more umami.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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