Have Some Holiday Spirits —On Me!


As I put the proverbial pen to paper for my final column of the fading year, I reflect on 2009 with mixed emotions. On a positive note, I’ve never been prouder of the food service industry. While marginal restaurants have abandoned ship in rough economic waters, the vast majority battened the hatches, trimmed their sails and steered through the stormy days of the recession with determination and faith in brighter skies and calmer seas ahead.
The Palate columns this year—all 46 of ‘em—have emphasized quality and value, albeit biting into a tender steak at Gary Bric’s Ramp or downing a fulfilling all-beef hot dog at Pink‘s. On my national Sunday evening CRN “Niteside” broadcasts—over 200 hours of ‘em—the challenge has been to report on and recommend the most pleasurable attractions for the listeners’ precious entertainment budget.
Christmas is upon us and I am a blessed being granted another year with few urgent needs but one avid holiday wish (which I’ll share today.) I long to bottle up the bubbly human spirits we encounter during this special season before the final chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” has been played and those energized spirits go flat and evaporate again. I’d store my magical elixir to be uncorked when the world seems cruel and cold. Then I’d release a few wafts of generosity and caring until we all get back that holiday glow—whatever headlines or deadlines may lie ahead.
Hey, that’s not such a far-fetched idea. Far greater wonders have been wrought by faith and hope. So why wish for a loaf of bread when we might own the grocery store? Let’s all decline to settle for less than real peace on Earth and genuine good will to all in the promising year ahead. Finally, I herewith forward a loving waft of home to our service people overseas. You are all heroes!

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