Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Long Time Coming

Don't worry, I haven't gone all unromantic on you. I was going to post a photo of the ballroom dancing (oh those smiles I could look at for the rest of my life!) or, to be funny, of the helicopter taking off (see ya!) or of the crowd in joyful tears, like we all were yesterday. But then, today, there is this--and this is what it's all about. We are so blessed.

Meanwhile, for a culinary non sequitur, there is borscht. Here. Plus, there are many more soup recipes in the February issue of Wondertime. Boy was my family eating a lot of soup while we were testing those: "What's for dinner?" was our favorite joke.

Love to you and yours.



  1. Amen - we are in for a terrific ride! And I think you picked the perfect picture!

  2. There it is: the heart of the matter. It's like a refreshing breeze, no?
    And soup? on a cold, cold day? Yes, we can!

  3. Hey- I just wanted to say I second that request for boneless skinless chicken breast recipes. Regarding the new administration, there's kind of a scary/amazing article at that pretty well predicted the Bush fiasco in 2001:


  4. "President Obama." It sounds so good, and your picture is the perfect accompaniment!

  5. How wonderful - even up here in Calgary there were Obama parties last night!

  6. I watched, I cried and mostly I am envious of this smart, eloquent and thoughtful man you have leading your country.

  7. Anonymous8:54 PM

    I've been feeling weird all day and then I realize it's optimism and I smile.

  8. This photo is exactly what I have gone back to, again and again, just to find myself turning into a weeping puddle of joy.

    My boys wrote letters of congrats last night to their new President (ah! the sound!). Noah's was oh-so-matter of fact with his top three requests included (1. end war. 2. help more people who really need it. 3. build better schools, and I am not talking about the actual buildings). And then there was Max, who simply said "I am glad you won and I hope we can ride the subway together someday because trust me, that is the most funest thing to do in Washington DC. I know, I did it."

    Here's to hope and joy and a dedication to service and change that we can all be part of-- oh, and maybe to that corn chowder, which I obsessively made again tonight for dinner. thanks for that.

  9. I too can't get enough of that smile... And my sons who are only newly aware of him also can't get enough. They keep asking me to pull up more pictures and videos, they're so enchanted.

    On another note, you had me squirmy and giggly with your Birds & Bees article in this months Wondertime. So far we've had no inquiries, which kind of surprises me, but with a nearly 5 year old, I know it's coming right around the bend.

  10. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Hurray for Obama! And also for your corn chowder, which I made last night. My kids hated it. But you know, after 9 years of this, I'm not so much caring anymore. They had string cheese and rolls. I'm having leftovers for lunch, while I watch Youtube videos of Bush getting on the helicopter. I thought it (both soup and Inauguration Day) was fantastic.

  11. When my little Henry (almost two) saw Bush's helicopter, I told him, "That's the old President. He's going away, now." Henry smiled his biggest smile, and waved a snappy bye-bye. Minutes later, he was back to throwing his hands up in the air with a "Yay!" like everyone he saw on TV. I'm with him--yay!

  12. Here in rural Ohio, I've felt like a bit of a jerkish gloater for all of my joy these last couple of days. I'll just say that, ahem, I am not exactly surrounded by many who share my political views. It's been so hard to not turn to those people and say "What, just what about these past eight years are you possibly going to miss?!" But I have my internet friends and those in my close inner circle who are not making crude jokes, and I have my heart full of joy. Did everyone else read Obama's letter to his daughters? Simply beautiful, and I think exactly what we all are feeling. This swelling hope, I hope it sticks around.

    Oh, and boy has this been a time to try to remember how to word things appropriately as a parent. Like, when my four year old asked, "Mama? Is that the old president?"


    "And you don't like him, right?"


    "Cause he's not very smart, and he does mean things, right?"

    *Blink, blink* Did I say that?

    "Well, Mama, I'm glad he's gone. We love the Obama's!"

    Yes we do.

  13. Hey--
    Fellow Wondertimer in need of...a sanity plan? Something?
    Email me if you can and feel like
    KJ Dell'Antonia

  14. We were lucky enough to get tickets to the Inauguration - what an amazing and inspiring experience! The energy and good vibe was indescribable. And with 1.8 million people crammed into that space (and believe me, we were crammed like sardines in the can), not even one arrest. The elderly black folks who were there made me cry, seeing their joy. Oh, what a day!!

  15. Anonymous10:22 AM

    we watched the tv all day. Loved every minute of it. Not sure how many tissues I went thru! I had to tell my almost 6yr old that they were tears of joy! (he has finally started noticing when I get teary and he always says something now) Later that evening when they announced the Obama's have left the White House, my son looked at me in disbelief and he said "They left??" - we had to explain that they were not leaving for good, just for the evening and that they would be back later. He said, "oh, good" Whew. Shari
    oh, and the granola - great! also, tried the granola bars that someone was nice to link to. great also.

  16. Love the picture! What a day Tuesday was! But nothing compared to that first morning at work for Mr President. May God bless him!

  17. Anonymous1:57 AM


    Making this week all the more poignant, on inauguration day, my 6year old said to me, "Mom, Obama wouldn't be president if Martin Luther King Jr. hadn't taught everyone to get along."

    What a remarkable time we are living in.

  18. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Amen, sister. I feel just so peaceful and safe when I hear "President Obama, blah blah blah" on NPR every 3 minutes. Keeps taking me by surprise and making me smile, over and over. Did I see something on someone's Twitter that Wonderime is going to be no longer? I was about to mail in my re-up card to go for a 3rd year.

  19. Anonymous2:17 PM

    So sorry to hear of Wondertime's closing. It is my hope that your life and family won't be impacted too awfully by this. I heard of several people/organizations in the Vally that got the news of job loss, right on the heels of the inauguration, and it makes the whole hope-for-the-country versus worry-about-the-household-finances thing so much more complicated...
    Seems like the next recipe should be something that is bitter and sweet or sweet and salty, mixed together.

  20. Anonymous10:29 AM

    i'm writing simly to say that there were good things about Bush's admin. We are swept up by a media how hates conservatism and the bias has an overwhelming impact. If you got your news from the BBC, you'd see a much different slant. How is Iraq different from our take-down of the Nazi regime? Did any of you know that economically we were better off for 5.5 years of Bush than all of Clinton? Did you realize that an attack was inevitable and that our completely Clinton-decimated military couldn't protect us? Did anyone notice that the sestimated million+ extremist live for religious jihad ..only to kill US ALL(liberals and conservatives??)and that we have been safe thus far ? And Katrina..why Bush gts blamed for katrina, i'll never understand. FOR THREE DAYS people were warned to leave... A TERRIBLE tragedy, yes. but Bush's fault? really, come on. Bush was slayed by the media for spending 42 million on his inaugeration. Obama PRAISED for "ONLY" spending 120 million! I don't care if people choose liberalism, i just hate the double standard..
    and remember what Thomas Jefferson said " a government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything from you." I am as hopeful fr our country as the next person, but maybe we'd be better off with a little less hero-worship and a little more honesty. It seems that Obama already ahs a free pass and can do no wrong. You may appreciate his eloquence, but do you notice or care when he contradicts himself? When he goes back on promises like public financing in his campaign..or will you justify everything he does regardless? Because that's not love or respect either...

  21. woo hoo! I have been having issues leaving posts, due to my own incompetence and lack of memory of the correct password I'm sure, and so before typing a huge message i just wanted to double check.

    On the recipes question, I just wanted to give my thoughts. To sound like one of your children: I haven't so much tried a recipe? But I've thought about it a lot. And I enjoy reading them. And tonight I did salt my pasta water because you told me in such a conversational tone WHY I should do such a thing. I usually just ignore that part on the box that says 'salted water' figuring it's not really that important. so, tips like that with a little explanation are good. Stories about your family, home and husband are good. Recipes of things to do with beets are good.

    I want to eat locally and seasonally, someday, but I'm just not sure how. We tried a CSA a few years ago, I think because I had heard of it through you and it seemed feasible. We are going to garden more this year. So ideas of what to do with all this produce, or what to make in the dead of winter are wonderful. They give me more confidence to move forward, because forward is not so unknown. you know?

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is so great and yet intimidating. WHat you do is sit down across the table, like a friend and tell me how the heck to do this. So, I really like that aspect, with perfect ideas like Snow Maple Taffy thrown in. If it ever snows here in Oklahoma, that is so on our list to make. My husband even said he would try some borscht so I might try that too! And pictures of your kids eating it are good: they give hope that even if my kids won't eat it today, that some children somewhere in the world do eat such things and mine might after more exposure. Or if they're hungry enough. Do you starve them before dinner? Or is it just they are used to this food? What do you do if they refuse to eat this lovely meal you spent all this time making? Do you let them have an alternative or make them take a certain number of bites or what? I might try the starvation route.... :)

  22. Is Wondertime really going away??? When? It's my favorite magazine of all time!

  23. We were in Paris last week, and we gathered with numerous English-speakers at an Irish bar to watch the inauguration. We all sang the Star-Spangled Banner together, and when the Bushes boarded the helicopter, we sang, "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good bye!". Everyone cheered whenever Obama was on, and especially after his speech. I've never been so proud to be an American.

    And, Catherine, we made the egg noodles with ham (and also some leftover bacon), and it was a huge hit. I'm looking forward to the corn chowder next. So thank you, not only for your recipes, but for always making me laugh. :)

  24. Ah, remember a mere four years ago, when it felt like the end of the world. I am not kidding, I am still getting giddy-happy at least once a day for no other reason.
    I hope you are all well, dear.

  25. Sorry things arn't great at your end. Solidarity in lots of ways from me.
    And the pie..... just at the right time for.... 'ah crap. I actually need to *feed* the children' time. Gotta love trans Atlantic time difference :)
    Hang in there.

  26. Wait--WHAT? But I love Wondertime! It's the only magazine I subscribe to!! Say it ain't so.

  27. "The bad news just keeps on coming for the print publishing business with word that Disney Publishing Worldwide has closed Wondertime, its fledging parenting magazine. Disney cited the challenged economic climate in its decision.

    Disney said its U.S. consumer magazine unit would focus its efforts on its bigger parenting title, 2.1-million-circ FamilyFun. March’s issue of Wondertime will be the last, and will be folded into Disney Online’s network of family-focused Web sites in May, the company said."

    On a side note, Hooray Obama is in the lighthouse!

  28. Anonymous10:29 AM

    well, I would really like to leave a post over there, but can't get in. I even have all my login info written down...I just never get the mysterious email. and yes, all junk mail, etc is checked. I do hope that they move your column. I was excited because i just subscribed to wondertime because of you and i haven't even gotten the 1st issue yet. Best wishes.

  29. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Yes, yes, yes to the new administration. Happy days.
    No, no, no to the loss of Wondertime. I love the magazine and live for your columns and articles. The recipes have been wonderful. I've made many of them, and every one has been delicious. Perhaps you should make them into your next book?!

  30. I LOVED the borscht! Of course I fiddled with the recipe a bit - olive oil stood in for the butter, and it all stayed chunky, and I put some sliced up bratwursts in it because I am German that way. But wow! Sweet, sour, savory - YUM! I'll be making more of it, for sure.

  31. I just read back a few comments to see that Wondertime is one of the new casualties of this economic mess we are in. Sad to hear that for you, and all of the loyal fans. Sending hope your way for more work - Family Fun, maybe?

  32. Anonymous10:40 PM

    Never loved Leonard's kindergarden teacher more than when he told us that she had them watch TV on inaugurational day to see "le président noir" as he says. And when he mentioned that he knew the two little girls pictured on the next morning newspaper, I was really happy. We're in Montreal but seeing your new president dancing (wow) and announcing that he wants more hybrid cars and speaking on Al Arabia makes me wonder if I am dreaming.
    On the other end, after googling Wondertime closing, I guess I have to accept the sad news. So sorry to hear that. FamilyFun? I am convinced that your great talent and originality will find their way. I wish I could help. I will leave comments again over there as soon as the page opens correctly.

  33. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Oh no! I love Wondertime (only started subscribing when I realized you wrote for them) and even bought it as gifts for friends. What does that mean for you? I hope only the best and that this only affects you in a good positive way.

  34. Anonymous5:57 PM

    So sorry too that things are hard for you, and a bit sad for myself too as I haven't received even one magazine of my Christmas present yet. I made the thamali (can't spell or look up the right spelling because of the webside issues) and it didn't go over well with the kids, too spicy, but both my husband and I enjoyed it so much I may push aside my pile scepticism and try the beet soup. I just signed up to be a wondertime something (expecting hoards of spam because of it) just so I could put your name down as where did I hear about it.

  35. Anonymous6:10 PM

    In case anyone had Catherine's other blog bookmarked only via wondertime, here is the link. Fewer worries, all is still there.

  36. Anonymous11:46 PM

    Very sorry to hear about Wondertime. I would love to have you travel to our store and teach a cooking class. Please email me at chrisatluvtocookdotcom. My wife makes your recipes constantly and we love your blog. Hope to hear from you.

  37. Anonymous1:21 AM

    All I can say is that I cannot wait to see what the "Messiah" can do for our country (and yet, I can't help but remember hearing him say, "change will not be immedate and may not even happen during my presidency"...really????). Hello, people, have you ever heard of economic cycles? Yes, the economy runs in cycles and the president actually has very little to do with it. I, for one, am very thankful that Bush has kept our country safe for the last 8 years. I believe the former Commander in Chief deserves just a little respect for keeping your children safe.

  38. Anonymous5:00 AM

    I love that picture of Obama!!Every time I see a picture of him!!!I am very happy,Obama is such a good leader!!He is indeed a smart person..!

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