Thanksgiving has two of my favorite English words in it, so it's not surprising it's among my favorite holidays of the year. It's infinitely adaptable, both in terms of what you eat, and what you do during the holiday. Plus, it's a long weekend off during a period of the year when most of us sorely need it (a break from the cold, grey skies of early winter). This is the holiday for people who wish they could hibernate. For people who want to sit in their house all day, surrounded by good friends, family, and food. Who are thankful for what they have, and want to share it with others who might not be so lucky.
So I'm excited to share a heaping helping of my favorite tips for making the Thanksgiving holiday smooth and stress-free.
Spring has traditionally been the time for deep cleaning and purging, but for my money, fall is the season best suited. It's the one time of year when all your layers are on display. You've pulled out your wool sweaters and heavy coats for the winter, but your short sleeves are still lingering in the closet. Only now is every single item you own in the same place. This, truly, is the time to assess what you have, and to what you can say goodbye.
The phrase "greater than the sum of its parts" is trite and overused, but sometimes, there's simply no better way to describe why something so straightforward becomes unforeseen level of amazing: The Beatles, a perfectly made PB&J, or the memories formed of an epic vacation with someone you love.
To that classic canon, allow me to submit a new nomination, something so simple yet je ne sais quoi-y that it's a wonder we haven't been doing this for decades already.
I won't make that mistake again. A few Octobers ago, I was at a medium-sized dinner party, and volunteered to be the guy who ran down the block to fill the three growlers the group would enjoy for the evening. The spot only had six taps, so I tasted every one, and came back with the three things I thought were the most interesting: a Northwest Pale Ale, a Cascadian Dark Ale, and a Semi-Dry Honeycrisp cider.
After struggling to juggle three (full and very cold) 64 oz. glass jugs in my lowly two arms, I "knocked" on the door with my left foot, entered, and declared my haul to eight very thirsty guests. Growler One? Good to go. Growler Two? Great, let's try it. Growler Three?
People, I drank Growler Three all by myself. Not all in the first night, but the semi-bubbled leftovers were all mine.
Turns out, absolutely NO ONE else in that group was even remotely interested in a hard cider.
I'm not much for lattes. In general, they don't do much for me, but I especially can't stand the overtly frothy, foamy ones that demand all that sugar and syrup and whipped cream to cover up the fact that the coffee is burnt in the first place.
But, I'll admit it: I get jealous that people get so excited about these pumpkin spice coffee drinks this time of year. I like seasons, especially fall, and I wish I could grab a scarf and march right down to the burnt coffee shop
So... I realized something over the weekend. I was listening to a podcast that had intended to have a conversation about the new Dark Tower movie, but since it was, apparently, completely boring and not worth discussing, they decided to chat about their favorite Stephen King books, movie adaptations, mini-series, etc. And it hit me:
I have never actually read a Stephen King book.
This is the time of year when no one's ever quite sure what's best to wear on any given day. The nights are cool, but the days are still warm, especially in the sun, but then a breeze or the clouds hit and everything changes. Multiple layers are usually overkill, but the sandals are gone, and some flexibility is certainly required to not only look the season, but the feel prepared for the day.
Make it happen with these five summer-to-fall transition essentials.
In case you haven't seen the signs, it's fall. That's great news for many reasons, but most importantly it means we now have more reasons to get together and eat great food. Here are five apple-packed desserts to bring those nights of good food to a satisfying close.
I think I have a fairly well cultivated sense of style, but I love seeing a well put together outfit with all the steps and accessories broken down nicely so that I can steal from it. If nothing else, I think it improves my style sense to see the trends in what makes great outfits. I found that nobody does this for my price range better than Primer Magazine, which recently put together five unique style guides for men this fall.
As the leaves change color and the nights cool down, it's time to take a look at a few of our go-to hot cocktails to keep the party going into the cold fall nights.
There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time. Throughout the next few months, ManMade is seeking out the best affordable bottles of a variety of spirits that work well in your home bar, but know you can grab at the store the next time you head to a friend's house or a party.
Now that it's officially fall, it's time to put away the gin and tequila of summer, and embrace the ultimate cool weather spirit: whiskey. Over the next few weeks,
Even though summer has run it's course, don't put away that grill just yet. We've come up with 5 exceptional fall recipes that are sure to bring out the best of this fall weather. Cold weather eating should include hearty portions, thick sauces, and bold flavors that inspire a long evening nap next to the fire.
The leaves are turning, the temperature is dropping, and yet most men don't feel they have the availability to take the time and experience it in full. But that doesn't have to be the case. Here's an article written by Alastair Humphreys – famed adventurer, author, motivational speaker, and National Geographic's 2013 Explorer of the Year – championing the concept of the 'microadventure.'
Fall is officially upon us, with its cool evenings, warm and windy days, and the exceptional flavors of my favorite season. As the weather cools down, we heat the kitchen up with long-cooked roasts, simmered soups, and plenty of spiced deserts. But the changing of seasons also rouses a plethora of fall-flavored beers to compliment the heavy meals the cooler weather inspires.
Summer is the season of fresh, lively cocktails: Collinses and flips and spritzes and 'garitas. But as the weather chills down, it's time to switch into a more subtle mode. Fall cocktails are all about deep, earthy, and woodsy flavors, those that match the smell outside and the sorts of rustic, homey dishes that taste so perfect on a cool evening.
Some of the most frequent kinds of questions ManMade receives are inquiries like, "I just graduated college and finally have a real income and I'd like to start investing in some long-lasting goods..." or "my fiancée's birthday is coming up, and I'd like to buy him something every guy should have..." In 2013, I've been giving my take on those essential items, offering a new collection of ten each season: winter,spring, summer, and fall. Some of these you might already own, some of these you might need to upgrade to a quality version, and most of these apply to women and households too. Please let me know what you think, and what you'd add or take away in the comments below.
It's that time of year when we reach into the back of the pantry, and dust off that old standby: the slow cooker. During summer, it goes mostly untouched while we build flaming fires of charcoal or crunch fresh full-sun produce, but as the weather gets crisp and we long for something simmered, there's nothing better.
When we were kids, my sister and I rarely fought...unless it was the holiday season, and there were bottles of sparkling grape juice or apple cider to be slurped! We weren't allowed much soda, so the chance to celebrate the season with something fizzy was always a treat, and cause for fisticuffs!
The leaves have fallen, and the season of margaritas and Tom Collinses and anything with tonic water is now hibernating until spring brings its thaw. Now? Now is the time for settling into the season of warmth and spices. And, most importantly...whiskey.