Being the cooking superstar that I most definitely am not, I was as surprised as anyone when I recently discovered the joy of making my own croutons for salads. Unfortunately (like always, when it comes to cooking), I’ve stumbled upon some major obstacles.
How hard can it be to make a salad, you ask? Here, I offer two exhibits from the Nastu household Crouton Conflict.
Exhibit A. “You Should Have…”
I go to the store and buy a delicious-looking loaf of French bread, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. I’m planning to let it get stale so I can make croutons the next day. Continue reading
I’ve never been the kind of mom who has a plate of warm cookies waiting on the counter for my kids when they come home from school. Certainly I’ve made plenty (okay, a few) batches of cookies in the past 18 years, but mostly any sweets we have in the house come straight from Safeway’s cookie aisle. My own mom was the same: she made a pretty good chocolate chip cookie from time to time, but usually it was Oreos or Nilla Wafers after school, and I never felt neglected. Continue reading
I have only one word on my mind: fifty. Not, mind you, as in fifty shades of gray or anything that exciting. Rather, fifty as in: holy fuck, I’m five decades old and what have I done with my life and how many hours have I wasted playing word games?
That kind of 50. Continue reading
Let’s talk about mushrooms. And when I say “mushrooms,” what I mean is “motherhood, and the incomprehensible fact that someone is actually letting me be a parent and I haven’t gone to jail yet and maybe I’m not fucking up that badly after all.”
(Side note: don’t those mushrooms look delicious? They probably were, but I don’t know, because it’s not my picture and those aren’t my mushrooms. Photo credit: Lewis Suraz, Flickr Creative Commons)
One of the reasons parenting is so exhausting, in addition to all the usual running around, is that you’re giving your all (and then some) to teach your kids how to live. I was struck by this thought today: it’s all up to Paul and me. Yes, other people come into play: grandparents, friends, teachers, other people in the line at Starbucks. But for the most part, the shaping of their character — the teaching of right from wrong — is in our hands. With newborn babies, our main job is simply keeping them alive. But later on? You have to teach them how to be.
Learned an expensive lesson this week, people. Resolving to turn over a new leaf and actually cook, I went to the grocery store and shopped like a fiend for a week’s worth of meals.
Here’s my lesson up front: don’t plan meals for every night of the week, because as you know, hardly anything in a middleaged mom/wife/woman’s life goes exactly as planned (probably hardly anything in anyone’s life goes exactly as planned), and the food that doesn’t get cooked will sit around your kitchen being passive agressive. Let me explain.
Stephen King once wrote this great short story called “Word Processor of the Gods” about this writer who discovered that, when he typed a sentence about the picture that hung over his desk, and then deleted the sentence, the picture disappeared. The character thought long and hard — actually, no, he thought for about two minutes — and went on to delete his wife and kid, then gave himself the wife he should have had and the kid he should have had and the life he should have had, and you get the point. Anyway, how often in life have you wished with all your heart that you had a delete button for the things you’ve said and done?