Ari's Top 5
If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good. —Shantideva

The Deli’s 39th anniversary will be on March 15. But it’s 39 years ago, this past weekend, that I gave two-months’ notice at my old job. That same day, Iggy Pop came back to town to do a book signing, at Schoolkids Records, for his new autobiography, I Want More. I had no idea what would come next for me work-wise, but it felt like it was time to do something else. Four and half months later, Zingerman’s had what my friend Patrick-Earl Barnes calls its “born day.” Despite the current state of politics and the momentary pressures of the pandemic, I think, with all due humility in mind, it’s safe for me to say that it’s worked out. And it’s still working out. Thank you. Thank you to Paul for calling me two days after I’d given said-notice, to suggest we check out what’s now the Deli’s building together. Thank you to everyone who’s been part of making Zingerman’s what it is. Thank you to those who were there from the get-go—Maggie, Frank, and all of the many guests who’ve been an active part of the Zingerman’s community since the week we opened. Thank you to everyone who’s supported us since. Thank you to everyone for continuing to support us through the craziness that is 2020. Your support, care, generosity, and patience are powerful poetry to be a small part of. Here’s to many more good food, learning, and experiences to come.


Why Worry Won’t Work

And how to help work past it


I’m writing this the week before Election Day. This will be published November 4—a day after. Whether the exact outcome will be clear Wednesday when we send this out to the world, I can’t know. What I can say with certainty is that, although I know better, over the last week or so I’ve started to catch myself beginning to worry about the election. Intellectually, I know, there’s no point. I’ve already voted and there’s nothing I can do that’s going to impact the results. Worry won’t help. In fact, I long know from experience, it will likely make things worse. The best strategy is probably to do what the farmer friend of our longtime olive oil and vinegar supplier Albert Katz advocated years ago: “Sweat the things you can control and let go of what is not in your hands.”

Knowing that worrying is a waste is one thing; not doing it, though, is another thing altogether. Twenty years ago, I would have told you I was a “born worrier.” I’d been doing it regularly for as long as I could remember. Having learned a lot about life in general, and myself in particular, over the last thirty years though, I’d reframe that statement completely. Today I would say that I was raised by a well-meaning family who were really great at worrying, and who, unwittingly, taught me to do the same. If one could get a degree in it, my family—and I say this now with love—would all have had PhDs. And I’ve always been a pretty good student.

Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot from others over the years. As many of you know, I’ve been inspired many times over by Brenda Ueland’s insightful book, If You Want to Write. While the book is about writing, it also taught me a lot about worry. As in, how not to do it. Ueland shares, “I learned that you should feel when writing . . . like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another. ” It’s a wonderful way to approach writing. And life. Unfortunately, back when I was a kid most of the beads I’d been stringing were what folks in the Middle East would call “worry beads.” But writing, for me, works to push away the worry. In Nationalism and Culture, Rudolph Rocker theorizes that as nationalism rises, culture goes down. Or, conversely, as culture thrives, nationalism recedes. The same, I learned from Ueland, is true for worry and good writing. The more we worry, the worse our writing will be. By contrast, the more and better we write, the less our worry. Honestly, each week when I start on this enews I begin to worry it won’t work. “Everyone,” I hear myself in my head, “will hate it.” But I’ve learned from Brenda Ueland to keep on typing anyway. She’s right. Just keep writing. Later each week I get wonderful notes from people who read the pieces I put in.

Have you ever worried that you weren’t worried enough about something? It makes me smile to say it, but I know the feeling all too well. If you’re smiling or nodding right now, then I know you do too. I would never have been able to admit it years ago. Self-learning, I know now, is a life project. If we stick with the work, we will find some helpful insight and wisdom. I can’t say I’ve completely stopped worrying—the feeling still starts coming over me regularly. It’s just that I’ve learned how to short circuit the feeling before the worry short circuits me. The shift reminds of what I heard from Ram Dass when I heard him speak years ago at the Power Center on campus. He was then probably about the age I am now. He said something along the lines of, “I still have all the same problems I had when I was twenty. But back then they were like tidal waves that overwhelmed me. Now they’re just like little flies, buzzing past my head, that I can gently wave away with my hand.” Which is what I think about worry. I can feel it coming on. And mostly, now, I can just wave it gently away before it overwhelms me.

Maybe, I’ve been wondering this week, worry might be a bit like fog. It descends, often at inopportune moments, more often than not in the morning, or later, at the end of a long day, and makes it hard to see what’s right in front of us. If we swat at it, nothing happens other than wasting our own energy. If we pretend it’s not there, we’re likely to crash into something. But if we can wait a short bit, usually the fog will burn off and we can get back to moving forward, mindfully and meaningfully.

Worry is mostly anxiety about the future. At best, it’s a big waste of time. At worst, I know now, it’s downright destructive. As I wrote in Part 4, I’ve come to realize that worrying is essentially “negative visioning”—imagining a future (either in five minutes, five years, or in my current case, on Tuesday evening) that we fear, and tell ourselves over and over again what we don’t want. In the context of the belief cycle, our worrying may, ironically, make the future we say we don’t want more likely to happen. As Brené Brown writes, “We dress-rehearse tragedy.” And in the process, we increase the odds of tragic outcomes.

While worry is . . . worrisome, I would say that its opposite is not a care-free world or a happy-go-lucky life. Rather, it’s what we might describe as “healthy anxiety.” You could also call it “appropriate concern.” As Peter Koestenbaum writes:

Anxiety [of this sort] is how it feels to grow. . . . One becomes an adult by learning to move through anxiety, to stay with it and not avoid it. Leadership, therefore, means to face anxiety, not fear it, to make it your constant companion. . . . It can go in either destructive or constructive directions; you make the choice.
While worry is a waste, healthy anxiety keeps us on our toes, alert and prepared in the same way a grounded, veteran athlete still has a bit of butterflies for a big game. Once we’re at peace with our natural healthy anxiety and the inevitable uncertainty of life, we can stop worrying about it. Because as Alan Watts wrote, "One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious."

There are worse problems in life, I know, than worrying a lot. I’ve come a long way in working to minimize worry’s unhelpful impact. But as I write this week, I’ve felt that old unwanted tension of worry starting to work itself—destructively and dangerously—back into my head. Fortunately, I know now how to stop it. What follows is a list of 14 ways that I’ve learned to push the worry, for the most part, out of the way:
Be in the present moment – Since worrying is mostly an unhelpful fixation on what might go wrong, one of the best ways to stop is to reground in the present. Because as Thích Nhất Hạnh says, “Only this actual moment is life.” I’ve come to imagine worrying like walking down the street dropping dollar bills in the wind, then being mad that we have no money when we get where we’re going. Aside from everything else, it’s bad for business. Kate Ludeman and Gay Hendricks sum it up well in The Corporate Mystic: “Every minute you spend thinking about the way it used to be or the way it ought to be is a minute you haven’t been thinking about the way you could make it be.”

Practice mindful deep breathing – A few deep slow breaths help bring me back to the present moment. The “SBA” technique I wrote about in Part 4 (page 135)—"Stop, Breathe, and Appreciate”—works well. The “Three and Out” idea (page 129), is great too. As Ram Dass wrote, “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

Move – Moving my body, more often than not, can calm my brain. A good run, stretching, or a slow walk can all work wonders in pushing the worry away. For you, it might be yoga or biking. Fresh air alone can work wonders. As Rasheed Ogunlaru says, “Step outside for a while—calm your mind. It is better to hug a tree than to bang your head against a wall continually.”

JournalJournaling each morning helps me bring myself back to better awareness. While it may not start out that way right off, I can usually use the work of journaling to, as Brenda Ueland suggests, “string beads with joy.” When the worry comes up strong, writing about the worry—versus repeatedly writing about how worried I am—almost always helps.

Remember to appreciate the beauty — I’ve come to believe that beauty and worry can’t coexist very well in our consciousness. When we take in the beauty, worry will be forced out. It could be nature, art, music, poetry, sculpture, or just a simple smile. It might certainly be something wonderful we’re eating or drinking. As Henry Miller wrote, “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

Write a vision – When my anxiety is rising, sitting down to write a vision will quickly get me focused on what I want, rather than what I’ve been worrying about. When I start feeling really nervous about how it will go, I’ve written a vision for a talk I’m about to give—sometimes an hour before I give it. It always helps.

Reread the vision you already wrote – When I start to sink into worrying, I often remind myself of the vision to which we (or I ) have already long-since committed. It nearly always reminds me why I was so fired up in the first place, helps me remember where we’re going, and why it’s a good idea to go there. In the process worry will almost always fade away.

Make yourself vulnerable – Letting someone you trust gently in on how hard a time you’re having can really help. Sticking to “I-statements” and away from blame is a good way to go. The talking can be with a good friend, a therapist, a co-worker, or your significant other. Be careful to keep the drama down and avoid dumping. The idea is to access what’s underneath the anxiety. As Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.”

Remember Natural Law #9 – Don’t worry if you can’t remember it—the 9th Natural Law on the list is that “Success means we get better problems.” The simple act of reframing into this format, reminds me that many of the issues I’ve started to worry about are often of my own, mindfully intentional, making. Working on good problems beats bad problems any day. As Paul Hawken writes in Growing a Business: “Good problems energize. Bad problems enervate.” It’s frequently our own good work that’s created the “problem” we now have at hand. At which point, I would do well to switch to celebrating success, stop the worrying, and start working.

Talk things through with the right people – These would be positive people who can stay grounded, and listen without getting sucked into our impending insanity. Sometimes distance helps—folks who are further from the fog can often see more clearly than we can from up close. This speaks to the power of picking up the phone and is part of why I like it so much.

Steer clear of the negatives – Don’t immerse yourself in listening to the news (I remind myself regularly right now). That’s what got my worry levels up in the first place the other day. Stay in touch, by all means, but don’t OD on news sources that gain success by selling drama. Same goes for unproductive social media. They are addictive. Patrick Robertson, who works in politics professionally, recommended at the Independent Restaurant Coalition meeting the other morning that we’d be best to turn off the news altogether until after the election is over. And one thing I’ve learned about Patrick over the last eight months, is that he knows what he’s talking about.

Stay curious – When the worry starts to rise I work to get myself into the mindset that there’s magic around every corner. I just don’t know yet what it is. It’s as Hector Garcia, who writes lovingly about Japanese culture says, “Magical coincidences are about attention to moments, not luck.”

Stay grateful – Even on the bad days, the reality of how many great people and wonderful things are around me all the time, can help me reground and get back to reality. Because as Brené Brown says: “The problem is, worrying about things that haven't happened doesn't protect us from pain. . . . Instead, catastrophizing, as I call it, squanders the one thing we all want more of in life.” Joy. What should we do? Brown says, “Focus on gratitude, not fear.”

Take constructive action – Writer Edward Abbey said, "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." He’s right. Worry without action drags us down. By contrast, a couple of action steps taken to get us moving in the right direction can really help. Even a single, small, movement in the right direction can feel better and help the future we want to actually happen.
In a way, I realize, this essay is just what Abbey is advocating. I probably wrote this piece as much for my own benefit as anyone else’s. As I alluded above, the writing works to reduce the worrying. I still don’t know what Tuesday will bring, but I’m a bit calmer, and it’s a beautiful morning out. My friend, author and expert in human energy, Anese Cavanaugh, summed it all up very succinctly: “Worrying is pointless; a waste of energy. Breathe, come back to the present moment, do all you can (if even the littlest things) to help things go right in this moment, and save that energy for the right things we can address.”

Thanks for reading. Have a great week. See you on the other side.

For more about living in the moment, steering clear of worry and staying centered, see “Mindfulness Matters” in Part 3.

Incredibly Delicious Dates from California

Medjool dates from Rancho Meladuco in the Coachella Valley

In the desert, the sight of a date palm is almost always an indicator that an oasis is at hand. Fresh water and ripe dates have always been welcome sights for travelers. Although an oasis isn’t generally the end of the trip, it provides a short but refreshing respite from the stress of the travel. In this challenging year that is 2020, a box of these amazing handpicked dates might provide that same sort of relief. Clearly, we’re not done with the challenges at hand. But a few of those dates from Rancho Meladuco could help you get through.

I first met Joan Smith out in San Francisco a few years ago at a Fancy Food Show. Although I’d stopped at her booth to taste the dates, we actually bonded first over dogs—we both love them and we had both had a much-loved pup pass away in the not too distant past (you can see a drawing of her dog, Rocky, on the inside cover of the box). The dates, though, are what has kept us connected. I could eat the whole box in a matter of hours if I’m not careful.

In a world filled with worry and antipathy, dates are a happy event on pretty much every level. They have a long history, going back over 8000 years. They’re in the Bible and Koran. Many Biblical historians theorize that the “Land of Milk and Honey” should, more accurately, be taken to mean “Milk and date honey.” Dates today are a staple in every part of life in the Middle East, from Morocco, to Israel, on to the Persian Gulf, and everywhere in between.

How did Joan end up with a date business? Granted, she’d grown up around agriculture—her father had some experience ranching when she was growing up near Bakersfield—but the dates are a relatively recent development for her:

I’m a CPA by background and no formal background in Ag or Food. The Date Farm idea came to mind nearly 15 years ago as a way to plant a salt-tolerant, low maintenance desert crop at our ranch (a nearly 100-year-old waterfowl hunting club) to help the ranch support itself. I found a White Paper produced on how to start a Date Farm, printed it, filed it away, and kind of forgot about it . . . I didn’t try my first date until several years before I started our farm. It was a complete surprise to me that they tasted the way they do.
Five years later, she’s growing, packing, and shipping some of the most delicious dates in the country. If you’re not familiar with dates, here are a few facts from Joan: 
Dates are a dry fruit, not a DRIED fruit. Dates gradually dehydrate on the tree, the sugars concentrate, the tannins dissipate, and the low moisture makes them self-preserving. Most commercial date processors don’t like handling the higher moisture dates the way we do at Rancho Meladuco. Most want the dates harvested when they are drier so they can clean and sort them by machine and pack high volumes. They are able to rehydrate the dry dates later with steam and heat. Moist dates like ours are very fragile—they tear and squash easily, and they can ferment or spoil if not stored properly. They have to be cleaned and processed carefully and slowly. But we want our dates harvested when they are perfectly ripe—which for us means still soft.

By the way, Joan taught me that it takes over a hundred days at temperatures over 100°F to make for dates of this caliber!

What to do with dates this delicious? Add them to salads and sandwiches. Drop a few into a tagine. Stuffing them works beautifully for an appetizer. Just cut it in half and take out the pit—in its place, put a walnut half or an almond. They’re really superb stuffed with Koeze peanut butter from Grand Rapids or the Georgia Grinders’ almond butter we have at the Deli. Great with goat cheese or cream cheese, especially the artisan offerings from the Creamery. Really fine with feta. Add to smoked chicken salad with some of that awesome smoked chicken from the Roadhouse. You can dip the dates in chocolate, or just stick a square of dark chocolate inside each date. Add a few pitted chopped dates to one of those watermelon and feta salads I wrote about a few weeks ago. Sprinkle onto gelato. Date shakes have been all the rage out west in recent years. For a more savory option, stuff a date with avocado, squeeze on some lime, and sprinkle a pinch of fleur de sel and then some pimenton de la vera (smoked Spanish paprika). You can also wrap them with bacon and run ’em under the broiler for a few minutes. Or serve them alongside some of the great Prosciutto di Parma we get from Pio Tosini in Italy.

In Feast: Food of the Islamic World, author Anissa Helou writes extensively about the date: “. . . the most important fruit in Islam.” She says dates are “the first food people eat when they break the long day’s fast during the month of Ramadan . . .” Since we all “break-fast” each day, Anissa’s comments got me thinking about a new morning ritual. How about, I wondered to myself, a daily, AM, date with coffee? Literally. I decided to try a new tradition while I was working on this. I might stick with it. (I once heard Carlo Petrini, who started Slow Food, say that “tradition is innovation that has worked.”) Whatever else you have going, sit down with one of these really amazing dates and a good cup of coffee (the new 2020 Holiday Blend is out!). Sip, nibble a small bit of the date, savor, breathe deep, reflect, repeat. In just the few days I’ve done it, my morning date with coffee has reminded me that, although I could eat the entire date in one bite (stopping only to spit out the pit), I can, instead, savor it in small snippets. The sweetness goes great with the coffee. It puts good thoughts in my head while I journal. I’m doing it right now, this morning, as I write. The date’s delicate deliciousness helps push the worry out of my mind for a few minutes as well. And it reminds me of the beauty of the world and brings beauty to the beginning of my day.

For more with dates, check out the Date, Fig and Pomegranate Babka the Bakehouse is making for Mail Order, as well as the Date, Sesame, and Almond Rugelach.

P.S. Joan was reading about the new “Humility: A Humble, Anarchistic Inquiry” pamphlet which prompted her to share: “I went to high school with Patrick Lencioni [who is referenced in the pamphlet]! He was a senior when I was a freshman. We attended Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield California, a tiny private Catholic school of 500 students. He was a leader and great guy back then.”

Order Dates from the Deli

Chocolate Cherry Bread

27 years of enjoying bread, chocolate, and cherries

Way back in 1992 when we opened the Bakehouse, there were 8 breads on our small list of offerings: Rustic Italian, Farm Bread, Pecan Raisin, Sesame Semolina, 8 Grain 3 Seed, Jewish Rye, Challah, and Pumpernickel. The following year we added a few more—one of them was Chocolate Cherry bread. Today, in 2020, there are literally hundreds of great items that we make at the Bakehouse. Many go on what we call “vacation” but then come back, often for extended visits. That’s been even more true this year as we work to get through the challenges of life in a pandemic. Chocolate Cherry bread, it turns out, took much of the summer off. But now that we’re all ramping up for the holidays, it’s back, three days a week.

In doing the work to write about creativity for what became “Secret #39: Creating Creativity” in Part 3, it became clear to me that creativity is mostly about meaningfully connecting two things which hadn’t previously been connected. Hence . . . Chocolate Cherry bread. When we first made it, neither bread nor chocolate-cherries were new news. What got a lot of attention was the idea of putting them into one, very wonderful, format.

The confectionary combo of chocolate and cherries goes back to the middle of the 19th century. They were on record in the U.S. being made by a company called Cella’s in 1864, the last year of the Civil War (or what anarchist Albert Parsons’ used to call “The Slaveholder’s Rebellion”). Chocolate-covered cherries became famous half a century later, in great part because of Dolly Varden chocolates. Founded in 1900 in Cincinnati by a Jewish immigrant from Bavaria named Isaac Weinreich (the brand name came from a Dickens novel character—back in that era, one wouldn’t use a Jewish name for mass marketing), the firm turned what was originally only a small piece of their product line into a nationally-known confection. Other companies started doing the same, and by the time we opened the Bakehouse in 1992, chocolate and cherries had been popular for nearly 90 years.

The bread has been a hit pretty much from the start. I do remember a few cynics, but they were quickly converted. Chocolate Cherry Bread is just too good to naysay. Michael London, who taught us the recipe, remembers working to make something that had a good chocolate flavor, that wasn’t sweet, and would combine both cocoa powder and finished chocolate. At the Bakehouse we make the bread with organic flour, and it’s made with a natural sour starter. The integrity of the actual bread—for me it’s as much about the bread as the chocolate and the cherries—is a big thing that sets this apart from many other chocolate-cherry offerings that are out there these days. Belgian chocolate, French chocolate, Farm bread dough, and Michigan dried cherries—without any sugar added, the bread is remarkably not sweet. Make bread pudding. Warm it in the oven. Toast (carefully) and put some vanilla gelato on. The aromas when you heat it up are exceptionally enticing. My friend Ed Levine, who started “Serious Eats,” says, "The Zingerman's Bakehouse makes a chocolate cherry bread that can be used as the base of the best French toast you've ever had in your life."

People have been going crazy for the Chocolate Cherry bread for nearly 30 years now. It makes folks happy. Maybe I should add it to the list of ways to counter worry above. For at least a few minutes, the worries of the world will almost certainly be shifted aside. The slogan of Dolly Varden was the very effective, “When words fail, send Dolly Varden chocolates!” I’m gonna modify it for the moment. “When words fail (as they seem to do so often this year,) bring Chocolate Cherry bread.”

Chocolate Cherry bread is baked on Tuesdays and Saturdays, arriving on Bakehouse shelves around 4:30pm and at the Deli and Roadhouse around 7pm. 

Better still, let us ship some for you from coast to coast.


Grits & Bits Waffles at the Roadhouse

A classic and compelling way to bring beauty to breakfast

This old Georgia recipe has long been one of the most popular brunch menu items at the Roadhouse. The backstory is that the Dutch likely brought waffle irons with them to the Americas. As they moved south along the East Coast from Manhattan they began to blend the local leftover grits from the evening into their waffles to make breakfast the next morning. Turns out that there's a long-standing tradition of handheld waffle irons—they were held over the open hearth for the batter to cook. In fact, most of the bigger plantations or well-off homes had custom designed irons into which their family crest was forged, giving the waffles a bit of a personalized touch when they went to the table.

Here at Zingerman’s, because we use those amazing Anson Mills grits, the corn flavor comes through in a meaningful, if still subtle, way. Probably, I should say, in much the same way great heirloom corns would have been in the field and mills of the early Dutch colonists. We also, I’ll mention, make a really good gluten-free, rice flour waffle. Because it’s made with organic Carolina Gold rice flour from Anson Mills, it’s especially flavorful. In either waffle, the grits add both flavor and texture to the batter. Add in some of the smoky sweetness of a good bit of chopped Nueske’s Applewood smoked bacon and sprinkle on some grated Vermont cheddar, and you’ve got something really special.

We have customers who come in for these each and every Sunday! It’s easy to see why. By bringing together the flavors of the wheat, corn (in the form of the grits), bacon, and maple syrup you really get a great, unique way to start the day. You can come in to eat (we now have UVC units in all three dining rooms) or get them to go! A terrific taste of the past to power you through your morning!

Browse Brunch at the Roadhouse

Ever eaten too much on Thanksgiving?

Cornman Farms has just the tonic!


The folks at Cornman Farms are amping up for their annual, thoughtful, Thanksgiving take-home menu. They’ve got the whole range of what have become Cornman classics from Chef Kieron Hales over the years: Roast Turkey, Beef Tenderloin, Stuffing and Crookneck Squash Soup, Chocolate Mousse, Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts, Gravy, and more. One thing that caught my mind that’s new on this year’s list is what they’re calling an “Overeater’s Tonic.” Jamie Gray, who works at Cornman and has very good taste in pretty much everything best I can tell, swears by it:

As a big overeater myself, I can say it is an amazing after-dinner drink. The mint, ginger, fennel, and cayenne are known for their digestive properties, which help get rid of that "I probably shouldn't have had that third helping" feeling.
The kit costs $45 and makes 12 drinks. It's a tonic base of muddled mint sprigs, turmeric, ginger, fennel seeds, cayenne vinegar, honey, bitters, and soda water. The spiced tonic is terrific on its own. Or, if you want to add alcohol, we can do that too—the Cornman crew is recommending either gin or Scotch.

Back in 1834 when the house at Cornman Farms was first built, when the building across the road was still likely being used as an Underground Railroad safe house, Thanksgiving was already a pretty strong tradition in the newly-formed United States. Thanksgiving meals and celebrations had been common in European countries and were adapted to the new American settings by conquering colonists. The date, though, has shifted around a bit. Originally, each state set its own holiday (and also had its own currency). In the early 19th century, most Americans settled on celebrating the final Thursday of November. (It originally coincided with, and then eventually replaced the then-holiday of Evacuation Day which marked the departure of British troops from what was American soil. Fortunately, today, we still have the British-born Kieron here to cook for us.) President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a National Holiday, but it wasn’t actually celebrated as such until after the War, during Reconstruction. In the fall of 1939, President Roosevelt changed the holiday to fall on the next to last Thursday in November, in order to increase shopping sales! And there we still are today.

During the Spanish flu, Thanksgiving was generally celebrated in small family settings and most folks steered clear of large family gatherings. At Dr. Fauci’s suggestion, that’s likely the scenario for most folks this year, in 2020, as well. But, still, the comfort of gathering, the pause to give thanks for the beauty of what we do have even in difficult days, the quiet convening around a good meal, and, the reality that many folks will, still, end the day having eaten more than they might have meant to, means that turning to this Overeater’s Tonic will be all the more terrific! Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday for all of you!


Order Cornman Farms Thanksgiving Turkey & Tonic

Other things on my mind

Reading: Priya Parker’s very good book, The Art of Gathering

Listening: Adrianne Lenker’s new album, songs, is lovely. Good music to listen to while trying to work down worry. Also, this article about her and her artistic process is a wonderful read.

Speaking of cover songs, check this out from Willie Nelson and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs' Karen O.

My friend and sometimes editor Meg Noodin had one of her beautiful poems—in both English and Ojibwe—posted on a Poem a Day.

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
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