Monday, October 20, 2008

And the Winner Is. . .

corrie71, who wrote simply, "My cats inspire me to relax and enjoy life more."

No. I'm kidding.

It was a grueling process, complicated by the fact that many of you quested heroically towards leaving a comment on achieving any tangible success. Alas. And thank you. I counted your noble efforts.

In the end, there was a bowlful of comments to be sifted.

And pulled from.

And the winners are (I picked three):

laura (whose comments starts, "As lauri wrote. . .")
anonymous (whose comment starts, "Ok, it's done. Disney just loves to make us pay in every way. . .")
and imnoddin.

Write me to pick your prize: a gallon bag of homemade granola, an apple print t-shirt personalized with your name, or a year's subscription to Wondertime magazine.

Let me say here how dreadfully sorry I felt for Stacey, who was not able to post from Italy. Doubtless, you cried all the way to the trattoria, and then all the way through your gnocchi with gorgonzola and your giant glass of Chianti. Terrible, terrible.

Okay, today's new food column is here, and I apologize in advance for the photographs. Any and all tips welcome. . . Keep posting over there if you can. It is, as they say where I come from, good for the Jews.

xo Catherine


  1. Anonymous9:53 PM

    I won't begin another attempt to comment at that other Web site so here is my two cents on your food column - best damn food column I've read in a long time. Complete with barfing, torsos and brave photos of what meat looks like before a long session of cooking (um, not pretty). Kudos to you! Good tip about the tomato paste. Also, you may want to check out Michael Ruhlman's turkey (or other poultry) stock recipe. It sits in a big pot in the oven all night - or all day if you fear leaving your oven on all night.


  2. Anonymous11:29 PM

    Bravo! Yours is a recipe book I would buy for EVERYONE. Just so you know, I commented at, too. Good luck to ya.

  3. well,like other readers, I'd of loved to have left you a comment, but alas, they don't seem to want to let me!!!

    So I'll leave it here...

    Can you please please please write a cookbook? I LOVE the way you write out the recipies... so much better than the the cookbooks that are out there with the whole wording of, "wisk it this many times or pay the price!!!!" Your's sounds like I'm being taught by someone who's actually, well, nice.

    Oh, and Uber-Fantastique of course!

    Can't wait to see what's up next week. Of course, I'm too worn out in my huge pregnant self to cook much, but hey, one day I'll have my mind back and I can't wait to use the recipies then!

  4. Boohoohoo for me! I was visiting good friends on the east coast and totally missed this contest. Not that there's any guarantee that I would have won, but I've just been so darned lucky lately! I actually recently won a 60 minute massage at the salon I go to! So, I guess, I really can't feel too sorry for myself. Or too hateful of the winners. Though I bet that granola tastes reallllllly good.

  5. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Catherine- even though I didn't win, (sniff, sniff) I will continue to support you no matter what. I'll even buy more copies of Waiting for Birdy until your
    (hypothetical)cookbook comes out, too!

  6. you crack me up. seriously.

  7. "Doubtless, you cried all the way to the trattoria, and then all the way through your gnocchi with gorgonzola and your giant glass of Chianti. Terrible, terrible."

    There's my laugh of the night. Perfect!

  8. The Italy line is truly hilarious. Bravissimo!

  9. Just a note that you might want to get your email off this post before the spam bots pick it up and spam you to death.

    I've been a fan for ages!

    Kristin H

  10. Anonymous10:45 AM

    I am still trying to post over there. It's tough, but I now have a login so maybe it will work out today.

    I am a little bit sad about the change. Not because I'm not interested in food and dinner, but because I'm not *good* at it. I'm a graduate student and a feminist and a conscientious mother. I spend too much time analyzing the details of my children's life. Do they need more nature? Some hands-on music? A chapter book? A chance to feel like the big kid? Tenderness? A break all the rules day? I tend to their childhoods and give them what I can. But my spectacular failing has been giving them the food I want them to have. Sure we eat organic non-processed foods. But we eat, well, not well. I don't have energy, focus, or skills. I don't have ideas or patience. I don't like cooking much (or cleaning really, but I try -- I do.) So we eat scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast for dinner. We eat oatmeal with sucanat for dinner. We eat bananas and rice for dinner. We eat a LOT of bell and evans frozen chicken tenders heated in the oven for 20 minutes.

    Reading your regular column was such a connection. It was like a voice of sanity (neurotic sometimes yes, but SANE) in my life. It spoke a lot of my triumphs and failures. Similar to me. But cooking. Cooking well. Children who eat a variety of foods. That's all very very foreign to me. And kind of reminds me of a personal failure. But I'll stay with you to hear from you. But a bit sad. Maybe I'll get brave and give something a try. Who knows.

  11. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Yes! A cookbook! A cookbook! (I think I got that from Holy Grail. A spanking! A spanking!) You absolutely should do it. It has to be a zillion times better than the crummy family cookbooks out there now, which involves a lot of hot dogs and processed cheese food.

  12. Anonymous8:51 PM

    Oh, I'm so jealous. I've been wanting one of those apple print tees for my kid since I saw it on Ben when he was, like, 2!!
    And of course the granola, but I'm just sitting her patiently waiting for the recipe to come up on wondertime.
    Is that even where I should to be commenting? Unfortunately, I eeked that one comment in and can no longer do it. I keep getting a message that says it's waiting for my email confirmation, but it isn't actually emailing me anything... Oh!! Let me go check my spam!

  13. Anonymous10:45 AM

    I am enjoying your new column. The food looks fabulous and, I swear I'm going to try and make as much of it as I can. I cook just about every night, but I have a standard due to time contraints that it really can't contain more than like 5-8 ingredients and it shouldn't have me in the kitchen longer than 15 minutes. But, the roast will be a great addition to a weekend menu. And, thank you for including nuances of your family life in them. I have been giving Waiting for Birdy as gifts to all of my friends so they, too can become followers.
    You are fantastic!

  14. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Love the column, and have enjoyed reading about your adventures in parenting for years.

    Any chance you could focus on some family-friendly vegetarian meals in the future? I'm the only member of my family who doesn't eat meat (since an ill-fated summer pig roast), and am constantly looking for ideas that keep me from being a short-order cook.

  15. I love your writing, and its why I started reading you ages ago when you started the columns about Ben. And now Birdy. But I must say, I only know how to cook grilled cheese. And eggs. I can do those too. Maybe I shuold give some stuff a try now??? You are awesome Catherine. You make me really appreciate being a nanny and yearn to one day have my own kids so I can enjoy parenting as much as you seem to. :) PS: Go Detroit Red Wings!!!!! (I realize that is completely irrelevant but I am a huge hockey fan, less of a food fan) lol :)

  16. I meant to write that your columns NOT my cats inspire me! Hangs head in embarrassment! My only excuse is new mom sleep deprivation. So sorry!

    I can't wait to try the pot roast.

  17. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Catherine, somehow I missed the big announcement. (And how did that even happen since I've read every Wondertime post - and the babycenter ones before that - the moment they were available?!?!?)

    So, I read the Pot Roast post (nice ring) and was like "Whaaa?" Good thing that's where it dawned on me 'cause it's my very favorite comfort food, and boy did I need comforting!!!! Then I backtracked to the bon Appetit post and it all made sense...

    I (we?) totally do understand the need to change your focus, and will remain a loyal reader and checker-inner over there, if I can ever figure out how to log in and leave a comment!

    I'll get mushy now and say a million thanks for sharing your experiences all these years. You get it in a way so few do, or at least can put words to. This may sound corny, but I know will someday tell my son (born 5/7/01)daughter (born 1/10/03) about the mom who wrote about motherhood on the internet and how her reaching out made me feel understood and helped me to slow down and savor this amazing journey.

    You Rock.

  18. Anonymous9:55 AM

    corrie17--That totally cracked me up! Don't worry, your excuse of sleep-deprivation is more than accepted with this group. I did think the original comment made sense (?) even if it was somewhat irrelevant. Thanks for the laugh! --Cathy K.

  19. corrie71, that is truly hilarious. I never would have teased you! I thought you were some random cat-loving spammer.


  20. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Hi there! HUGE fan! And I'm happy to report I can actually give you some tips for the photos. Your composition is great, you have a terrific eye. Now you just need the right tools. I'm not sure what you're shooting with but you really need a macro lens for good close-ups of food. So if you have an SLR or a digital SLR then scoop up a macro lens (both Nikon and Canon make a 50mm prime lens that is DIVINE and works great for macro and other things!) If you've got a point and shoot, find the setting for closeups. This is usually designated by a picture of a flower. That will make a big difference. There are technical reasons but really you don't need to know and I can't explain it in English. I could more easily do an interpretive dance, that's just how my brain works. Anywho - love that you're doing food. That's so great - we need to get more families to the table and take the mystery out of cooking, and show everyone how great it is to involve the kids. You're an excellent role model. Brava!

  21. Anonymous12:13 AM

    Well, and more photos of the complete meal dished up and plated all nice and pretty (add sprigs of decorative herbs or wedges of citrus!) rather than the little leftover bits. Which TOTALLY convey a mood and I so get that full stomach satisfied feeling.'ll "sell" the recipe better if there's more "this is what mine looks like when I serve it" than "look, my kids ate almost all of it". As for the still life - oy - unless it's a highlight of the most gorgeously pink meat ever or a really tricky step that we'll need a visual for, I wouldn't recommend it. The onions were gorgeous so I appreciated the contrast. And I like that it was snarky. You've totally got a photographic voice which is similar to your writing voice. I will encourage you (for the photo portion - I could never even begin to advise on your glorious writing) to strive for prettier. That's all. We'll love you anyway but your bosses might love you more.

  22. I appreciate your sympathy. I did not win the granola and though I didn't cry all the way to my neighborhood trattoria, I DID reheat some wonderful leftover stew meat (thanks to my mother-in-law)and pour myself a glass of wine from the 5-liter box (actually quite good, but there's something about the kegginess of it that makes it not last as long as, say, five 1-liter bottles...)I happily read the pot roast post and admired the pictures and though I am sure I will probably not try it what with trattorias and mother-in-laws thwarting my best intentions please don't leave out the barfing anecdotes because that's what makes it you. (Is there any way that sounds complimentary?)

  23. I see a topical metaphor about voter disenfranchisement lurking in all these failed efforts to log in to the mouse.

    Amen to the cookbook idea. I'll buy it.

    Gotta nix the "prettier" pictures idea from emi. Keep on keeping on with the real.