It’s no secret that we work a season ahead. It was in the midst of a late September heat wave (85° on September 21) that we were finalizing the contents of this issue. If I’m honest, I must admit that I am ready to trade my well-worn sandals for waterproof boots and pumpkin spice everything, but I take no pleasure in watching the hours of daylight slip away.
Confronting our inevitable circumstances head-on, our winter issue’s theme is Night.
Dan Shingler introduces us to a bar so far off the radar of the typical “Best Of” lists that you’ve probably never heard of it (and that’s just fine with Bum and Angie). Even if you never belly up to the bar in Bum’s Saloon, you might want to eat your fill of Angie’s famous meatballs.
Cold nights bring on cravings for substantial, stick- to- your-ribs foods like a three-day cassoulet that you really should make at least once. Melissa McClelland helps prepare us for all that company we’re expecting with make-ahead meals and some flavorful marinades that do the work while we’re getting some shut-eye. Perhaps you view the holidays as a time to cook less. If you are one of the increasing number of people who seek out Chinese food at Christmas, you’ll enjoy a dive into dim sum and duck through the eyes of the Hom family.
Temptation is often borne in darkness, and a long winter can bring on feelings of depression and isolation. Chef Jeremy Umansky shares an explicit and honest account of his addiction to drugs and the lightness of sobriety at the other end of the tunnel.
As you pick up this copy, we’re about a month away from the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. Lucky for us, there are holiday gatherings and twinkling lights, warm woolen mittens, mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and the anticipation of another fresh start on January 1.
Embrace the night and get hygge with it, as the Danish do. Gather together and hunker down underneath Northeast Ohio’s predictable blanket of gray, white, and wet with the intention to find contentment. And follow writer Laura Taxel’s cue: “Add candlelight and a dark cold night glows with warmth, good cheer, and hospitality.”
Lisa Sands, Publisher