How to tell if your edible glitter is actually safe to eat

This time of year, we’re up to our elbows in cookie dough. While decorating the finished product has always been the most fun part of baking, the Food and Drug Administration has warned that some products we use to decorate our holiday cookies aren’t actually edible. It turns out that the dust and glitters you find at the store — yes, even in the food aisles — aren’t always edible. So if you’re shopping for sparkles for your Christmas cupcakes or shimmer powder for your NYE disco ball cookies, you’ll want to take a closer look at the packaging. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s edible and what’s purely aesthetic once you know what to look for. Companies that make edible decorations including glitter and twinkle dust are regulated by the FDA and, just like any other food, are required by law to list the ingredients on the…

The uncertain origins of the Christmas Pickle ornament

When it comes to holiday traditions, the Christmas pickle can be kind of a big dill — depending who you ask. Some families forgo hiding the odd ornament, yet in other homes it’s the most sought after item in the whole house. But where did this custom come from? Most people believe that hiding a pickle ornament somewhere in the tree is an Old World tradition that came to the United States with German immigrants in the 1800s. It’s said that whoever finds the pickle in the tree on Christmas morning will have good fortune in the coming year. In some families, the finder even gets a special present or gets to be the first to open his presents. But as it turns out, most Germans have never heard of the Christmas pickle, and you’d be hard pressed to find a German’s tree adorned with this garish green, sparkly decoration. Other stories of origin make…