Wanting to get your friends and family some Garden Variety approved gifts this year? You're in luck! On Friday, November 29 (that's right, Black Friday!) we will be sending out our 2019 GV Gift Guide to our wonderful paying supporters.
If you've been on the fence about supporting GV now would be a great time to join! In addition to the gift guide, you'll also receive two Lifestyle PSAs (our nickname for products we love) and a Food & Drink column full of our current favorite recipes, cooking guides, and Mallory explaining wine each week.
A Garden Variety subscription also makes a great gift! To give a gift subscription, click the link below.
Thank you for being such wonderful readers! We love putting together this newsletter for you each week!
As a rule, I am skeptical about labor-saving devices because they so seldom seem to understand that the most taxing work in the kitchen is brain work.
What I thought was going to be yet another semi-annoying article about *how amazing* the Instant Pot is was actually a historical, thoughtful piece on the thankless job - and exhaustion - of putting food on the table.
Filing this under: projects for winter weekends
Some teen movies have girls hash out their issues with dance battles or secret three-way calls. “No, no,” The Parent Trap said. “We shall show interpersonal tension in a language that speaks directly to 12-year-old girls: poker.” The two Lohans say things like “deal me in” and refer to each other by their last names, both crucial elements of Cool Girl canon. I still have no idea what kind of poker game they’re playing, but the child actors in the scene make a good show of acting like they do. The campers ooh and ahh and make knowing eyebrows because I guess this is a camp for card-shark child prodigies.
As a twin and avid watcher of The Disney Channel growing up, The Parent Trap (1998) holds a special place in my heart (not merely because the Disney Channel Movie Surfers made Dennis Quaid seem extra-dreamy).
Heat Tech Bike Shorts (Uniqlo)
Has the Arctic Breeze been in your neck of the woods this week, too? This LPSA arrived right on time from my lifelong bestie! To quote her: “These bike shorts are amazing… Life-changing for wearing skirts and dresses in winter. My butt is always freezing but not anymore 🎉🔥🍑”
ON THE NIGHTSTAND
A Third Grader’s Guide to the Impeachment Hearings (The New York Times / The Daily)
There are seasons I don’t read a book a week, and this is one of them. So, in lieu of a book recommendation, here’s a solid podcast rec. To hear Pulitzer-prize-winning journalists dignify the curiosity of a third-grader was a highlight of my week! Plus, I learned some stuff (per usual for The Daily).
CURATED WHILE LISTENING TO
A playlist for the cold, wet, dark days on almost winter.
Suzy Batiz’s Empire of Odor (The New Yorker)
A delightfully kooky profile of the inventor of Poo-Pourri and a great reminder that inspiration can strike anywhere: “I was at a dinner party, and my brother-in-law asked, ‘Can bathroom odor be trapped?’ And lightning went through my body.”
My Friend Mister Rogers (The Atlantic)
Tom Junod, the journalist who wrote the 1998 Esquire profile of Mister Rogers that was adapted into the forthcoming film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, revisits the subject of his old friend who loved him when he believed he was unlovable. He reflects on the current cultural moment we are having with Mister Rogers- both missing him and wanting his guidance and being glad that someone so good didn’t have to endure our present age. It’s beautifully written and I could pull a thousand quotes from it but I won’t because I think you should make yourself a cup of tea and let the whole thing wash over you- it’s what Mister Rogers would do.
Now that your heart has grown two sizes why not go ahead and let it grow three. GV fave Taffy Akner takes on this profile of Tom Hanks as only she can and the result is wonderful. I love how she pulls out the theme that both Hanks and Mister Rogers worked so hard at being good - a reminder that they aren’t superhuman, it doesn’t come naturally to even the kindest of us.
I committed something akin to this line of atrocity when I asked him if he had a dark side. He said, “Yes, and finally, finally I’ll get to tell it to The New York Times.”
Goldfish Are the Best Cracker (Grub Street)
I mean, I already agreed with the premise of this article but am now also armed with the knowledge that I need to paid Goldfish with dips! A revelation!
I heard about this $18 face oil on the Forever 35 podcast where it was said to be a dupe for the $185 Vinter’s Daughter face oil. I can neither confirm or deny it’s dupe status because I’ll never spend that much on a skincare product but I can confirm that it’s an excellent face oil in its own right. My skin tone has evened out and I am most definitely “glowier.” Also the price- it cannot be beat! I firmly believe that good skincare doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg and I love finding small producers using high-quality ingredients without the Goop markup.
I’ve heard a lot of hype about the combination of P50 and Vitner’s Daughter as many people “holy grail” skincare combos so I figured I’d give it a try (after Mallory’s lifechanging review of P50) and I’ll report back. Your editors are about to have some baby smooth faces!
ON THE NIGHTSTAND
All the reviews that say this reads like a breathless spy thriller are correct. The details, not only of Harvey Weinstein’s (and Matt Lauer’s) horrible abuse but of the subterfuge deployed to cover it up for decades are mind-blowing. I still can’t quite figure out how Weinstein was managing to run a company when it seemed he was spending all his time sexually assaulting women or managing the people who were helping him cover it up. I stayed up past my bedtime several nights because I couldn’t put it down and then laid in bed awake and paranoid that Black Cube was somehow watching me.
Bonus: I got this through my libraries “Skip the Line” feature on Libby I wrote about in Lifestyle PSAs a few weeks ago!
CURATED WHILE LISTENING TO
The collaboration we all needed. Also is it just me or does everyone have Lizzo constantly stuck in their head in 2019?
Food & Drink - Mallory
Thanksgiving. Let’s discuss what we’re cooking! Truly, let’s do it. I’ve set up this Google doc so we can all share what we’re making!
Top of my list for Thanksgiving week cooking is this Deep-Dish Honey Apple Galette.
I’m thinking I’ll make it for our family dinner the night before Thanksgiving. We’re all meeting up in Highlands, NC, and I’m a couple hours away so I can make it the night before and it’ll hold up for the drive. And, it’ll make a bomb breakfast alongside a cup of black coffee on Thanksgiving morning!
Thanksgiving morning I’ll probably try to hold off opening a bottle of wine for as long as possible (11am is the goal). In the meantime, I’ll slice up some cabbage to begin making a cheesy cabbage gratin later in the day. Other family members are in charge of the desserts and main event, turkey. While the creative in me would like to be in charge of all the food, I’m enjoying a season where we divide and conquer food responsibilities. Snuggled up with my new nephew, drinking a bottle of carbonic macerated wine, I’ll be perfectly happy with the small responsibilities of a little cabbage and an apple galette.