Link Buffet: American dreams

Tis the season: we were just talking apple toddies last week, and this week I saw this wonderful profile of the woman who runs Laird & Company, who makes the applejack I like to put in my cider and other autumnal beverages (including the surprisingly delicious combination of applejack with port and orange juice, aka the Philadelphia Scotchman). Apple brandy has a long honorable history in the States–why else do you think Johnny Appleseed planted all those orchards?–and Laird’s is an old company with some great stories and celebrity endorsements (Abraham Lincoln, for example).

At the NYT, a restauranteur is eliminating the tipping system in his restaurants. Sounds good to me, but other restaurant-owners are nonplussed.

“Tipping is a way of life in this country . . . It may not be the perfect system, but it’s our system. It’s an American system.”

Others appear to be worried that paying servers a $15 minimum wage will drive up the menu prices. Possibly, but I have to say, New York is not the avant garde on this movement, so there’s no need to wonder about it; just look at the no-tip restaurants that already exist in California and DC. I know of at least one restaurant in Philly that operates this way: William Street Common, where I would go all the time if I still worked in West Philly. I can’t speak to the experience of working there, but from a diner’s perspective: the food is good, the cocktails are great, and the price is no higher than the average gastropub and, in fact, lower than many. Plus, you order at the bar and pay up front, so you can take a big group without any of the end-of-meal hustle of splitting the bill and calculating gratuity.

NPR reports on the obstacles that small meat producers in the States face, and how policy can be changed to reduce their cost of production (and thus our cost of purchase).

Apologies if this post takes longer than usual to load; there are more moving pictures than usual to share. For example, Buttery Planet is posting the loveliest autumnal cinemagraphs lately:


And this happened:


Also, this happened.


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