As holiday parties get into full swing, most hosts already know that their guests will end up in the kitchen. Yes, yes, the kitchen is where the action is, the star of the show.
But for many homeowners, it's not the kitchen that stirs their pride. It's the bar, said Jennifer Kopf, home editor for Southern Living magazine. After all, December 5 marks 80 years since the end of of Prohibition, and Americans have learned to enjoy that legal tipple at home.
When people move into a new home, especially in the South, she said, "The first question is, where are we going to put the bar?"
Karina McClain, a cashier at fast food chain Checkers in New York City, didn't show up for her shift on Thursday.
Instead, the 22 year-old joined about 100 other people outside of a Brooklyn Wendy's restaurant calling for an hourly wage increase to $15 an hour. She was holding a sign that read "Raise pay, live better."
"I have bills to pay and we don't get enough money," said McClain, who makes the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and works 20 hours a week. Missing out on a day's pay would be hard for McClain, who can barely pay for diapers and clothes for her five-month old daughter Kamayah.
The Feast of Seven Fishes, or the Festa dei Sette Pesci, is the traditional dinner that many southern Italian and Italian-American families will sit down to this Christmas Eve. (It is also one of the few appropriate times to pluralize fish as fishes.)
The significance of the number seven reels in many different theories: Some families say it's for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, others say it's for the seven hills of Rome, and still others say it represents the days of creation or stands as a reminder of the seven deadly sins. Other families' traditions even allow for 10 or even 14 different aquatic dishes.
And just as the numeric explanations are allowed loose translations, so are the types of seafood served. The true meaning isn't in the number or kind you choose, but with whom you decide to share your feast.
This Christmas Eve, Alex Guarnaschelli, chef of Butter in New York City and Food Network star, encourages you to serve the humble sardine atop lightly fried cauliflower, an ode to her mother's Sicilian roots.
Fresh sardines - not the pungent, little canned guys - are delicious, inexpensive and sustainable, three wise choices for this holiday season.
Fast food protests aren't going away.
Organizers say fast food restaurant workers in 100 U.S. cities will walk off the job Thursday, as part of a continuing push to raise wages above $15 an hour in the industry and secure the right to unionize.
The movement began with a small walkout in New York City last year and has since gathered momentum. Strikes this past August drew fast food workers in 60 cities, organizers said.
The National Restaurant Association contends that the demonstrations are a "coordinated PR campaign engineered by national labor groups," and that "relatively few restaurant workers have participated" in past demonstrations.