Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Connnected Melange of Stuff I Like

I discovered a few years ago they still add
labels by hand at Whidbey Island Winery.
So, I like history. I like Ken Burns. I am absolutely loving Burns' latest historical tour de force, Prohibition, now currently airing on PBS (the final installment is this evening). I was particularly pleased with the initial installment (which everyone can watch at the PBS website). There has always been a somewhat uneasy link (in my mind, anyway) between the women's suffrage movement at the turn of the 20th century and the drive to establish prohibition. Burns masterfully traced this link beginning back almost to the time of the Civil War. While I am not a big fan of limiting individual freedom, I now have a much better handle on the bigger picture. I also was intrigued to hear the staggering percentage of our federal revenue derived from liquor sales prior to Prohibition. No wonder the cultural pendulum swung so far to the "dry" side!

Of course, since I live in post-Prohibition times, I will freely enjoy a libation every now and then. In October's edition of Bon Appetit, not only can one find advice on the perfect party cocktail, but they report on a trend that doesn't surprise me in the least - the rise of artisanal hard ciders. I've been enjoying hard cider (apple and pear) for as long as I can remember. I will cede that they've gotten progressively crisper in recent years - a very nice alternative to traditional bubbly. While I recently mentioned an import I had, don't let that steer you away from the great ciders being bottled by American artisans, including several in the Pacific Northwest. I'll leave it to you to try them and report back!

Finally, if you're looking for a little crafty inspiration to help you with your next dinner party preparations, you'll enjoy reading this quick Q&A with the creative force behind Design*Sponge (and if you haven't checked out the website, you're in for a design treat!).

Here's to your next great fall meal with friends, complete with your favorite wine, hard cider or spirit. And if you're looking for one more exceptional, crafty dinner guest ...


  1. I also enjoyed "Prohibition" but have only caught the first episode so far. It explained a lot of interesting things about the connection between the women's movement, temperance, bootlegging and fear of the other (immigrants). I agree, it was amazing to learn how much the government depended on revenue from alcohol!

  2. Mmm I love a good doc...I think I'll have to add Prohibition to the DVR.