Thursday, January 05, 2012

The kindness of strangers

Were you wondering about my gorgeous new blog design? I figured you might be. My friend Mary Arteche sent it to me for no reason. Even though I don't actually know her. Do you see what I'm saying? The kindness of strangers. Who somehow aren't actually strangers. You might want to check out her lovely blog. Mary, thank you so much.

And do you see what this means? It means that the name-this-blog contest from June has an official winner: it's Jennifer LB, who wrote, "don't know why it can't still be Ben and Birdy" (azure suggested this too, just a bit later). I need to mention that Nikosha suggested "Catherine Newman," which I almost kept. And that sunygrrl suggested my all-time favorite, which I would have used if it hadn't made it sound like a high-blood-pressure recipe archive: "Half as Much Table Salt." Jennifer LB, Nikosha, and sunygrrl: write me with your address and the book you would like from amazon, and I'll get the prizes out in the mail!

But I really do have to mention the runners up as well:

Catherine Newman and the Whirly Poppers
Just Catherine
These Boobs Are Really a Heart
Bringing Up Catherine Newman
Crazy Delicious
Feeding Ben and Birdy
Mmm Sauce
Twilight Testicles
Raw Chicken, *Shudder*
Umami, Umama
Cooking in Catherine's Socialist Kitchen
What the Focaccia?
Ben and Birdy, Only Bigger
catherine newman: this huge and heavy-hearted happiness
Salted Nutgate
the hairy martini glass
Kitchen Couch

Reading them was like seeing a little slideshow of my own weirdness and our long history together. I loved it. Thank you, as always.



  1. Love love love. All of it. The blog design. The name ideas. I just redesigned my web site but I paid someone to do it. I like your way better. (Although what would you have done if someone sent you a new blog design that was horrid? Awkward.)

  2. I love it! Is the header an image that she created and you added? My header suffers from font envy.

  3. It is so you. I really love the design. Great Job Mary!

  4. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Very nice!

  5. Congratulations to the winners! And I'm a runner up--whee!

    Beautiful blog design.

  6. ladidah12:32 PM

    i must admit i was rooting for "half as much table salt" but love the new design. i already can't even remember the old design and i looked at the crack broc recipe yesterday! i really, really love the list of runners up. i sort of wish you could have those as a ticker tape running across the bottom of the screen.

  7. I can't believe my suggestion of Maternal Spinachless Martyrdom didn't at least get honorable mention :). Now, I need to start a garage band and put that awesome name to good use...If only I could play an instrument.
    Congratulations to the winner and runners-up!

  8. Ha, ha, ha, "these boobs are really a heart" made me laugh. Ah, well, what's a childhood without a paper mache project gone bad?

    I love the new design. Internet friends rule, right?

  9. Love the new design. Also love What the Focaccia? Cute. : ) Happy New Year, Catherine. So glad you are in my cyber world.

  10. yeah! i love the new design. so nice of mary to do this for you!
    i love the name, it is perfection.
    reading through the other list of suggestions is like looking through an old yearbook with all the inside jokes, that you sometimes remember perfectly, other times just know that it once made you smile, and then the rest, you can't even remember where they came from!
    thanks as always catherine! wishing you and yours a wonderful 2012!!

  11. New blog header rocks! Very "big girl." Also: umami umama: brilliant!

  12. It looks lovely...Mary captured it all perfectly.

  13. I love the following things:

    1. The blog design

    2. The choice of blog name, which is very happy and connects to a long line of happy memories

    3. runner-up "Catherine Newman and the Whirly Poppers"

  14. Beautiful! It suits you perfectly. I do like ben & birdy as the name, but had a soft spot in my heart for 'half as much table salt.' That one was hilarious.

    Tonight, I make the red lentil soup. Can't wait!

  15. alison12:44 PM

    I just told my kids yesterday that i've been daydreaming about a kitchen couch. And it's all because you put that termendously warm enviting image into my head.

  16. My favorite part of the new design is the "bad ideas for stuff" heading. And how you can't click it.

    Rock on, Catherine. We love you. (I can't wait to make that crack broccoli.)

  17. Your blog looks beautiful, just beautiful. I've been reading your stuff since our girls were in utero, so strangely feel like I know you. So glad that you are still writing here.

  18. Tina G3:37 PM

    Lovely! And as I read the other name ideas, I just had to chuckle at "ben and birdy only bigger"

    yay for the new title and design :)

  19. It looks wonderful. And "this huge and heavy-hearted happiness" just made me well up. More coffee for me, I think.

  20. mrs.craig11:53 PM

    love love LOVE the new design! And the suggested blog titles are hilarious! They capture your loveliness so well xoxo

  21. cristen hemmins4:26 PM

    i think i am a runner up! yay me! (it was a long time ago, but one seems very familiar...)

  22. Yay! I'm glad the name is ben and birdy still but also glad you liked my suggestion. My favorite all time ever post was one where you listed the ingredients and instead of putting half as much table salt I think you just put "Kosher salt, or blah blah blah"

  23. Allison2:47 PM

    I love your new blog!

    And may I add that I am perhaps unreasonably proud of the fact that TWO of my suggestions appear on the runners-up list?

    Off to make some crack broccoli ...

    P.S. I have made your red lentils with great success!!! Thank you!

  24. Great header. I love it! I also love how well your readers know you. It is because of how generous you are with your heart and humor, my darling.

  25. Anonymous5:52 PM

    So excited to be an Honorable Mention. Yay!!!