Monday, March 30, 2009

Wild Weather

Last night thunder ripped across the sky and the trees shook down to their roots and the rain pelted the greening world and I thought: Spring! Our first honest-to-goodness thunderstorm of the season. Thrilling. And the perfect whether for macaroni and cheese, the perfect recipe for which is up over here, at But before the last of the snow has melted in the mountains, I can't resist showing you Ben and Ava's consolation-prize-winning homemade sled entry in the Berkshire East's Cardboard Classic. Those kids. I'm telling you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vernal Equinox

Oh don't you love the spring? And the word vernal? It just has the greenest sound to it, even though that's probably because I'm mixing it up with verdant. But still. The hyacinths are pushing out the ground like alien pod life, and the cardinals are flirting in the forsythia (everyone in my family calls the female my "girlfriend," and says teasingly, "Hey Mama, your girlfriend's at the feeder!), and the evenings are long and lit. It is a glorious time. So maybe (brace yourself for the lame segue), you were thinking of making biscuits? Have I got the recipe for you!

I also wanted to say something here, which is this: I love FamilyFun magazine. I do. I have been writing for them since 1992, when, as my friend Ann and I love to recall over a few drinks, I sent in my bird-feeder prototype, and the tester who unwrapped it promptly cut her hand open on the decorations I'd cut from a Coke can. Classy! (Note: I have refined my ideas over the years. I swear.) Every year I look forward to writing the Valentine's feature; every year I look forward to making the April Fool's Day gag meal for the kids (last year it was meatloaf-and-mashed-potato "pie"! Bwa-ha-ha.); every year I get birthday cake ideas and holiday ideas and craft and game ideas. And I am only mentioning this here, now, because look--I know it's a totally different magazine from Wondertime, and nobody is as heartbroken about Wondertime as I am (with 1 or 2 possible exceptions), but if you open up your mind to FamilyFun, you might just love it. That's all I'm saying. Even though I know it's annoying to get that "Oh, by the way, we switched magazines on you!" card in the mail (I actually got one too! I was like: Yes, hello missing livelihood, I noticed.).

To inspire you: the dinner "pie" (tinted with beet juice!). I made the kids real strawberry pie for dessert so they wouldn't feel tricked in the bad way.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Who knew

That I looked like a cross between Abe Vigoda and Steve Landesberg in Barney Miller?

Here is Birdy's drawing:

Three faces are her doll Bitty Baby, and one is me. Can you guess which is which? When she was done, she squinted at it critically for a moment, tapping the pencil against her pressed-together lips, then added one more line to my forehead, and exhaled: "Perfect!" I'm submitting this drawing to Blue Cross when I make my case for why they should pay for Botox.

Meanwhile: perfect oatmeal cookies are here. I hope you are all well and thriving!


Monday, March 09, 2009

I Won

the "The World's Most Beautiful Readers" contest, and my prize was you.

I don't know how to describe the experience of seeing all of your faces on facebook--this uncanny feeling of recognition, and yet so many of you I've never laid eyes on before. It was totally moving, utterly uplifting. Thank you so much. I really had no idea. I looked at you and your puppies and your babies and your bellies and your backyards and your cupcakes and your kids and your partners, and I was amazed. By what nice hair you all see to have, for one. And by your cats, many of whom could stand to lose a little weight, no? And mostly by your smiles. What a wild ride. Loretta, thank you again.

Okay, onto other matters, like more chicken, here. This is a foolproof and uproariously delicious recipe. You will not even need to clean your stove afterwards! But you may wake up thirsty in the night.

Speaking of waking up thirsty in the night: Birdy is sick again. With a fever again. She woke crying in the night, asking shakily but politely after "some ice cold water, please" and then would wake again periodically to say, "Mama, could you please pass me my ice cold water," which I found totally heartbreaking. Trader Joe's Mango & Cream Bars are our saving grace right now.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Face of Six

Birdy is 6 today. Birdy. My baby. Lots of you were pregnant at the same time as me, and you are doubtless feeling this too, this head-shaking kind of how-did-it-happen soaring and aching of the heart. Oh!

Here she is, with the doll's sleeping bag that our dear friend made for her. There's something so funny and sweetly old-fashioned about this picture. You'd never know that just one minute later she hiked up her dress and wagged her bottom at me, sing-songing, "Look at my bu-utt, look at my bu-utt." Such a delicate flower, that Birdy.

In other news, there is a facebook "fan" page up! Or maybe it is a "group" page? I don't know. Thank you so much, Loretta Craveiro who is not, I swear, *me* or even someone that I know personally. I am not sure what will happen over there, but I am grateful.

And in other other news, there are roasted chickpea snacks here, for all you salty-snack cravers out there who want something healthier than Cool Ranch Doritos. (When they discover that Cool Ranch Doritos are actually healthy, I will be eating them three meals a day.) We're brainstorming other seasoning ideas besides the curry powder, which is delicious, but not for everyone. Please let me know if you try anything delicious.

Enjoy the snow, if you're out here with us. Or whatever brightness comes your way!