Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
- Slices of "Old" New York: food and socialite and old brownstones and Bel Kaufman
- Cultural fear of forgetting
- The Confederate General in a New York cemetery
- Cincinnati, 163 years ago
- Motherlode: legislating parenting; losing a parent in college; three-word parenting lessons; who writes your thank-you notes?
- Autism: fighting for services in school;
- Young Adult books
- Momoirs winners
- Of asthma and cockroaches
- The misguided financial argument for same-sex marriages
- Flea markets in NYC
- A basketball exec out of the closet and a woman going back in the closet
- Ye Raunchy Olde England
- Burlesque at the Museum of Sex
- Worksheets for toddlers
- A 1918 baseball fix?
- Hawk Cam for cats
- Social media in schools
- ADHD and screens
- Met takes over Whitney building
- Synesthesia, or what color are your letters?
- Kids and technology addictions
- Nearly-famous fonts
- No photographs, please
- Meditation and memory loss
- On playgrounds
- the end-of-life-paradox
- Easy bean/grain salad ever, a la Mark Bittman
- Quinoa with Martha Rose Schulman
- Rhubarb upside-down cake
- Foodies vs. techies, or hacking through dinner, and the follow-up conversation
- Imagining treats
- "Can Recipe Search Engines Make You A Better Cook?"
- Pasta from Mark Bittman
- Dangers of downer desserts
- Bad science of food labels
- Berry-Rose Crumble
- Cake ads for adults
- An American tandoor
- Bittman, "How Cooking Gave Me Purpose"
- Honest Cooking's weekend recipes, with Indian Almond Semolina cookies
- Quick breads, with Food52, like orange with rose flower water
- "Why Junk Food is Okay for Kids"
- How food trends differ
- "Little Britain"
- "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
- "Merlin" (BBC)
- "Hoarding: Buried Alive"
- Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue
- and, of course, "Glee"
- to three teachers at school, Mrs P, Miss C, and Miss L, for the luscious box of chocolate-covered strawberries;
- to Miss J, for the long visit and the shortbread;
- to Mama Teacher, for more visits and for organizing the meals;
- to Mrs. S/Mrs. Cadbury/Mrs. Director, for Starbucks and the visit;
- to Miss G, for out-of-the-blue stocking our freezer with easy-to-make veggie meals;
- to Miss S, for the yummy lasagna;
- to Miss J, for the delicious minestrone soup and banana bread;
- to Miss R, for the great broccoli quiche and apple crumb cake;
- to Miss C, for organizing even more meals;
- to Miss D,for the tasty pasta, salad, bread, and cookies;
- to Miss L, for the great vegetable pot pie;
- to Mommy Goose and Miss L, for the visit and my own party;
- to Miss M, for the long visit, the magazines, and the tasty rhubarb sauce;
- to Miss H and Mr. P, for the lentil soup, bread, pear and walnut salad, and brownies;
- to Miss J and Mr. M, for the yummy veggie chili and homemade bread;
- to Miss S for the books and visit;
- to Miss B, for the visits and coffee.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This weekend at the Greek Festival, besides eating and enjoying an incredible amount of food (this list plus Bud's new favorite, gyro), the kids and Mama bought me a set of worry beads, or komboloi. These Greek beads, similar to a rosary but with a more secular nature, are frequently fingered by Greek men (on two trips to Greece, I never saw a woman with a set; now apparently, only tourists buy them), seemingly absentmindedly. The set they bought is similar to this picture, with silver beads and the blue "eye" (matiasma) symbol of Greece, but with a black cord and tassel. I asked them to purchase the beads as I'd recently read a book, Simply Pray (more on this book soon), about the spiritual practice of prayer beads. Instead of making my own, I thought I'd use these (I had a plain plastic blue set, years ago, from my 1989 trip to Greece).
Monday, May 23, 2011
- the "weehawken" baby red-tailed hawk, Pip, born 18 days ago after experts said the egg (which had been shown via live streaming on the NYTimes for weeks!) wasn't viable;
- the young man, paralyzed in a car accident five years ago, who walked across the stage at his graduation thanks to new spinal stimulation technology (funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation, no less);
- the woman in Tuscaloosa who found her cat three weeks after tornadoes destroyed her home, and it was caught on video!
I believe that part of my job as a mom is to teach my children how to evaluate and analyze the flow of information that comes at them daily from media, peers, etc. We talk about considering the source of the information and the motivation behind it and how it aligns with our family's beliefs (my kids are almost 6; mostly we talk about what commercials are). As Unitarian Universalists, we apply the same criteria to religious or spiritual ideas. If my kids were aware of the rapture movement, we would talk about who Camping was, how he predicted the end of the world in 1994, the history of Doomsday predictions, the relationship of money and religion (and the definition of cult), as well as our specific UU principles that support the inherent worth and dignity of all people, meaning no one gets "left behind." Which is all to say, I imagine we'd come to the conclusion that the world is not ending tomorrow.
And because there will always be predictions of the end of the world (I think the current belief is the Mayans have pegged Dec. 2012), I'll get lots of practice talking to them about such issues.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
Saturday, May 21, 2011
- Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
- Colonial New England on 5 Shillings a Day
- Prayer by Erik Wikstrom
- Food Matters by Mark Bittman
- The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
- In Small Things Forgotten (colonial archaeology) by James Deetz
- No Idle Hands on the history of American knitting
- magazines: Buddhadharma
- Gender bias in children's storybooks, no surprise here
- the importance of international family planning
- Chaz Bono and trangender issues in new documentary
- on Motherlode: "Why Moms Should Quit"; "My Nanny, Myself"; "The Nanny at the Wedding"; the losses of parenting without parents; "Banning Barbie"; gender-neutral parenting in light of Chaz Bono; night-shift moms; "(Nature vs. Nuture) x Money"
- "Red-tape conversations," or talk about something that isn't practical/logistical
- Mark Bittman on taking a technical break
- Off the beaten Civil War track
- A new edition of Dorian Gray
- Maureen Dowd on Kate Middleton and fairy tales
- Angry Birds competition between father and sons
- The new family quality time
- On Chris "Kurt" Colfer
- On meditating and kids: here and here
- On education: school reform, course title inflation; experimenting with the common core; the effects of teacher layoffs; teaching kids about money via Elmo; more on money and kids here;
- How swearing soothes pain
- Ben Franklin's sister Jane and the importance of education
- On Texas (sigh, none of it's good): Gail Collins on "New Anti-Abortion Math"; praying for rain
- the Ganges in Queens
- typographic illustrations
- real-life Quidditch
- "Why I Don't Post Pictures of My Kids Online"
- In defense of old technology
- For the love of Laura (Ingalls Wilder)
- Poetry: "What Poem Would You Carry in Your Pocket?";
- the phonetic seeds of language
- On Autism: our culture's fascination with it; when do you tell your child?; the "unrepentant autism guru"; ask the NYTimes experts;
- On the failure of economics by elites
- Anne LaMott on motherhood
- A la Amy Chua: tiger daughter; badger mom
- An historian on Civil War reenactors (has good bibli on Civil War books)
- Reliving childhood books about wilderness survival (a la Island of the Blue Dolphins)
- Taking kids to Broadway
- Survivor of Ba'hai persecution
- A blogger, on his own death and life and love
- Cats: loudest cat; cats from hell; cats in war (my favorite is the last slide, "Band of Whiskers"!); cats are from Venus . . .
- Cheating after miserable Mother's Day
- The "badly-married lady" in literature (a la Portrait of a Lady)
- The Alison Bechdel test for literature (or, why are there so few great women talking about something besides men in literature?)
- Ways to say "thank you"
- Uniforms in preschool??
- Can you pass this civics test? (I don't think I could)
- A child's note to MoMA: more dinosaurs
- Of cupcakes and diets
- How to Spot a British Lesbian
- Girl joins the Dark Side
- Southern Baptist relief efforts
- "Physician, Heel Thyself" by Theresa Brown, RN
- And more articles on Bin Laden than I care to link to
- Half of the meat you buy in the store has Staph bacteria!
- James Beard award winners-lots to read here
- It's like Jessica Seinfeld for grown ups
- Red coconut rice pudding
- Caramel Rice Flan
- Making crackers
- All about asparagus from Mark Bittman
- Cooking, and cleaning, with children
- English scones
- Creme citron
- Coke for Passover
- recipes for leftover bread
- Is Sugar Toxic?
- Chef Boiardi cookbook
- "Glee" and all the "Glee" albums
- "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (HBO/BBC), based on the mystery novels--very good
- the new "Upstairs, Downstairs"
- "The Vicar of Dibley" (1990s BBC comedy)--hilarious!
- The Royal Wedding (all 6 hours of BBC coverage, on fast forward)
- "Hoarders"--oh, how we're cleaning stuff out now!
- "How to Cook Your Life" documentary (see previous post)
- rewatching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (early seasons)
- "Making Life Wonderful" non-violent communication training video
- Rosetta Stone Italiano
- movies: Angel, American Morning, Did You Hear About the Morgans? All in one day, all pretty mediocre
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction CD
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Food: A Life Story, or Where I’m From
I’m from asparagus poking up at me, watermelon lolling around, cornstalks “as high as an elephant’s eye” in Grandad’s garden
I’m from family eating together:
- the bright-red pot containing my mom’s beef-and-potato hash
- Mom’s battered roaster holding my favorite pot roast every time I came home from college
- Dad scaling trout in the sink which Mom fried and I ate with ketchup
- drinking Grandad’s “coffee milk” in bed, with china and demitasse spoons
- sneaking a taste of Grandmother’s boozy Charlotte Rousse in the red glasses in the fridge
- celebrating with escargot, scampi, spumoni at our family’s special restaurant
- colored-Crisco frosting mixed with chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream every birthday
- hush puppies are best eaten hot at bayside family fish fries
- eating lunch after church with Great-Grandma’s friends
- counting out snowmen and star cookies when Mom and I baked for the holidays
- turkey and dressing for and Christmas, ham for
I’m from campfire cooking (and singing) with Girl Scout friends—s’mores, banana boats, hobo stew
I’m from waiting for the ice cream man with my next-door neighbor on a hot Houston day
I’m from talking all night over a box of fudge-covered Oreos with my best friend
I’m from college bonding over midnight bean-and-cheese runs and cheesecake by the river
I’m from studying abroad:
- tart yogurt with honey near the sunbaked ruins of Greece
- dark chocolate with cookies for casse-croûte after excavating in the 114F Tunisian summer
- the best gelato in the world, near the Pantheon—zabaglione, pistachio, nocciola “con panna”
- crusty baguettes with butter and cheese every meal of my Parisian weekend
- worst meal ever, under most beautiful view of Neuschwanstein Castle
- afternoon tea--oh, clotted cream!--with friends in a manor house in the British countryside
I’m from newly in love and eating out in Chicago: Japanese? German? Delicatessen? Middle Eastern? Swedish? Deep-dish pizza? Hot dogs? Mexican?
I’m from teaching my beloved to bake, long distance, and setting off the fire alarm
I’m from sobbing over burnt candied orange peels in a ruined pot
I’m from traveling with my beloved
- fish boils in Wisconsin
- beignets in New Orleans
- cornish pasties in London
- peanut soup at Gettysburg
- apple dumplings in a bag on a farm somewhere
- the best hot dogs are grilled at the World Trade Center plaza
- historic open-hearth cooking in Indiana, Connecticut, Massachusetts
- drying off from a drizzling rain in a tearoom in York
- walking down Fifth Avenue to the promise of corned beef at
I’m from mozzarella, prosciutto, balsamic, and bread to welcome the Millennium
I’m from making gumbo to comfort us in the pain of
I’m from eating with my in-laws:
- the flopping fish in the cooler is about to be dinner
- being the only white person at dim sum
- learning to negotiate chopsticks, with witnesses
- mango sticky rice
- the ritual foods of Chinese New Year
- mooncakes every fall
- talking food with my gourmand brother-in-law
I’m from “Is that roux the right color, yet?”
I’m from reading the Julie/Julia blog real time
I’m from becoming a because of the horse killed at the Kentucky Derby 2008
I’m from Frappuccinos and chai are the secret elixir of new motherhood . . . of twins
I’m from playgroup bonding over lunch and jars of baby food
I’m from learning to cook for my family
- no soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, or nuts when the kids were little
- the crockpot is my best friend
- blogging all my recipes online
- surviving the pickiness of preschool
- picnics under the Japanese maple as soon as it’s warm enough to sit outside
- Wilton cake classes to make the kids’ birthday cakes
- play food restaurants and mudpies stirred with sticks
- packing lunchboxes with notes, just like my mom
I’m from excitedly putting out bowls the night before for snow for ice cream
I’m from helping my daughter sell Thin Mints and Samoas on a Saturday morning
I’m from eating homemade:
- reading Bittman, Pollan, Kingsolver
- PYO apples, blueberries, strawberries, pears . . . and putting up the little bit that makes it home!
- cooking adventures with our CSA—what do you do with kohlrabi?
- popping real pocorn on the stove
- making all of our bread for 40 days and beyond
- gardening with the kids and watching my son eat a grape tomato from an upside-down plant
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
--Julia Ward Howe
Saturday, May 7, 2011
- to Gommie, for everything, and I don't just mean those three weeks;
- to Mrs. S (aka Mrs. Cadbury), for watching the kids during that first doctor's appointment and for all your offers of assistance;
- to Mama Teacher, for organizing meals, bringing a delicious meal, and your many visits;
- to Miss K, for the surprise visit and meal--loved the ravioli and the strawberry pie;
- to Miss J, for taking over Daisy Scouts under less than ideal circumstances and for the pasta and brownies;
- to Mommy Goose, for the meal (yummy mac and cheese and cake!), the fun visit, and running that errand for me;
- to Miss L, for the yummy pasta e fagioli and ice cream bars, plus the offer to visit;
- to Miss D, for the veggie lasagna and brownies
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 -7 eggs
- 1 (14 ounce) cans condensed milk
- 1 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
- 12 ounces low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over med. heat melt sugar in a cake pan or in a pot. You can add a tiny bit of water (1 Tablespoon or so) before sugar heats up to make it a little lighter.
- After sugar is melted it should be light brown. Don't let it get dark or burn. Take off the heat and if it's in the cake pan let it cool. If it's in a saucepan, pour it into the cake pan and let cover the bottom of the pan and harden a bit.
- Put the rest of the ingredients into a blender and blend for a few minutes. Then pour on top of the caramel mixture in the pan. Place the cake pan into a larger casserole or round glass dish and fill the larger pan with water until the water comes up to about halfway on outside of the cake pan. This is called a bain-marie or bano de maria in spanish. Place this into the oven and bake for about an hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Place cake pan in refrigerator to cool for about 5 hours to overnight. If you're in a huge hurry you can also leave it in the bain-marie but dump the water and refill with cool water then add some ice cubes to this and place in refrigerator. If the ice cubes melt, add some more, removing a bit of water if necessary so as not to cause overflow. This could be ready in an hour or two if the ice is replenished often.
- Alternatively I'll sometimes do this in two loaf pans and place both into a large casserole dish. In that case, sprinkle enough sugar to coat the bottom of each pan lightly.