Make the memory of your long-gone baby teeth ache when you visit The Vermont Country Store, in Weston, Vermont. The place, which is best known as a catalog but also has two physical locations IRL, offers a huge variety of candy that people of all ages will remember from back-in-the-day -- Charleston Chew, anyone?-- as part of its mission to purvey the practical and the hard-to-find. (N.B.: IRL = In real life, as opposed to online. N.B.= Nota bene.)
As I wrote about my visit to the store a few weeks ago, I started thinking about how we hardly ever hear about "practicality" as a value anymore. Vrest Orton, who founded the company with his wife Mildred in 1946 (can there be more solid and practical names than these?) apparently insisted that all the products sold must be "useful, work and make sense." I am not 100% sure how these standards apply to jawbreakers, however.
The Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City officially opened its rooftop garden today -- the rooftop here is actually a large 20th floor terrace. There are nine planting beds, and -- anaphylactic shock-sensitive beware -- beehives. The honey from appears in cocktails, and on menu items, and in the hotel's spa. And even if you're not a guest at the hotel, you can jump on to the hotel's historic tour on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:45 a.m. Learn more.
You probably don't think "farm" when you think about visiting New York City -- but if you're interested in food, it's time to rethink that thinking.
My eyes were open to the possibilities of urban agriculture thanks to The Horticultural Society of New York, which put on an excellent conference on the topic, and included a tour of the city's working farms. Brush up on the definition of urban agriculture, and then check these farms out on your next city visit.
If you're looking for a gift for a food-loving mom, dad, grad keep in mind that while people can be really picky about their food, everyone loves a funny t-shirt. Food on Your Shirt, a Calgary-based company, has a comprehensive line of food humor t-shirts, and is especially encyclopedic on the subject of bacon.