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As a kid growing up in New England snow days were akin to Christmas Eve. You went to bed with the anticipation that the next morning would bring something new, something exciting, something rare.

My childhood bedroom was at the front of the house with windows facing the street. On snowy nights I’d creep out of bed, sometimes at two or three in the morning, and press my face against the window to watch the snow fall. The glow of the streetlights would reflect off the white on the ground and turn the entire street into some sort of surreal…

Who would have thought it would take a global health emergency and economic catastrophe to make me appreciate standing in the front of the stove for 20–30 minutes, doing nothing else but tending to a pan of rice.

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Risotto is a dish that has, unfairly if you ask me, earned a reputation for being fussy and difficult. There are steps, more than a few. They must be done in the correct order, at the correct time. You must never walk away from the stove, even for a minute, lest your risotto scorch.

Yet here I am, standing over the stove…

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If you ask any food writer or former restaurant worker for advice on dining out I can guarantee that sooner or later you’ll be told to become a regular. Regulars get special treatment. Regulars are committed to a restaurant’s success. Regulars become a part of the family.

When it comes to travel it too pays to be a regular. For those of us blessed (or cursed) with the wanderlust gene it can be near impossible to resist the call of the next, newest place. Cities and countries are boxes we tick off on a long list of to-do’s. …

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My whole life I’ve been a problem-solver. Something happens, I figure out what to do and how to move forward. Years of crisis-management both in my personal and professional lives have led me to be a quick-thinker, calm under pressure, and able to detach myself from my emotions when making in-the-moment decisions.

It’s a way of surviving. It was certainly not a way of living.

I saw things as problems that needed to be quickly dealt with and moved past. Problems were negative. Problems were obstacles. Problems were just that — problems.

A few months ago, in discussion with my…

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Hi. It’s 2020. No one wants your hot takes anymore.

Let me elaborate. The “hot take”, as in the unsolicited opinion backed up with no fact or research whatsoever, has been a staple of social media since its inception as a media genre.

This past November the hot take reached new heights on Twitter, where a viral tweet encouraged people to share their most unpopular food opinion. Innocuous, right?

Wrong. (It’s social media, of course it was destined to be a dumpster fire.)

Innocent-enough tweets (“pineapple on pizza is great!”) were quickly overtaken by not-so-subtly racist tweets like “Indian food…

How a mainstay of organizational development can do wonders on an individual level.

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As someone who was uber-involved in college I’ve been on enough organizational retreats to last a lifetime. The idea is that if you sequester everyone together in one place, without distraction, you can draw on the group’s strengths to generate new ideas, forge closer bonds, and create a path forward towards a common goal. Retreats were usually filled with icebreakers, brainstorming, breakout sessions, and a fun activity or two. …

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We all have habits that we want to cultivate or maintain. We want to exercise more, eat better, read more books or perhaps move forward on a passion project. Empowering and following through on good habits can be difficult enough for most people; for those of us who live a less structured, more wayward lifestyle it can be damn near impossible.

When I left my day job and my husband and I decided to open our own business, one of the prime factors was the ability to be less tied down, both in terms of the normal Monday to Friday…

Most of us have determined some sort of path for our lives. Some of us have pretty solid paths, with concrete goals, milestones, and timelines. These are like well-maintained sidewalks, smooth and easily trodden.

Some of us have more bumpy paths, with unexpected forks in the road and a somewhat murky destination. These are maybe more like an unkempt trail through the woods, pleasant at times but you need to watch out for trip hazards and thorny bushes.

Regardless, all of us are on a path leading somewhere. The path is our journey, a summation of our actions, our dreams…

Surviving domestic violence is one thing, recovering is something else entirely

Photo: Ochard Keo / EyeEm / Getty Images

I don’t even remember what the fight was about.

I do remember the yelling and the insults and the sound, after he had stormed off into the kitchen, the sound of metal on tile, of glass breaking, and the sound that made everything else go silent.

I ran into the kitchen to find that, in his anger, he had toppled an entire shelf full of pots and pans. I remember being furious, not at the mess (which of course I was the one to clean up), but at seeing my treasured All-Clad skillet with a nick in it. …

Twitter lit up this week with people raving about the new Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich. Food media was abuzz with praise. Writer Helen Rosner even had a piece in the New Yorker titled “The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is Here To Save America.” Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

Except maybe not?

After all, wasn’t it only a few short weeks ago that Twitter was also abuzz, this time with condemnation for the ICE raids on Mississippi chicken processing plants that swept up hundreds of Latinx workers and left children crying and alone after the school day, wondering where their parents were? …

Matt Lardie

Food, wine, travel, ethics, and life’s journey. Based in Durham, NC but frequently wandering.

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