Thursday Tidbits: Season of Giving

Photo: Belinda (miscdebris)/Flickr


Pro Bake Sale
The chef instructors, students and alumni of Cambridge School of Culinary Arts will be hosting their 5th Annual Holiday Bake Sale December 11th from 10am-3pm to benefit Share Our Strength. There won’t just be baked goods for sale—there will also be a raffle of donated items from local restaurants and businesses. Take a look at the list here.

There will be a free champagne and port tasting at Urban Grape in Chestnut Hill December 12th from 6:30-9:30pm. Sip with Alicia Towns Franken, a Best of Boston sommelier, as she walks you through these before and after-dinner drinks. Maybe you’ll find a new bubbly for New Year’s?

Cautious Shopping
Shopping for the cook in your life? Clueless? BostonChefs launched “25 Days of Gift Ideas From and For Boston Chefs” last week. A different local chef will announce what’s on their holiday list this year every day until Christmas. (But before you rush to the store, remember Anastacia Marx de Salcedo’s advice in “What NOT to Get the Cook on Your List”!)

New Sweety in Town
Fate threw Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney together over ten years ago when a mutual friend asked them to make a wedding cake (their first). The two are still talking, and they’re even in business together with the brand spankin’ new Elaine Hsieh Chocolatier in Somerville. Check out these beautiful chocolates (did I mention there’s a monthly chocolate club membership?).

Winter Brew
Sam Adams announces their Winter Classic Brews, including Chocolate Bock and the return of White Ale. Then there’s of course the release of Infinium, a champagne-style brew perfect for the upcoming New Year’s celebrations. Cheers!

Cheap Stamp in Your Passport
The Boston Center for Adult Education
can take you on a culinary adventure around the world during their “Around the World in $15″ series. Starting January 4th-7th, there will be one-night classes that focus on the culture and cuisine of a specific country—some of which include Greece, China, India, and Argentina. Chau!


20 (?!) Holiday Cookies
Saveur’s got a list of the top twenty holiday cookies AND how to make them. They’ve got the standard gingerbread, sugar cookie, and shortbread, but there are also some zingers in there like Austrian Vanillekipferl and Argentine Alfajores (which are amaaaaaziiinnggg).

Cold Weather Be Damned
The USDA announced there are 898 winter farmers markets across the country, which means there’s been a 17% increase since 2009. A proper “winter” farmers market is in operation between November and March. Does Massachusetts have any farmers markets? You betcha’, 32 to be exact. Check some of those out here.

Tweak at Will
Are you a slave to your cookbook? Daniel Duane of Food and Wine managed to break free of ‘1/4 this and 1/4 that’ after chef Thomas Keller taught him how to become a more intuitive cook in five simple steps.

Mess Hall Food Not So Messy
There’s been a change in the US military’s diet: now in the mess hall, there are healthy, color-coded options with more produce, whole grains, yogurt and granola. Where the program has been implemented, army leaders report “fewer injuries and higher scores on physical fitness tests.”

3 thoughts on “Thursday Tidbits: Season of Giving

  1. Megan

    White Ale is my favorite Sam Adams offering. Thanks for the head’s-up!

    And I love that Thomas Keller article in F&W. I’m trying to follow those steps myself and break away from recipes a little.

  2. Lara

    I’m excited about the Sam Adams Chocolate Bock! The two winter markets in my neighborhood (MetroWest) are great – Natick is running now on Saturday mornings and Russell’s Garden Center in Wayland starts in January. Great vendors & a lot of fun!

  3. Peg

    Thanks for reminding those looking for local vegetables that they can be found in winter markets. My appreciation for them is even greater at this seemingly “dormant” time of the year.