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Ari's Top 5
The power of love and caring can change the world.

—James Autry
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A scratchboard illustration of two hands making a heart around the word Zingerman's

Love and Work

Why it’s worth showing love and care in all our actions 

Way back in 1990—in the same year that the two Germanies were reunited, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and eight years after Paul and I had opened the Deli—my friend Lex Alexander from North Carolina told me about a new book he was reading. And loving. It was written by a guy from Iowa who Lex had met a few years earlier at a food show. His name was Jim Autry, and his new publication was entitled Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership. Autry put forward some fairly radical perspectives that were way outside the thinking of the mainstream management world at the time. Like Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership and Peter Block’s Stewardship, Autry’s book had a big impact on us. “Good management,” Autry wrote, “is largely a matter of love.”

Love has been around as long as there have been human beings. We all want it. And we all have some sense of what it’s about, flawed though that sense may be, in many cases, from our families and personal relationships. Every religion advocates it—you will each, I’m sure, be able to cite the relevant sources in your own sphere of spiritual activity. What I am sharing here is less about love in the general sense of the word (and the world), and instead more narrowly focused on what Jim Autry was advocating—a look at how love fits into, and can be an essential part of, where we go to work every week.

If we’re fortunate—and I feel like I am—love is already there. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, as many of you know, over the last five or six years on a model of organizations as ecosystems. Part of what I’m loving about the work on it is that every few weeks or so I think of some new element that makes the model more meaningful and useful. Here’s one of my latest additions to the model:

When we create a healthy organizational ecosystem, love is the outcome.

While we ought to bring love to all we do as individuals, my belief is that the collective health of an organizational community will be felt, first and foremost, in the form of love. No, love is not what we sell, nor is what we use to pay our bills. But it is present, in both the energy we emit and the actions we take—imperfectly, of course—every day. In a healthy ecosystem of any sort, the value of the whole will always exceed the sum of the individual parts. Love (along with creativity and positive energy) will be a big part of what raises that collective value to such great heights—it’s what elevates the ecosystem beyond what each component would accomplish on its own. Love certainly isn’t all we need, but when all our needs are being met in a healthy, humble, and human way, I believe love is what we’ll get.

bell hooks’ book All About Love; New Visions, is an essential read on the subject. She has much to share and many important—and challenging—social questions to ask. One of the biggest takeaways I got from her writing is that love is not just something we feel—it’s an action. A verb. Love is what we do every day with every person we interact with, every sandwich we make, every bread we bake, and every email we send. It’s not just something we feel when we’re in the right space or in the mood, and it’s not just an ideal to aspire to. It’s a decision we make about how we’re going to show up with coworkers, customers, and vendors. And no matter how well we brought love on any given day, we’re never done doing it. As Grace Lee Boggs once said, “Love isn’t about what we did yesterday; it’s about what we do today and tomorrow and the day after.”

What is love about in the workplace? I’ll suggest love in action looks like caring compassion; it’s present when we make the decision to choose positive beliefs; it shows up when we help each other to feel seen and heard and supported and to be ourselves. It’s being able to address antipathy and anger, but in caring, dignified, and constructive ways. bell hooks shares six characteristics of love: "affection, respect, recognition, commitment, trust, and care.” I’m not sure we’ll end up with those exact six here at Zingerman’s when we set about one day to define better what we do, but they’re a great start.

Whatever formal definition of love we eventually end up with down the road, I’ve come to believe that love is both an input to the organizational ecosystem—i.e., something we can each do at work every day—and an output—it’s what we’ll get when we have a healthy (and still imperfect) organization. It’s what emerges when we create “good work.” In this context love is, by definition, a collective effort. As Thomas Merton wrote, “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it with another.” I believe you can feel it in the air. Or at least in our energy.

This understanding hit me hard, in the best possible way, when I was reading Humberto Maturana’s Biology of Love. The Chilean biologist and philosopher states very firmly:

Love is our natural condition… We humans are loving animals, and our intelligence and creativity in the domain of human well-being depends on our being loving animals.

If we stay grounded in who we really are as humans, and treat each other with dignity every day, we won’t have to work at it that hard. Love is what will then emerge from the ecosystem.

The problems start to pop up when organizations do the opposite. Where “bad work” is the norm, you will find very little love in action. Where disrespect is the (dis)order of the day, where exclusion is accepted, where dignity is reserved for only a select few, when people have no sense of purpose, or little hope… money may still be made, but love becomes a lost cause. In the workplace, this looks like people being treated like machine parts or being dehumanized, disrespected, or dishonored. It’s being talked down to while told to get back to work. It’s being isolated, away from any meaningful impact your work may have. It’s doing work one could care less about to earn the paycheck one badly needs to pay the bills. It’s where, as bell hooks writes, “Relationships are treated like Dixie cups. They are the same. They are disposable. If it does not work, drop it, throw it away, get another.” (Certainly, there are amazing individuals, exceptions in their ecosystem, who will act with love no matter where they’re working.)

We have allowed all these issues to occur to some degree over our years in business. Good intentions don’t guarantee good results, nor will they preclude problems. But humble reengagement and deep care for others through our efforts to treat everyone with dignity, and honor who they are, means love will still be intact despite our imperfections. Even in a loving organizational ecosystem, challenges will still abound. Money may be tight, personal and interpersonal tensions intrude on effectiveness, outside forces complicate our work, and our own anxieties limit our ability to lead. We all fall short, and we all will, at some point, be mad at each other. We will still, unfortunately, fire people. But we can find ways to address all of those from a loving, supportive place. We can find ways to breathe deep and stick together through the struggle, to take a long walk (alone, or together, or both) to reground and gather ourselves; to figure out how to still make sustainable finance a reality even under duress. We can approach all those things with love, care and compassion. And when we fall short, we can acknowledge the error of our ways and humbly work to make things better. I’ve come to believe it’s our obligation to do that. As Emma Goldman said, “The most vital right is the right to love and be loved.”

Vivek Murthy is a man who’s quietly working to influence the country in a more mindful, loving direction. I met Dr. Murthy when he called, and then came out to Ann Arbor, to interview a few of us here for his newly-released book Together; The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. Since his visit, I’ve listened to a series of interviews with him. When I heard the podcast with Tim Ferriss in May during the early months of the pandemic, I lamented the fact that he was no longer the Surgeon General. His calm, wise, caring humility seemed so in line with the kind of work we’re trying to do here. Patience pays off. Dr. Murthy will again, as of January 20th, be the surgeon general. He brings alive a lot of what I’ve been thinking and feeling about this subject over the last few years:

I think it is so important for us as a society to be able to talk not just about emotions but about love, because love is the greatest source of strength that we have. I, as a doctor, have written many prescriptions for powerful medicines and antibiotics, but there is no medicine that’s more powerful than love and you don’t need a medical degree or to be a nurse to be able to deliver the power of love to other people’s lives. What you need is the very human and universal ability to respect and be in touch with your emotions, to summon what’s already inside you. And that’s the power of love.

Regardless of what stage of life we’re at, we’ve got three basic needs: we all want to know that we matter, we want to be seen for who we are, and we want to know that we’re loved.

Building on bell hooks’ belief that love is an action to be taken, I’ve come to realize that it’s also, as Jim Autry wrote all those years ago, perfectly practical. It’s better business. Making a living with love is a much better way to go. It can help us turn tension into creative upside; antipathy into aspiration; care into quality. And per Dr. Murthy’s comments, creating a loving workplace could be helping keep us healthy. One advantage we have here in making that a reality is that love has been in our mission statement—at Paul’s creative and caring suggestion—that we penned shortly after Jim Autry’s book came out.

We share the Zingerman’s Experience
Selling food that makes you happy
Giving service that makes you smile
In passionate pursuit of our mission
Showing love and care in all our actions
To enrich as many lives as we possibly can

Since we actively believe and teach that it is all of our work at Zingerman’s—starting with me and Paul—to make that Mission a reality in every single interaction we have with every single person we come into contact with, I’m realizing now as I write that acting in a loving and caring way has already been a performance expectation here for us for 30 years now. To build on three decades of that Mission work, we’ve committed ourselves to working hard to make this a reality. In the twelfth and last section of the new 2032 Vision, we wrote:

Love and Care

Every act in the ZCoB is an act of love. Acts to care and connect. To take the implementation of our mission to greater heights than ever. We view everyone through the lens of a compassionate heart, choosing patience, positive beliefs and take pause to appreciate the beauty in everyone and everything we work with. We are mindfully conscious of what the impact of our decisions are on the people we work with, our customers, and the larger community. We understand that the energy we put into every interaction is essential. We are self-reflective and intentional in our work in this way.

Compassion is a deep understanding of the feelings and experiences of others. Working in this way allows us to demonstrate care, and genuine care for others creates real connections. It makes us authentic. These authentic connections create trust, cooperation, and eagerness/willingness to work together. We lead with compassion.

How does this look if disagreements or frustrations arise today? We engage and interact with each other to come from a place of love, knowing that welcoming the discomfort can be the key to our growth and better understanding of each other and ourselves. We first assume positive intent in our engagement. We have caring interactions even when we disagree—feeling heard, and having courageous conversations without contempt. We work to change our beliefs to see how people change and grow, supporting them on their path. We share this journey together.

We will fall short, I know, every day. But just as we do when we fall short in service we give or food that we serve, we’ll take a deep breath and lovingly, caringly, and compassionately go forward.

A little love here in the ZCoB won’t by itself solve all the world’s problems, but it can help. Gary Snyder suggested we need to create “communities of love.” As leaders in our organizations, I believe we have the chance to work to help those communities to become a reality. The healthier we make our organizational ecosystems, the more we can make love the kind of everyday reality that Jim Autry, bell hooks, Emma Goldman, Humberto Maturana, Vivek Murthy and so many others have all written about, the greater the chances are that we can change our worlds for the better. As we wind down 2020 and move through the threshold into a new calendar year, we can use that work, I believe, more than ever. Because as anarchist Ashanti Alston once said, “We have to find ways to love and support each other through tough times.”

The work of creating good work and a healthy organizational ecosystem is detailed throughout Parts 1-4 of the Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading series. You can get the whole bundle for $100 at the Deli, Roadhouse, or Coffee Company (yes, we can put books in your carryout order) or online at Zingerman’s Press, ZingTrain, and Mail Order.

Two chunks of cheese stacked

Willi Lehner’s Bandaged Farmhouse Cheddar and Farmhouse Grana

A pair of exceptional, long-aged, artisan cheeses from Wisconsin

If I were putting together a book of poetry about people who stayed in place and made a long term lasting difference in their communities, Willi Lehner would surely be in it. He’s been making artisan cheese on his farm just outside the tiny town of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin for about as long as we’ve been working at the Deli. Both Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry would surely tip their hats to how well Willi and his partner Kitas McKnight have done their work. They care for the land, for the environment (they converted to full solar years ago—he hasn’t had a utility bill for around seven years), and they make marvelous cheese. Willi literally integrates the place into his products—he uses what he calls an “Earth-schmier,” a brine that uses some of the local soil, to wash the rind of his cheddar. Ten years or so ago he built an exceptional cheese aging cave into the mountain side and the quality of that work is contributing greatly to the maturing and flavor of the finished cheeses. His love, passion, and long-term commitment to quality shows through in every cheese of his you’ll taste.

I met Willi years ago, not long after we’d both started our respective businesses, through the American Cheese Society. Willi’s father was a cheesemaker in Switzerland, so he’s been around cheesemaking his whole life. His cheese and work are so good that our friends at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London made Willi’s cheddar one of the only non-British or Irish cheeses they have had on the counter at various points over the years. The New York Times once called Willi the “off-the-grid rock star of the Wisconsin artisanal cheese movement.” I’m not sure how they decide these things, but a few years ago Bon Appetit named Willi’s cheddar “one of the 25 most important cheeses in the U.S.” In the spirit of choosing healthy limits, Willi intentionally keeps his production levels pretty much right where he wants them. Enough to live on in a modest way, and not much more. “If he really wanted to, he could distribute nationwide and sell a lot more cheese,” says Ken Monteleone, long-time ZingTrain client and the owner of the fine Madison shop Fromagination. “I admire his discipline to say no, this is all I want to make. Willi’s carved a nice life for himself. He’s found a formula that takes years for some people to figure out.” Willi has historically sold nearly all of his cheese in his twice-a-week visit to the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison. This year, in one of the few upsides of the upside-down year that was 2020, his Farmer’s Market sales have fallen way off, which has made it slightly easier for us to get more of Willi’s cheese.

Willi’s cloth-wrapped cheddar is about 18 months old right now—the flavor is full, rich, earthy, nutty with a touch of the egginess and all the mystery and magic that mark the great English cheddars. We’re also fortunate enough to have some of his Grana, the hard aged grating (and eating) cheese that is made in small batches and, consequently, hard to get. It usually goes out only to the Farmer’s Market, so we’re feeling particularly fortunate to have some on our counter.

Willi’s cloth-wrapped cheddar is available at both the Deli and the Cream Top Shop, and the Grana is, in limited quantities, at the Deli. Neither is on the zingermans.com Mail Order site, but just email toni@zingermans.com and we can get some sent your way!

Get both cheeses from the Deli
Get the cheddar from the Creamery
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A full loaf of caraway rye, next to a slice of caraway rye, sitting on top of a Bakehouse paper bag.

Caraway Rye from the Bakehouse

Rye Bread the way it was 100 years ago

One of my favorite Bakehouse breads for as long as I can remember now. The base of so many of our Deli sandwiches over the years has been the Jewish Rye bread sans caraway seeds, but given the chance to make the choice for myself, I’d opt for the Caraway Rye each time. A thick slice, hand-cut from a fresh loaf (I far prefer the roughness of hand-cut slices than the uniformity and “convenience” of having the bread sliced on a machine) and spread with the Creamery’s handmade Cream Cheese is, to my taste, one of the best combos one can get at Zingerman’s. Toasted and spread with butter is almost as good. Great dunked in chicken soup. Spread with chopped liver. With Willi’s cheddar and sliced apples on a grilled cheese. Or you can make what my friend Jay Sandweiss suggested—toasted Caraway Rye spread with chicken schmaltz (we can sell you some at the Deli). Jay’s creatively witty Yiddish name for this? Chazer-rye. Chazer means pig in Yiddish. Chazerei in Yiddish means “junk” or something along those lines. I look at it as the Eastern European Jewish version of bruschetta.

Even without the bread, I have a long-standing love for caraway. There's something about the aromatics, the small hint of anise it offers, the almost but not quite fennelly flavor that it adds, that makes the rye all the more interesting to me. Caraway is a somewhat misunderstood spice. A lot of consumers think that caraway is rye, but it’s not; rye is a grain, caraway is a spice. And what we all call caraway “seed” is actually the fruit of the caraway plant. It’s in the same family as anise, dill, cumin, and fennel, and it’s been used since ancient times—you can find references to it in the writings of Rome, Egypt, Persia, and the Arab world. Caraway has been used extensively in northern Europe and Russia for centuries, hence its prominence in the Jewish cooking and baking of that area. And it’s role in this bread. Old superstition says that caraway gives the gift of retention—supposedly if you put caraway seeds into something, a thief who tried to steal it wouldn’t be able to leave the house. For that reason, it was used in love potions as well—people used caraway to make sure their lovers would be locked-in for life.

The Jewish Rye at the Bakehouse—with or without caraway—has been pretty amazing since we started making it back in the mid-90s. Jane and Michael Stern rated the Bakehouse's rye bread the best in the country in Saveur magazine. What makes it so good? A lot more rye flour than most bakeries use, a real rye starter (instead of something out of a can), baking on the stone hearth, steam in the oven to help develop the crust all enhanced by hard work by the bread bakers at the Bakehouse and you get some really great tasting loaves. Two years ago we raised our own quality ante when we began buying rye from western Illinois and milling it fresh here at the Bakehouse. All of which is taken one step further still at the Deli by double baking (putting the loaf unwrapped into a 350° oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is crisp and center hot and steamy) and then hand slicing every loaf while it’s still warm to bring out that crust. When you double bake at home, one added bonus is that the entire house is likely to be perfumed with this great aroma.

In the context of creative connection, Jewish rye bread was the critical element in my now dozen year project to connect anarchist beliefs with progressive business began with Jewish rye bread, and a long essay I wrote about its history. The head of the Jewish Studies Department, Deborah Dash Moore, invited me to speak and titled the talk “Anarchism on Rye.” (If you want a slightly longer version of this historian’s version of a philosophical fairy tale email me and I’ll send it your way. Ironically, or maybe not ironically at all, this is the bread that many of the early 20th century anarchists I was so intrigued by would almost certainly have been eating. Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Joseph Ishill, and others of their group would have enjoyed it regularly.)

This coming weekend, Friday January 1 and Saturday January 2, the Bakehouse is doing a special bake of the Chernushka Rye. I wrote a bunch about it back in June. It’s long been one of my favorites. Chernushki (the Russian plural for Chernushka) are the tiny black seeds that you might see in some more formally written about as Nigella. While they have a bit of a peppery flavor, they aren’t related to peppercorns. The word “chernuyi” in Russian means “black,” which is what they are—a very deep, dense, black in color. Chernushka seeds (also known as kalonji) are native to the Middle East and India. They’re used a lot in bread but also in other recipes as well. Their flavor is intriguing. For me, almost intoxicating. It’s said to hint of thyme, licorice, onion. The Chernushka rye will only be out for two days so if you like good bread and a bit of unusual spice, don’t miss this one at the Bakehouse, Deli or by mail at zingermans.com.

Order for Saturday pickup from the Bakehouse
Ship Caraway Rye anywhere in America

P.S. Friday marks the end of Frank’s last formal week working at the Bakehouse. I said my piece (about 10,000 words worth) here last spring. I’m not good at goodbyes, and I will continue to simply call Frank to chat. But I do want to acknowledge, again, the amazing contribution he has made to my life as a friend and partner, and to Zingerman’s. While the Deli is where Zingerman’s began back in 1982, one can argue (as I do in the article) that it was starting the Bakehouse with Frank ten years later that really “made” us what we are today. Marcel Pagnol once wrote, “I’m going to make you bread like you’ve never seen before, and in this bread there will be love and friendship.” Frank has made Pagnol’s point a reality every single day for nearly 30 years now. Thank you, Frank. You have changed our world in so many wonderful ways. I will appreciate you and all the bread, pastry, positive leadership, and great partnership you have gifted us for the rest of my life.

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Close up of bacon on a cheeseburger

24/7 Cheeseburger at the Roadhouse

Order ahead and eat up

If you’re looking for a good, down-to-earth dinner (or lunch) to take home this week, let me put this beautiful burger in your mind. It’s a longtime favorite of many folks, not least of which is ZingTrain’s managing partner Katie Frank. The 24/7 burger is the sort of simple, based-on-great-ingredients, kind of food I could eat regularly for years. The key to me is that this is just a great confluence of flavors, a sort of harmonic convergence for hamburger lovers. The beef is incredibly flavorful—pasture raised all the way through, dry-aged to enhance flavor, ground fresh daily and hand-pattied (to avoid the compression and pasty texture you get in so many commercially-made burgers). We grill the burger over whole oak logs from up north so it picks up a bit of smoke there as well. The applewood smoked bacon from the Nueske family in Wittenberg, Wisconsin is smoky and just subtly sweet enough to compliment the natural sweet meatiness of the beef. The long-aged, sharp but still creamy on the tongue cheddar from Tony and Julie Hook in Mineral Point, Wisconsin is big enough in flavor to be perfectly in balance with the other two. And the Bakehouse bun is the perfect pillow upon which to rest all this other stuff—soft enough to soak up the juice from the burger, flavorful enough to contribute a touch of creamy, wheaty depth to the equation.

The name? Well, Nueske’s bacon is smoked for 24 hours; the Hook’s cheddar is 7 years old. Put ’em together and you get a 24/7. Having just eaten one, I feel like it’s the sort of food you could eat any time of the day, any day of the week. When I was a kid we used to, on occasion, go to the drive-in for dinner. Ordering one of these burgers, having us bring it to your car window, listening to some good music, and eating it ASAP seems appropriate for the moment. You could, I realize too, put a movie on your phone and make an evening of it.

Customize your 24/7 Cheeseburger

P.S. Remember too that the Roadhouse has beer, wine, and cocktails to go (but absolutely don’t drink and drive!).

P.P.S. The Roadhouse has some cool new folk-art producer posters in stock. Check them out if you still need a little gift or kitchen decoration.

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A blue plate with mac and cheese, topped with some caramelized onions

Swiss Potato Mac & Cheese with Caramelized Onions

A great winter dish from the mountains to make at your house

There’s no denying that we’re into the first full-on formal weeks of winter here in Michigan. A sprinkling of snow and plenty of below-freezing temperatures. Which means it’s a good time of year to look to hearty winter dishes to keep us warm. I learned this one ages ago when I was in Switzerland. I forget it during the summer but every so often when the weather turns cold, it pops back into my head. In Swiss-German the name is Älplermagronen. You can just call it Swiss Potato Mac & Cheese if you want. It’s not hard to do, and it’s happily delicious!

I was reminded of the dish last week because we have so many good Swiss mountain cheeses in at the Deli. There’s an amazing Gruyere from the Mons family—they’re based in France near Lyon, but they have many years of good relationships with artisan cheesemakers on the other side of the Swiss border. What we have on hand, made at the Laiterie du Mouret, is approaching 24 months of age and its flavor is pretty amazing. We’ve also got a great wheel of Rahmtaler in right now. This is essentially the classically enormous wheels of Emmental cheese, made by hand, in very small batches, but using full fat milk instead of the now standard skim. Markus Hengartner, Marcel Züger and Hansruedi Gasser are the three cheesemakers producing the cheese. Rahmtaler was actually the way most Emmental was made up until the 16th century—a surplus of butter pushed farmers to stop skimming the cream for butter-making as is now the norm, and make a creamier, full fat Emmental. We get the Rahmtaler in the traditional big 180 pound wheels. It’s got all the great nuttiness and nose that I love in a classic Emmental but just a bit more sweetness and a fuller mouthfeel. I’m a big fan. Either of these cheeses (or any of the other great mountain cheeses we have on hand) would be delicious in this dish—I used some of each in the same dish with really good results.

One of the things that makes this Swiss Potato Mac and Cheese so terrific is the hefty pile of caramelized onions you put on top before serving. (Email me if you’d like the formal recipe for the Älplermagronen.) Slice a couple of good sized onions and cook them very slowly in butter for a good 30 to 45 minutes, stirring somewhat regularly, till they turn deep brown and are very soft and sweet. You can do these ahead if you want—they keep well, and if you have extra you can use them on other dishes as well (great on a grilled cheese or a burger). When the onions are almost ready, bring a big pot of water to a boil, and add a few teaspoons of sea salt (you want the water to taste properly salted). Add the potatoes—I like any of the small heirlooms you can still get at the Farmer’s Market, or also Yukon Golds. If the potatoes are small you can leave them whole; if they’re bigger cut them into quarters. When the potatoes are about ten minutes away from tender, add the pasta. I like to use short pasta, about the same size as the potatoes. Martelli maccheroni, Mancini mezze maniche, Rustichella penne rigate, or Gentile Vesuvio all work very nicely. Stir well. Pull a couple cups of the cooking water out and set aside—the starch in it will help bind the sauce. When the pasta is al dente and the potatoes are tender, drain the lot.

Put the cooking water back in the pot at moderate heat, add the pasta and potatoes. Add a good bit of grated cheese and stir well. How much cheese you like is up to you. Essentially, you’ll be creating something like a fondue with macaroni and potatoes. Add a good bit of freshly ground pepper, preferably white, but if you don’t have it on hand you can use black pepper instead—it won’t get you in trouble with the culinary cops. Grind some fresh nutmeg in at the end. Check for salt. The finished product will look like pan-made macaroni and cheese with pieces of potato integrated into it.

Serve the Älplermagronen in warm bowls and put a bunch of the caramelized onions on top. The onions are a key ingredient in the eating, not just a garnish, so don’t skimp. Their sweet meatiness makes a compelling counterpoint to the creamy richness of the Potato Mac & Cheese. Finish with a bit of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or some of Willi Lehner’s well-aged Wisconsin Grana. Although it’s not the way I learned the dish all those years ago, I’ve seen some folks who always serve it with applesauce. I like to keep my sweets and savories separate so I don’t do it that way, but of course this is your dinner. There are still good apples out at the market to make sauce with. If it were me I’d probably hold the apple for dessert and eat some sliced, with a handful of those California red walnuts or Piemontese hazelnuts we have at the Deli and then some good honey as well. Apples and honey are typical for Rosh Hashanah, to presage a good and sweet year. Eating them didn’t work all that well for me when I tried it back in September at the start of the Jewish New Year, but maybe I’ll give it another shot now that we’re turning over the Julian calendar. After all, we can use all the help we can get, right?

Other Things on My Mind

Music:
John O’Donohue says, “Really good music has an incredible secret sculpture of silence in it.” Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop each make great music on their own. The album they did together isn’t new, but I’ve been listening to it again as if it were.

Owen Ashworth of Advance Base, who I mentioned last week, once did an album of covers of the great gospel singer Washington Phillips. I’m not sure how I stumbled on Phillips years ago, but there’s something hauntingly amazing to me about his now hundred-year-old recordings. Check out Phillips’ music on the marvelous historically-rooted Dust to Digital release and book.

Listening:
Insightful podcast with bell hooks.

Another great podcast with Dr. Murthy.

Reading:
Getting my ecosystem-minded mind blown by Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi’s The Systems View of Life.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this enews and you know someone else who might like it, please pass it along. Have questions about Zingerman’s? Write us at info@zingermans.com.
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