In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 24, 2014/ 23 Shevat, 5774

The Wright Way to Party

By Lenore Skenazy

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you're planning a Super Bowl party and the chip bowl is not fine crystal (and I'll bet it's not), thank Russel Wright.

Yup, more than a half-century before Martha Stewart taught anyone how to knit a napkin ring, Wright and his wife, Mary, decided that our country was decorating, entertaining and just plain living all wrong. We were too finicky, they chided. Too formal. Didn't we know how to kick back?

We did not.

All we knew then — that is, starting in the Depression era — was what we saw in the movies: ladies in formal gowns serving supper on fancy china as chandeliers sparkled above. That's how we were supposed to impress the neighbors, right?

Wrong, said the Wrights. It was time we learned how to throw a barbecue — or at least a potluck. It was time we became down-home Americans.

So the trendsetting couple began designing everything we'd need to lead this new, simpler lifestyle, from funky chairs to mix-'n'-match linens to perhaps their least successful innovation, the indoor picnic table.

This was rivaled only by their other less than successful invention, the matkin — a napkin that doubled as a place mat.

No matter. This whole easy-livin' revolution began with something as simple as an all-purpose plate. Before that, you had separate dishware for dinner and breakfast, if you could afford it. And if you couldn't, you just felt poor and unclassy.

Then along came the Wrights' rimless earth-toned dishware. It was so sleek and smooth; it was revolutionary. And popular! From the 1930s through the '50s, Russel Wright American Modern dishware sold more than any other dishware ever. But sensible dishes were only part of the Wrights' grand plan.

After years of railing in newspapers and magazines against fish forks and dessert spoons, the Wrights finally wrote their anti-etiquette manifesto, "Guide to Easier Living."

"The traditional forms of entertaining have hundreds of rules and dictates, whereas the new etiquette has only one basic recipe: to make entertaining less work and more play for everyone concerned," said the Wrights.

In other words: Casual was good.

It was also timely. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, most middle-class homes could afford a maid. That meant someone else — not mama — was scrubbing the pots and polishing the silver.

But as servant girls started migrating to office jobs, homemakers were gradually becoming responsible for making their own homes. This was tons of work!

That's why the streamlining Wrights were so successful. They designed oven-to-table cookware so housewives wouldn't have to wash a pot AND a serving plate. They came up with all-purpose pitchers that worked as wine decanters or milk jugs. But most importantly, they gave hosts the green light to hang loose.

Having a dinner party? Make it a buffet, said the Wrights. Want to enjoy yourselves afterward? Have your guests join in the cleanup!

Wright-sanctioned informality actually made suburban life bearable. As young people left close-knit communities for the lure of the split-level, they needed some way to meet the strangers on their block. Formal soirees were intimidating. But a potluck picnic on Russel Wright plates? That would be easy and fun!

So entertain Americans did — and still do. Which is why at your next party, when you're having the neighbors over for chips and dip, kindly toast a cold one to Russel and Mary. They gave us the Wright way to entertain.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy's column by clicking here.

Lenore Skenazy Archives

© 2014, Creators Syndicate