New year, long life, eat well

Stacked cans of Chinese condensed milk reading "Longevity"

Tonight’s the eve of the Lunar New Year, tomorrow the Year of the Horse begins. Wishing you a year as full of sweetness and longevity as these colorful cans of condensed milk I admire in the local Asian supermarket. To begin the year right, I suggest my grandmother’s fried dumpling recipe, which was featured here on the Convivialist blog last New Year’s. Tagan’s Kitchen also has a how-to. Happy New Year!

Cheese wrapper of the month

Cheese wrapped in shiny blue foil with drawing of dairy maid

This wheel of cheese landed in my shopping basket simply because I liked the wrapper. It’s a simple, soft-ripened cheese, like a large, plain-tasting Camembert. The label declares it a handmade (actually, “hand-cheesed”) speciality of Saxony, flavored with caraway. Neither the typography nor the illustration are the world’s most refined, but I like their straightforwardness and the bold colors. Amidst the drop-shadows and photos of “serving suggestions” in the dairy case, this cheese feels honest and homey.

Desk in cozy, creative shared office/studio

UPDATE Jan 20, 2014: We’ve found a new officemate so the desk is no longer available. We recommend our neighbors’ co-working space Launch Co. if you’re looking!

Come work with us! Are you looking for a quiet, friendly, professional desk space to work alongside like-minded creative colleagues? We have a desk open in our 4-person shared workspace in Berlin-Friedrichshain’s Oberbaum City / Rudolfkiez area, available immediately through May 2014.
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Subterranean unmanned bookstore

A paperback vending machine has appeared on the busy U8 subway platform at Berlin-Alexanderplatz station. While friends in the US report that Kindles and iPads have all but erased colorful book covers from the subway scenery there, print appears to be alive and well underground in Berlin. Or at least the inventors of this machine seem to hope so.