Between the ages of four and six, my price was a pretzel. Seated comfortably in the front end of a metal shopping cart, mouth full and therefore silent, I ate while Mom hunted for bargains at Caldor.Read More
The frozen yogurt craze of 2008 hit us hard. I’m referring to the Pinkberry and Red Mango era. While TCBY and Tasti D-lite were good for their time, they could never hold a candle to the faux-healthy yogurt treats that followed them. When a Pinkberry opened up right around the corner from our apartment we lost all control.Read More
“Titles stink and they’re too hard to figure out.” I was pouting from the moment I woke up yesterday morning. Gus said, “No. They’re an opportunity to tell your reader what you care about.” Oh. He’s so annoying and rational sometimes. My first cookbook goes to the printer next week (!!) and at the eleventh hour I’ve decided to fuss about the title. I’ve made extra work for my dear editors (I’m sure they’re cursing me), but I think it’s worth it. It may or may not change, but there have been a flurry of emails back and forth and now I can’t stop thinking/agonizing about it.Read More
We’re having a cheese-cracker renaissance in our house. It started when I sent Gus out to pick up something to take to a party. A grown-up party. I thought he was going to come back from the store with a nice bottle of wine. Maybe some fancy cheese. Nope. He bought Goldfish.Read More
Bunny, tiger, punk, Casper the Friendly Ghost, devil, punk again. These are some of my ghosts of Halloweens past. Classics. When I think back on my life in costumes, it strikes me that I have only twice dressed up as an actual human historical figure. The first was Pocahontas. The second was Jennifer Lopez.
My friend Cate and I were out to dinner the other night and got to chatting about the things that we prefer to make at home instead of buying at the store. Our lists included the usual suspects. Jam. Granola. Hummus. It was only when I threw in “toaster pastries” did Cate laugh in my face. Lovingly of course.Read More
“Where'd God go?” I wasn't having some type of existential crisis, or pondering the meaning of life. No, it was an honest question, and I expected an answer. I was six and a bit confused.
We were attending a Buddhist almsgiving at a friend's house. The prayers had ended and the feasting was about to begin. The priest who had been leading the ceremony had wandered out of the living room and out of my sight, and I wanted to know where he'd gone. I can't remember if I thought his name was God, or if I believed that He himself had decided to make a visit to Connecticut and lead us in prayer. The latter seems more likely.Read More
Generally speaking, my husband and I aren’t competitive. We’re big supporters of each other. When we jog together, Gus always runs at my pace, encouraging me along without complaint, even if that means he never breaks a sweat. But all of that changes in the kitchen. Near a stove, our ugly side tends to come out. It’s simple. We’re both sure that we’re the stronger cook. (The fact that I cook for a living doesn’t deter Gus one bit. Of course he’s wrong…but I sure do love his confidence. ) This year we decided to rebel against the spirit of generosity and community that usually accompanies the Thanksgiving season and settle the ongoing dispute with a little cookoff. Welcome to Cranberry Challenge 2013.Read More
Remember when people got fancy for travel? Not early-1900’s-voyages-on-grand-ocean-liners fancy. I'm thinking early-80's fancy. When we were kids, my family would get plenty gussied for a plane ride. I can remember pretty new dresses, shiny patent leather Mary Janes, and nicely brushed hair. Traveling was a pleasure and a privilege and my family dressed the part. Let me tell you, wearing tights on the 14-hour flight (plus layovers!) to Sri Lanka was a serious endeavor. They don't call them tights for nothing. My adult self can recognize the lunacy in the act, but the desire to dress nicely took over any consideration for comfort. I’m surprised that I could actually eat while flying (all that constriction!) but you know that I never missed a meal.Read More
One day, on a visit to Sri Lanka in the 80's, my grandmother and I made a trip to town in a three-wheeler. After buying the spices and vegetables that she needed, grandmother took me to the sweet shop for a treat. I carefully weighed my options and then spent my saved rupees on some foil-wrapped toffees. You’d think I’d invested in golden bricks the way that I treasured them. When we got home, I gave everybody exactly one candy to cherish before I put the rest away for safekeeping. When I say safekeeping what I really mean is tied in a small baggie around my neck. That’s right. Just like some kind of candy-deprived maniac, I wore those toffees securely fastened around my little head. That’s how afraid I was that my precious sweets could be taken from me. Supposedly my mom has a picture of me fast asleep, candies safely secured at the end of a creepy string. Whoa. Whenever I hear this story, at the point at which I am the most ashamed of my ridiculous behavior, my sweet mom always chimes in with the fact that I did share them to begin with. As if that helps my case.Read More