Calorie Counts on Menus, 1915 Style

Calorie Counts on Menus, 1915 Style

As I’m working on my next novel, I’m spending a lot of time in 1915–and it turns out that absolutely nothing has changed in 100 years.  Here, for instance, is a big announcement in the New York Times about a brand new idea:  Put calorie counts on menus! It’s only one restaurant–the lunchroom at the Department of Health–but the hope was that the idea would spread. “It might not be possible to state the...

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Tales of the Cocktail Notes

Tales of the Cocktail Notes

  This post will only make sense to you if you were in the talk I gave at Tales of the Cocktail called The Drunken Botanist:  A Preview. It was a sneak preview of my new book, coming out in March 2013, called The Drunken Botanist:  The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks.  I promised to share links to a bunch of sources, so here they are: Handbook of Alcoholic Beverages — this new two-volume set covers a wide range of...

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The Portland Diaries, Part 4

The Portland Diaries, Part 4

This was me the very moment I woke up this morning: I do not like my state of mind; I’m bitter, querulous, unkind… I am not sick, I am not well. My quondam dreams are shot to hell. My soul is crushed, my spirit sore; I do not like me any more. I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse. I ponder on the narrow house. Except that unlike my drinking buddy Mrs. Parker,  I had no excuse. I was not due to fall in love again.  I was just a foul,...

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The Portland Diaries, Part 3

The Portland Diaries, Part 3

Add this your list of great last lines in literature: “When I hung up I felt as if I was an astronaut who had completed his orbit of the earth and now I was pulled by some new gravity into a cold clean darkness.” That’s Walter Mosley at the end of A Little Yellow Dog.  I stood in my pretty little Tin House apartment this morning after I read that and said it out loud three or four or a dozen more times.  Saying it out loud...

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