Ups and Downs of Holiday Dining

Gosh, is this the best time of year?  The very best?  It’s a push and pull between gluttony and refinement, satisfaction and yearning, hope and despair.  Well, not despair, but lack of hope.

The background noise is Andrew Solomon’s poignant and thoughtful op-ed in today’s NYT; a fascinating and new biography of Walther Rathenau; the puzzle of how to promote my new book, “Back of the House”; and, lingering doubts about why some towns emphasize “creativity” in their restaurants while others place the best ingredients at the center.

I know it’s not useful to focus on the incredibly second-rate ingredients showing up on menus of certain incredibly expensive restaurants: Lebanese olive oil rather than French, Italian, or Californian; black truffles from Tennessee rather than France; supermarket bread rather than stuff baked in-house.

But are those observations keeping with the Christmas spirit?  I mean: What would Jesus do?  Would Jesus complain about bad food in expensive restaurants?  I think not.

So isn’t it better just to focus on the delicious Challah French toast and Tracklement’s bacon and wonderful Northeast Kingdom maple syrup I served this morning?



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