From the New York Times' Dining Section...
The Gift Is In the Mail, and On the Web: Marian Burros rounds up good food gifts available online, with Jeni's Ice Creams leading the way in the sweet category and Lava Lake Ranch's lamb chops in the savory.
For a Communal Meal, One Pot, Many Cultures: The Minimalist delights with a look at an old favorite: Hot Pot. Shabu shabu, the Japanese version of hot pot, is highly recommended for a communal party meal.
• Wedding a Blur? Here's the Recipe: Melissa Clark never got to taste the sugared bacon a friend brought to her wedding, so she asks for the recipe and mixes it up a little. The result: Spiced Nuts with Sugared Bacon.
• Bourbon's Shot at the Big Time: Spirits of the Times gets top billing this week with this history and introduction to the allure of bourbon.
• Purification That Comes in a Bottle: Some are resisting the trend to dump bottled water in favor of tap. Diane Felicissimo is trying to bring a whole spiritual experience through her imported bottled water and "water bar." Others are marketing water with religious messages - does water have spiritual properties.
And extras from other parts of the Times this weekend:
• Food, Eat, Memory: The Fish: Former poet laureate Billy Collins reads a poem about a fish served to him once in Pittsburgh. Recipes for Whole Roasted Sea Bass and Sole Meunière included.
• Unlocking the Benefits of Garlic: From Well, new research reveals proof for possible health benefits to garlic, including protection against certain cancers.