Link-asaurus #6: Not Quite The End of the World Edition


Worrying about impending doom will make you hungry, so we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about snacks over the past week. But, the sun is out after days of unrelenting cloud cover, a brilliant reminder that we’ll get a few extra minutes of sunlight every 24 hours until summer—and that we’ll most likely have a summer.

Snack Data is a humorous online database of edibles of all ilks. An excerpt from our favorite blurb on a vegetable that gets no love: “Cabbage tastes a lot like lettuce, only worse.” Also, we have to agree with this apt description on humble wheat flour.

Speaking of snacks, 12 Drinks of Christmas from the Tribune and five more ideas from CBS Chicago. Peppermint Chocolate Doughnuts from the Doughnut Vault debuted this week. And here’s a recipe for Rugelach from one of Chicago’s loveliest food blogs, Lottie + Doof. 

Despite all of the creativity usually involved in recycling, repurposing and reclaiming, we can’t think of much to do with Christmas trees come St. Patrick’s Day (or if you’re not me, sometime closely following Christmas). Pine-needle clothing? Conifer-scented eggnog? Our friends at tell us that the needles can be composted, but are highly acidic, so a more alkaline companion, like wood ash, is needed. And for the really industrious, there are recipes involving pine needles below. If none of that is appealing, these sites should accept tree drop offs, which will be turned into chips and mulch for gardeners and on and on.

Here’s one for Pine Needle Vinegar, an alternative to Balsamic, pictured at top.

Pine Needle Infused Sugar could add a festive touch to a holiday dessert.

For some not so light reading over the holidays, Breakthrough Journal is a fantastic journal from The Breakthrough that “[aims] at challenging conventional progressive and environmental wisdom in service of creating a relevant and powerful new politics.” In their provocative “debates” section, a topic is chosen and then riffed off of in essays by thinkers in relevant fields. Read Evolve: A Breakthrough Debate about how much faith humans should place in technology as an ally in solving our environmental problems.

Now that storm Draco appears to have passed us (in Chicago at least), spending a winter afternoon inside a glass building doesn’t seem like such a bad idea: The Lincoln Park Conservatory has annual Holiday foliage to enjoy, and we can’t think of a better retreat from bitter winds (besides not leaving the house of course.)

Have a wonderful holiday!