This week marks the 242nd anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Mad Hatter's tea party. On the surface, these two events seem to have very little in common. But if you'll follow us down the rabbit hole for a bit, you'll find some surprising links.

Food does much more than feed us — it tells the story of who we are. And in the former USSR, that story is full of shortages, public cafeterias, party leader feasts and herring. And quite a bit of mayonnaise.

Serves 2, generously, or 4 in an emergency

This is a regular lunch or supper at casa mia, as anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram will recognize. I sometimes poach the salmon and keep it in the refrigerator (see Make Ahead Note), just so that I can make it even faster when the need hits. It’s quick work anyway, so this is more of an aside than a piece of advice. Although you can always swiftly make a salade tiède by flaking the salmon onto the leaves while it’s still warm.

In America, our food options are remarkably unaffected by the changing seasons. We just keep eating salad greens and tomatoes without regard to the onset of winter.

In most of the country, there's little chance that the greens we eat in the late fall and winter are locally grown.

But if there were greenhouses nearby, they could be. And in a small but growing number of places, local greenhouses are there.

Take Lower Makefield Township, Pa., right across the Delaware River from Trenton, N.J.

Serves 4, with leftovers

The browned butter and roasted vegetables make this special, but roasting everything in the oven at once makes it easy to prepare.

The coconut has developed a bit of a faddish following in the West.

Today, devotees add coconut oil to coffee, dab it on acne and, following Gwyneth Paltrow's example, swirl it around in their mouths to fight tooth decay. Starbucks has launched a coconut-milk latte. And the coconut-water business has surged to $400 million, with a little help from Madonna and Rihanna.

No one would be more delighted at the coconut's rising star than August Engelhardt, a sun-worshipping German nudist and history's most radical cocovore.

A new sodium warning requirement goes into effect in New York City restaurants Tuesday: Diners who eat at chain restaurants will now see warnings on menus next to items that contain high levels of salt.

From now on, the New York City Health Department says chain restaurants with 15 or more locations must display a salt shaker icon next to menu items or combo meals that contain 2,300 milligrams of sodium or more.

Weeknight Kitchen: Hungarian Potato and Egg Casserole

Nov 25, 2015

Sarabeth Levine 

Makes 6 to 8 servings

This comforting casserole of potato and hard-boiled egg slices jumbled in a creamy sauce is one of the national dishes of Hungary. There it is usually eaten as a meatless main course, often for supper. It also makes a fine brunch or breakfast dish, accompanied by grilled sausages and a green salad.

Cook's Note: Be sure to choose potatoes of similar size so they cook evenly.

It's time to stop dancing around the issue. Thanksgiving food is trash. Sitting down to a standard Thanksgiving meal means negotiating between dry and bland or lukewarm and sticky. But it doesn't have to be. If there's one thing we learned the first time around, it's that Thanksgiving is all about "borrowing" from others.

Remember the headlines a few weeks back, when the World Health Organization categorized red and processed meats as cancer-causing?

Turns out, the techniques you use to prepare your meat seem to play into this risk.

Every day of the year is a good time to experiment with new recipes. Except, arguably, one.

Thanksgiving is when Grandpa's grease-spattered gravy recipe is pulled from the file and your mother-in-law makes the sweet, sticky pecan pie her grandchildren expect. The sweet potatoes are boiled and peeled for their annual bath of maple syrup, nuts and, yes, marshmallows.

Some erstwhile creative home cooks and food professionals are just like everyone else at the Thanksgiving table.

Editor's note: For more years than we can remember, the Friday before Thanksgiving has meant that NPR's Susan Stamberg would try to sneak a notorious and, yes, weird family recipe into NPR's coverage. And 2015 is no exception. Here's Susan.

Whether it's in the hands of animated polar bears or Santa Claus, there's one thing you'll find in nearly all ads for Coca-Cola: the emblematic glass bottle.

Most Americans don't drink soda out of the glass bottles seen in Coke's ads anymore. But this week, the company is celebrating a century of the bottle that's been sold in more than 200 countries.

Weeknight Kitchen: Stir-Fried Cauliflower Rice

Nov 19, 2015

Serves 4

I’m a firm believer in the mantra “butter makes everything better,” but there are some days when I fancy something a touch lighter. True to my Asian roots, I regularly rustle up a stir-fry from a fridge raid of leftovers when I want a quick bite; using cauliflower as a rice substitute makes the dish even healthier.

The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is generally celebrated with a bounty of food — and a mountain of leftovers, some of which, let's face it, will end up in the trash.

Grocers know this: Cheap turkeys will get customers into the store.

So this Thanksgiving, despite an avian flu that killed 8 million turkeys, shoppers are having no trouble finding bargain birds priced lower than last year.

In fact, store managers have been slicing all sorts of holiday-related food prices this fall.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Daphne makes these pretty much every time she comes over, and the entire family hovers around the oven like vultures, waiting for them to be done. They get their captivating flavor from the tiny black nigella seeds sprinkled liberally over the top.

Chef and food writer Kenji Lopez-Alt recently paid a visit to old stomping grounds: the Boston area, home to his alma mater, MIT.

He helped prepare one dinner at Roxy's Grilled Cheese, a small, hip sandwich shop in the Allston neighborhood, to share a recipe from his new book The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.

There are only two diseases that humans have wiped from the face of the earth. One is smallpox. The other one, you may not have heard of.

It's a cattle disease called rinderpest. Even the name sounds scary. It's German for "cattle plague." It was once one of the most fearsome diseases on the planet.