Arts & Life

12:48pm

Fri December 7, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season's Best

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

Nishant Choksi

It's that time of year again — the leaves have fallen, the dark comes early, the air brings with it a certain chill — and I've been piling up books on my reading table, books I've culled from the offerings of the past few months, which because of their essential lyric beauty and power stand as special gifts for you and yours.

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11:56am

Fri December 7, 2012
The Salt

Mushroom Ice Cream, Anyone? Chefs Turning To Veggies For Dessert

A cup of pumpkin ice cream with chunks of frozen candy cap mushrooms. The candy cap variety is said to have the fragrance of maple syrup.
Jeff Moreau

Chefs at some of the most cutting edge restaurants in the country are incorporating vegetables into their desserts in ways that, at first glance, might not seem very dessert-y.

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10:02am

Fri December 7, 2012
Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season

The Spotlight: Hanukkah Lights 2012

iStockphoto.com
  • Hanukkah Lights 2012 full, one-hour special

In stories by four noted authors, this year's edition of Hanukkah Lights showcases some of the program's most touching and insightful moments: Two teenagers find the formula to bridge a bitter family divide; the life of a cynical young reporter is changed by a single mysterious encounter; a reluctant grade-school student stands up for his heritage, and is wounded in the line of duty; and a despairing mom reconnects with her distant yet devoted daughter. Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz bring these generation-spanning tales to life.

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9:49am

Fri December 7, 2012
The Salt

When It Comes To Boxed Wine, The Cooler, The Better

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:22 am

If you're picking a boxed wine for your party this season, be aware that temperature is everything.
AFP Getty Images

Bag-in-the-box wine doesn't have the classiest of reputations. It's usually cheap and in the past at least, has been aimed at less sophisticated consumers. But in recent years, boxed wine has tried to buck the stereotype, whether by gussying up the product packaging or simply putting higher-quality wine in the box.

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12:50am

Fri December 7, 2012
The Salt

In Farmers Market, A Free Market Rises In Cuba

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 6:30 pm

Cuba has relaxed some business rules, allowing street vendors to sell produce and a large wholesale produce market to open at night on the edge of Havana.
Greg Kahn Getty Images

Cuba has no shortage of fertile farmland, but the country spends $1.5 billion a year importing about 70 percent of its food.

The communist government's chronic struggle to get farmers to produce more is forcing authorities to grudgingly accept a greater role for market principles and the profit motive.

Now authorities seem willing to go another step further, tolerating the rise of what might be described as Cuba's "free-est" market.

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