Things have been the usual kind of nuts lately. Our days have been busy, spent juggling deadlines and this and that. Yesterday, we made last minute dinner plans with friends, and sat down to a perfect winter feast that included these roasted chicken legs (my fourth go around on the recipe –– it’s that good), plus a batch of savory cheddar waffles (recipe coming later in the week), and a green apple and spinach salad with shallots and garlic. We made palomas and sampled great tequila. All that revelry has left me a little behind today, but no matter –– it was totally worth it.
I wish I could tell you the night was capped off with a slice of this pretty chocolate layer cake with a kumquat glaze, but we devoured it long ago. read more »
I needed thyme on New Year’s Eve and walked out to the garden to see if my plant was hanging on. It had lost its vibrant color, but there was still lots of fresh, fragrant thyme to be had. It was a cold morning and the frost had settled into the tiny leaves to form glistening rosettes. read more »
Holidays in years past have been epic affairs. Thanksgiving practically required a spreadsheet to organize, and Christmas needed Swiss precision as we rushed from this place to that. All that planning and coordinating made it hard to enjoy the holiday as it unfolded.
This year, Brian and I decided to make some changes. Our Thanksgiving featured only the four of us, Brian, me, and our two girls. In typical fashion, we sat down an hour later than we’d wanted to, but it didn’t matter in the least. After dinner, we had pie, put our littlest to bed, while our older daughter got to stay up late to watch It’s a Wonderful Life with us. We had to pause a lot and explain things that don’t come up much in a 7 year-old’s life, like the difference between a building and loan and a bank, World War II, bank runs, the Charleston, and the nature of greed, but still, it was a lovely time. Right after that, our weekend spiraled out of control a little bit with sickness and the like, but nobody had to go to the hospital so we count that as a victory. read more »
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Every week there’s a night where my deadlines combined with Brian’s work and an avalanche of homework or playdates or projects converge, and we don’t make it to the kitchen. Pizza is the easiest food to procure in a pinch, but we change things up by adding sushi or Mexican food to the mix. Recently, in a moment of rare lucidity, Brian and I discussed how much better it would be if we just planned to eat out once a week, instead of making the same desperate decision each Wednesday night at 6pm. We know there’s going to be a night when things are just too hectic, so why not plan for it and take away some of the stress and guilt involved?
A pizza confession may be an unusual way to begin a post about healthier families, but I think it raises an essential point: no parent is perfect. read more »
Not so long ago, I worked in an office. The kind with little cubes and a computer monitor too small to display the spreadsheets I needed to use and a chair hierarchy that provided peons like me a work week of spinal pain and florescent lights hovering way too close. On my last day, I had only a small tote of things to collect. After nearly two years, I hadn’t moved in. I wish I’d thought to take a picture. It would be a great reminder as I try to balance mothering and writing and creative food and family food, that even on the worst days, I’m better off than I was in that awful gray cube. read more »
After an October spent traveling, November has been delightfully calm. Around here, in this bright little house we’ve lived in since April, things are good. Coat hooks have been hung. Books sorted. For the first time in a long, long time, I feel like things are on track and steadily improving. I know all too well how quickly the whole holiday thing takes hold, so in these last couple of weeks before the hysteria sets in, Brian and I have been doing what we can to get everything (finally) in order.
Finding time in the kitchen has still been a challenge, with my time spent working or taking care of the girls instead. read more »