As days grow longer and temperatures start to plummet, our thoughts begin to transition along with the season: we finish out the old year, grateful for what we’ve learned and done, for family and friends. For what we have. We eagerly anticipate what’s in store for us in the New Year. We look forward to celebrating together with loved ones, to exchanging extravagant gifts and sharing lingering meals of epic proportions. We unequivocally look forward to the food. When I think of the holidays, I always think first of the smells: pine and wood fire, roasting meat and vegetables, stews, cookies, and pies. Then, I think of the recipes passed down from family members and friends, sometimes even with fun-shaped antique presses and cutters! It is a time of togetherness, and joy, followed by a few months of deep reflection before the world renews itself again.
This is the idea, anyway. The holidays are undoubtedly a time of great warmth, but can also be a source of stress and anxiety as we struggle to fit our hosting and visiting obligations into a few short weeks. We try to apply the same speed that whipped us through earlier months, and sometimes, at the end, life stops us and we end up slipping on the proverbial patch of ice.
Taking a cue from recipes popular this time of year, let’s take the time to put some comfort into our food. Bring on the heavily spiced, mulled, and slow-roasted. A bit of the decadent.
Maybe, instead of trying to fight the winter blues, we should try embracing them. Let’s emphasize quality over quantity and select goods that reflect the kind of values we’d like to see more of in the year ahead. Let us ourselves be more mindful of how we think and act, and how we treat others. Taking a cue from recipes popular this time of year, let’s take the time to put some comfort into our food. Bring on the heavily spiced, mulled, and slow-roasted. A bit of the decadent. In our seventh issue, the recurring message from our features writers and columnists echoes this thought… relax.
Immerse yourself in the history of the Settlement Cook Book (does your family have a copy?). Learn how to easily roast meats to perfection in our DIY MKE column. Make punch the (other) centerpiece of your holiday celebration with the help of MKE Mixology. Do you fondue? Oh, you used to? Then you should definitely read Edible Culture. Beyond these articles, you’ll enjoy exploring some hidden, and some not so hidden, breakfast gems in and around our city, and getting to know the “love” matches that have resulted in some of your favorite local food products. Embrace lucky food traditions from around the world on New Year’s Eve with Kids Table. Trace the food memories of an Italian diaspora community in Ethnic Edibles. Lastly, joyspot Milwaukee’s transformative spaces in our latest Grist for the Mill.
EMKE won’t go into hibernation after this edition, that’s for sure. There are too many stories to tell! Cozy up with our winter issue, and stay with us as we continue the conversation about local food all year round. Up next, in early April, we’ll tackle repurposing, recycling, and food waste—also part of the equation when we talk about living a more sustainable life. You won’t want to miss what we have in store. Until then, be well and don’t forget to keep in touch. We welcome your participation on our Facebook page—facebook.com/ediblemke—and your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This publisher’s letter is dedicated to the memory of Joanne Haldemann, whose gift of a Czechoslovak Pastries cookbook contains the best braided Christmas bread recipe I’ve ever made. Thanks, Joanne, for always stopping to let me hug every tree.