OUR END OF YEAR RECAP
The BP team’s favorites from 2023.
It was another long, strange year on Planet Earth, but amidst the madness of the human race, there was still fine food and drink, books and music, and so much more. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites as a parting gift to all of you. Happy cooking, happy holidays, and happy New Year, y’all.
WHAT WE’VE READ
“We Lived Happily During the War” by poet Ilya Kaminsky. The New York Times profile of movie set designer Jack Fisk. The new World Within a Song by Jeff Tweedy. Clare de Boer’s Substack, The Best Bit. Festive Maryland Recipes from Kara Mae Harris and her blog, Old Line Plate. And the Times cooking section, always.
WHAT WE HEARD
The Pogues (R.I.P. Shane MacGowan). The Dirty Three (and their collabs with Nick Cave). “Hello Walls,” by Willie Nelson. Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR. And in podcast land, the “Godfather of A.I. Has Some Regrets” episode of The Daily, the “Must Be Rats on the Brain” episode of This American Life, and the Nick Offerman interview of On Being.
WHAT WE WATCHED
The perfection that is Asteroid City. The sets and costumes of Killers of the Flower Moon. The whole binge of “Fargo” on Hulu. Margo Price at the 9:30 Club. Mark Rothko’s paintings on paper again at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. A sunset in the small town of San Lorenzo outside the city of Salta in Argentina.
WHERE WE ATE
Beneath the old trees of Lost Creek Farm in West Virginia—after a heck of a lot of hot dogs. Hank Shaw’s kitchen residency at the Pineridge Grouse Camp in Minnesota. In the side room at Little Donna’s in Baltimore (the pierogies forever and ever). Over the green-and-white tablecloths at J.G. Melon in Manhattan. Outside before the fire at Sumac in the Shenandoah Valley.
WHAT WE COOKED
As many soft-shell crabs as is just barely decent. Marcella Hazan’s spaghetti and meatballs. Sean Brock’s cornbread in the Heather. Anthony Bourdain’s French fries in the Homer. Pizzas in the Lili. The pear-almond tart from The River Café Cookbook, five sticks of butter and all, in the Joan. The Marion Burros plum torte. A lot of slow-roasted cabbage. Our CSA from Fox Briar Farm. And croutons, so many croutons.
WHAT WE DRANK
Our first homemade go at Philadelphia Fish House Punch. Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s “Terra Firma” riff on a vieux carré, over and over again. The “Gin and Juice 3.0” from Toni Tipton-Martin’s Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs & Juice. Current Cassis blackcurrant liqueur. Dram citrus seltzers. Too much coffee for our own good.
WHAT TOOLS WE USED
An E. Dehillerin carbon steel chef’s knife. A ThermoWorks Therapen. An Anova sous vide machine. Nesco’s vacuum sealer. Snow Peak’s collapsible coffee drip. The Cooks Illustrated kitchen hacks page. Cowboy Cauldrons, Mill Scales and YETIs, of course.
WHAT STAYED IN OUR KITCHENS
Duke’s Mayonnaise. Snake Oil hot sauce. Rancho Gordo beans. Keepwell’s celery vinegar. Trader Joe’s shelf-stable cream. J.Q. Dickinson salt. Furikake seasoning. J.O. Spice.
WHAT WE CELEBRATED
Our 10th year in business and the release of a bunch of new products—oven mitts, pocket holders, conditioner. And oh yeah, that YETI pan, too. We traveled. We visited family. We lost dogs—and got new ones. We planted gardens. We built fires. We thanked the stars for clear skies, once the smoke cleared. And for health and safety in this heavy world. We’ve got big things brewing for next year, and we can’t wait for Best Made and “True Detective” and Saveur (in print!) to return.