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Holiday ice cream!
Baby, it’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean Portland ice cream spots aren’t bringing the holiday fire. My personal fave this year is the peppermint chocolate ganache available at Ruby Jewel—with a marshmallow fluff topping that’s a dead ringer for my grandma’s Mint Dazzler. Salt & Straw has a delightful array of flavors as well, like their excellent vegan cinnamon chai-spiced eggnog. It’s rich, but being dairy- and egg-free means it won’t weigh ya down. (rubyjewel.com, saltandstraw.com)
Kachka Lavka is Open!
Kachka owners Bonnie and Israel Morales opened Kachka Lavka, a small but airy space above their restaurant on Southeast 11th last month. During the day, it’s a to-go deli where you’ll find great Russian snack packs (that include herring, rye, and cucumbers), Kachka’s famous horseradish vodka, and frozen dumplings. On weekends it doubles as a cocktail bar/waiting room for the restaurant. I’ll be by plenty, especially since Lavka is being turned into a Thursday-Saturday late night Kachinka pop-up until the real Kachinka reopens following some epic water damage. From 10 pm to midnight, you can score $6 Moscow mules, discount dumplings, and other belovedbar snacks from everyone’s favorite Russian party room. (kachkapdx.com/lavka)
Help Restaurant and Farm Workers Pay Medical Bills!
Family Meal is a new nonprofit that’s raising cash to pay medical bills for restaurant and agricultural workers in need. (News flash: There’s a lot of need.) After a first round of fundraising, they’re accepting applications for grants on their website. And if you’re wanting to donate, you can kick money directly their way or attend a killer-looking collab dinner on January 11, featuring Sam Smith from Tusk, Maya Lovelace of Yonder and Mae, Erik Van Kley of Arden, Alex Jackson from KEX, and baking whiz Nora Mace. (familymealpdx.org)
Buy the new Joy of Cooking!
Joy of Cooking was first self-published by Irma S. Rombauer in 1931, and it’s remained a kitchen staple to this day. This year it was completely updated by Portlanders John Becker (Irma’s great-grandson!) and his wife, Megan Scott. It’s a great holiday gift for anyone who owns an apron.