Monday, November 03, 2008


Hello! Thank you all for your ongoing support, even those of you who are offering it only grudgingly or with great, sighing crankiness. I will take it however it comes.

Meanwhile, I am having a ball trying to take pictures of our dinner that don't look like bad family reunion snapshots from the seventies. Maybe its my children's Leif Garrett hairstyle? Not sure. (Oh dear, when I went to Wikipedia good old heartthrobby Leif, the only picture they have is a balding mugshot from one of his multiple arrests in later life. Feathered hair would be the least of his problems these days. Oy.)

Anyways, the new recipe column is up here.

And thank you to anonymous, who posted the link to the chewy granola bar recipe on the King Arthur website. I have already made them, and we loved them, though at first the recipe seemed like it was going to produce only a panful of crumbs. They set up a great deal as they cool. It would help, however, if I used the right kind of oats and/or remembered to add the water they call for. Duh. Still, we used chocolate chips, dried cherries, and pecans, and they were quite heavenly. Perfect lunchbox treats.

Blah blah blah granola bars blah when do we vote already. I know. Tell me about it. I'm just trying to keep myself busy until I can go mark my ballot. Bring your kids to the booth: it's a great opportunity to show them the opposite of cynicism. Which is, I suppose, hope.

yours hopefully, xo, Catherine


  1. Hey, I'M excited about the granola bars. Thank you, Anonymous!

  2. Anonymous4:13 PM

    I'm and not holding any type of grudge toward you, just toward wondertime who promises I'll be able to leave you a comment upon receipt of the coveted email, which, sadly, never arrives. Thank you for your great recipes. I am making all of them. You are fantastic and funny in any incarnation.
    Much love,

  3. Anonymous4:19 PM

    I have been eating halvah from Jewish delis for years and until reading your column I thought it was made from ground almonds. But no, you're right, it's sesame seeds.

    Thank you for clearing up the lifelong mystery of why halvah almonds taste better.

  4. I love all you do and I give my support wholeheartedly, with not even a hint of grouchiness. I plan to make your granola tomorrow, as well as your pot roast, along with as many other dishes as I can fit into one day. Cooking will be my distraction as I wait to hear the election results. Let's just get it over with already!!

  5. No kidding! Get it done with PLEASE! We are lucky in Ohio to get to do the "early voting" thing... I voted 2 weeks ago.

    Your tofu recipe makes me almost willing to try tofu again... bad bad memories of it...

    My husband will adore me for it though!

    Go Obama!!!

  6. we cook lots of tofu at home. this one sounds good and easy, which means i can make it whilst drinking wine and stalking cnn... i'm ready for tomorrow!

  7. Anonymous9:59 PM

    hurray! tofu!

    who could have predicted that after having gotten me intact (somewhat) through pregnancy, birth, and the early childhoods of my kids, your writing would now responsible (somewhat...inspirationally i guess?) for my family getting good food to eat.

    no i'm not cranky. i always think it's like the comics guy on the simpsons, furiously nitpicking tv shows.

    "after all these years of giving me tons of free entertainment and enjoyment, you dare to change something?!? wah wah."

    do what you want- we all know how lucky we are that you share your writing with us, in whatever form you choose. thank you, truly.

  8. Hi Catherine-- I think this is my first comment after years of reading. I'm loving your recipes, but want to point out (as my Japanese, tofu-steeped mom did when I was feeding it to my baby), that many folks recommend cooking it before feeding it to babies (with their immature immune systems). Water-packed tofu (i.e. non-silken) is frequently laden with bacteria, which adult stomachs can handle with a bit of gassiness sometimes, but babies can get sick from. I googled this and found quite a few refs; here's one: (note I have no connection to this person, it was just one of the first hits).
    (sorry for not posting my PSA over at Wondertime-- I know you need comments over there, but it's late, and I can't bring myself to do the whole registration thing...)

  9. Dearest Catherine,
    Long time reader (from when it was a blog on BBC about Bringing up Ben)! Were there days before Birdy arrived? Random thought/Sidenote; Does she introduce herself as Birdy?
    Anyways...LOVE your writing. I'll read you anywhere I can. I promise to TRY and comment on the site. It's a pain, but I'll try. KEEP IT UP.

  10. Anonymous8:27 AM

    This morning I asked my older daughter (nearly 8!) why she was dressed so fancy. "I think you know why," she replied. I do indeed! Obama! We are taking our kids to vote with us today, which means having to wait until 3ish. I'm getting very antsy.

    Oh, and tofu is nice too.

  11. Happy Election Day! Wahoo! I just got back from the polls, Lizzie strapped in the frontpack, beaming like crazy. I cried a little and now I'm off to read your latest recipe, and giggle (I'm guessing) at your food photo skills.

  12. Thank you as always Catherine for continuing your wonderful writing and your lovely musings on hope. Go Obama! Happy election day.

  13. I'm another one who never gets the promised email to be confirmed. I've done it three times already, and I can't leave a comment over there. I'll go back and try again. No, it's not bother at all since I've already been to repeatedly these last few days. I never print out things (not a sense of going green but of being too lazy to go upstairs to the office and connecting my laptop to the printer). I've made your roast twice, the last time I used a pork roast and it was delicious. I've also made the plum cake 3 times. I even got the cardamon for the last time I made it. It was delicious. And as I type this long comment, I'm baking your granola. So see? I've tried all the recipes. With the tofu I'll have to get brave and give it a try. In my house, saying tofu is worse than saying liver. In fact, my kids will actually try liver even if they later spit out in a napkin.
    Oh! and I just voted, and I can't wait to hear the results. After weeks of debating, I persuaded my husband to vote for Barack. The poor thing has been moping all over the place, worried out of his mind. "Well, what else could I do? Just don't tell anyone, OK?" I won't tell. I'll just post in on Facebook.

  14. I wanted to share my take-your-kids-to-the-polls story...
    I took my four year old son with me, but I don't think that he fully grasped what we were doing. He asked me, halfway through my ballot, if he would get to drive the boat, because he never got to. It took me a few minutes to realize that he thought I said "boating" instead of "voting"! We watch too much Spongebob...

  15. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Mmm, I do a similar tofu with teriyaki glaze, though my 2 year old will still gladly eat the plain cubes. :)

  16. Anonymous9:44 AM

    My son and I cannot wait to make the granola this weekend...though I'm not sure I'll be able to sell him on the tofu. :-) It looks yummy to me! I am eager to try the granola bar recipe as well: Catherine, anything you can post to your new food column that includes the words "great lunch box food" in the recipe will be a big hit with moms like me. I'm looking forward to trying more of your delicious-sounding recipes. (And, because I cannot contain my joy today, November 5th, HOORAY!!)

  17. Anonymous11:29 AM

    I too am still waiting for the elusive email from whoever it is that is supposed to send it to me. Alas, no comments from me on Family. Sorry...

    I also went to bed last night with a smile on my face and woke up with one too!

    I have made the pot roast and had plum cake for dessert. The cake was tasty and I did the roast in the crock pot. Worked good, added carrots, potatoes while cooking. Yum. Will be making the cake again tonight. But, sorry, won't be making the tofu. Books I'm reading regarding perimenopause say to stay away from foods that add estrogen. Still researching that subject...Oh and the word verify is diater so close to dieter, great-make me feel bad... ;-)

  18. For those who aren't getting the promised e-mail, check to see if you have a "junk mail" folder or something similar that it might have gone into. Those types of e-mails often get filtered out as spam. Mine did.

    Catherine, the granola was wonderful, not a bit soggy! Thanks again!

  19. And 24 hours later, I'm still laughing and crying and laughing and crying and screaming WAHOOOOO all over the place!

  20. Catherine, I just posted a book review of "Waiting for Birdy" on my blog, and I have a readership of around 90/day. I hope you can check it out!

  21. I just googled then photobucketed the most lovely picture of Leif Garret, as I too have seen those frightening, balding mug shots. But I can't post the HTML code on here! Drat! Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?

    I hope everyone is enjoying this post-election afterglow! It makes me happy to see so many Obama supporters on here. I don't have a lot of company in the odd part of rural Ohio I currently call home. I just rely on online communities to remind me that there are many wonderful places where confederate flags are not a common sight. *sigh*

    Oh, and to you Catherine and Ben, belated Happy Birthdays! My Connor and I are October babies as well, and we are also fretful, meloncholy souls.

    I hope that everyone out there is enjoying this lovely fall and bracing themselves for the fast approaching holiday season!

    Sarah T in Ohio =)

  22. I'm picking up the old thread about poor Anonymous and her dilemma: love Catherine, hate to feel inadequate as a mother. Now, first of all I have to say I'm happy for you (Catherine) about the new format. I would never tire of reading your old style column, but -- seeing as how I identify with you on pretty much every level, except for a few certain tiny details like Chex Mix obsession -- I had begun to wonder if you weren't tiring of it yourself. All that over-thinking about parenting, all that explicit self-deprecation, it must get old for the writer more than the readers. I adore the food column, potty/barf talk and all.

    Anyway. But the point is, I so enjoyed reading the thread of comments by and about Anonymous, partly because they were so civil and compassionate, on all sides. (Rare on blogs where a conflict over mothering identity is at stake.) Also because I know JUST how she feels, although you happen to not be one of the people who makes me feel that way. I am a professor and mother who bakes bread and makes granola, sews her own menstrual pads, makes paper with the children on their days off from school...etc... (although based in fact, this is the caricature version of my self -- I practically don't recognize myself as I write this!) and for me, personally, the blog I can't stand to read because of its sap-infested hyper-productive yet insufferably gentle approach to mothering is Soulemama. And yet, of course, I read it obsessively. We all have our little achilles heels, don't we? Which are often kind of crazy when we exmine them in the light of day. Best when we can laugh at them, with friends. (And by the way, the analogy here between you and Soulemama has NOTHING to do with tone, or quality of writing. Obviously. I'm only talking about degrees of mothering intensity and how that makes readers feel.)

    Catherine, you rock on. Thank you for all your hard work and mainly for your awesomeness.

  23. Anonymous11:19 PM

    If you liked the Weight Watchers cards you'll LOVE this

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Had to delete my first post... too many errors due to lap being shared by laptop and sleeping child.

    I have to admit, I was skeptical. And not about tofu... you'll never get me to eat that. I didn't think I would like the recipe column as much as the family-based column, but I do. You pepper your column with spicy writing and dish it up with a healthy helping of humor. I'll keep reading (if not eating), for sure.

    PS I will definitely try the granola.

  26. You know, just as a little cooking adventure story, I thought I'd share this. I tried making lima beans today. Yes, lima beans. Okay, so my brother-in-law convinced me to try them a few years back-- not the hard little green kind in a can, but the dry ones you make from scratch. He puts them in a crock pot with a hambone all day, and they turn out really great. Honestly. If you haven't tried them that way, do it. But the other advice I have is this: don't assume that any part of the pig will do. I tried doing this today with pork neckbones, and I have to say it does not work. Apparently, a hunk of salt pork works well, too. So, anyway, Catherine, I'm hoping you can do a story about beans sometime. I've got a few good recipes for beans--one for black beans, one for pinto, one for chili-- but would love some others. Split pea soup? Some kind of lima bean thing? Garbonzo? Seems like something a former vegetarian co-op person would be good at...

  27. I stay away for a month and a half or so--I was completely obsessed with the election and reading that 10 hours a day! GOBAMA--and now you're not writing your column any more?! I am so sad. I'm sure I'll love the food column (I just asked my mom for a subscription to Wondertime for xmas), but I'll miss just the parenting Ben & Birdy stories.