Arts & Life

2:26pm

Tue December 25, 2012
Food

The Bittersweet Tale Of An Odd Christmas Cookie Sandwich

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We've asked you to tell us what you eat on Christmas Day, regardless of whether you celebrate the holiday. And one thing we've learned from your emails, many of you do share common food traditions: puddings, cookies, eggnog. And some of you have your own little bit of quirk, like Sarah Schwab's(ph) family in Milwaukee. They have a special drink.

SARAH SCHWAB: It's called a Holiday Harvey.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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1:58pm

Tue December 25, 2012
The Salt

Computers May Someday Beat Chefs At Creating Flavors We Crave

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:06 am

Does bell pepper and black tea sound appetizing? A computer may think so.
Ryan Smith NPR

Mario Batali, watch your back.

Computer scientists at IBM have already built a computer that can beat human contestants on the TV quiz show, "Jeopardy." Now it appears they're sharpening their intellectual knives to make a computer that might someday challenge the competitors on "Iron Chef."

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9:41am

Tue December 25, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

Recipe Rebellion: A Year Of Contrarian Cookbooks

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 2:20 pm

Nishant Choksi

"Just throw the whole lemon in the food processor for lemon bars."
"Don't just soak your dried beans — brine them!"
"You don't need a whole day (or two) to make a good sauce."

Some of the things this year's cookbooks said to me as I tested them were downright contrarian. But that's the brilliant thing about cooking in a global, crowdsourced, Web-fueled world: People no longer cook according to some received wisdom handed down by a guy in a white toque. They figure it out as they go along, and if they stumble on a shortcut, it's blogged and shared in no time flat.

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8:19am

Tue December 25, 2012
Arts & Life

No Sugar Plums Here: The Dark, Romantic Roots Of 'The Nutcracker'

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 2:20 pm

E.T.A. Hoffmann's original story, "Nutcracker and Mouse King," is darker and spookier than the ballet version most people know.
iStockphoto.com

This is the time of year when one man's work is widely — if indirectly — celebrated. His name used to be hugely famous, but nowadays, it draws blank stares, even from people who know that work. We're speaking about E.T.A. Hoffmann, original author of The Nutcracker.

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7:33am

Tue December 25, 2012
The Salt

'Canadian Peanut Butter' Connects Mainers To Their Acadian Roots

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:08 pm

Robert Bisson of Bisson and Sons Meat Market in Topsham, Maine, with his granddaughter. The butcher shop sells traditional cretons during the holidays.
Lauren McCandlish NPR

Last Christmas, we told you about tourtières, the savory meat pies Canadians serve around the holidays. Now, we bring you cretons, a Québécois delicacy found throughout Canada and parts of New England this time of year.

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