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I’m now three months into this job, and I’m struck by how many of you have reached out to say hello, share your favorite recipes, offer kind words on a story, or suggest something we might do differently next time (hey, that’s OK too!). In the vast, impersonal world of the internet, Food52 feels like a cozy, candlelit nook of a place.
Of course, we’re not lounging around the office all day, sipping cocoa by the fire—we’ve got plenty to do, and that chocolate peanut butter tart isn’t going to write about itself. Still, at its best, this site is a place where people come to get ideas and share stories about their experiences in and out of the kitchen. As we reach more people than ever, I believe there’s power in connecting on a personal level.
Our Holiday Swap is a particularly lovely example of this. An annual gift exchange involving several hundred folks each year, it’s dwarfed by, say, our 1.8 million-strong Instagram audience. So why keep doing it? We think there’s something wonderful about receiving homemade cookies and cards in the mail (not to mention personalized cookie cutters, hand-stitched tea towels, and applesauce from the trees in someone's front yard).
That kind of personal touch extends to our Shop. If you’re trying to sort out your gift-giving game plan, Melissa Langer and her small but mighty care team have spot-on suggestions for every budget. Food52 shoppers trust them on everything, and I do mean everything—one asked for recs on which Brooklyn neighborhood his friend should move to! (Sunset Park, Kensington, or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, for the record). The team is hosting live chats on Fridays and Saturdays through December 16th, starting tomorrow (just click the blue chat button on any Shop page between 11am and 3pm).
You’ll see a similar openness reflected in our approach to reader comments. We do our best to respond to as many as possible, and we also keep a careful eye on the questions that come in through our hotline—whether someone’s wondering if the Piglet is coming back (it is); if it’s OK to eat the casserole they left out overnight (better not); or if diastatic or non-diastatic malt is better for bread-baking (I’ll need to consult our test kitchen on that one).
Connection, and the all-too-human messiness that accompanies it, is one of the big ideas powering How We Holiday, a series highlighting the many forms celebrations can take. Whether you go full-on Norman Rockwell this time of year or squabble with your siblings just like you did when you were 12 (ahem), we’re all in this together.
Happiest holidays from me to you,