Archive for February 2011

Valentine’s Day

We don’t make a big deal of Valentine’s Day, though we make cards for each other and exchanged little gifts (for me: chocolate caramel hearts; for Tony: a giant-cube ice tray to keep his evening whiskey cold; for the boys: chocolate lollipops). But I did want to make a special dessert, and with my heart-shaped cookie cutter, it didn’t take much effort to do this:

That’s one vanilla ice cream heart, and one heart each of ginger cake and vanilla pound cake (gifts for our New Year’s Day party that I’d stuck in the freezer for a day like this), plus a little puddle of chocolate sauce (I tried to make a heart, but the sauce resisted my decorative efforts.) Of the red sauce, Ben asked brightly, “Is that blood?” No, it’s raspberry sauce — nothing more than a pint of raspberries pureed in the blender, pushed through a sieve, and brightened with a squeeze of lemon juice. Eli said “This is the best dessert EVER!” and proved it:

Listen to Me!

Last week at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference, I heard Jhumpa Lahiri give an inspiring keynote speech in which she said that becoming a writer is “taking the leap from listening to saying ‘Listen to me’.”

Well, at the risk of being a bit self-promoting, I invite you to listen to me on Friday, in a radio interview with Literary Mama columnist Cassie Premo Steele. Cassie is a beautiful writer whom I had the pleasure of meeting a couple years ago at a Mama, PhD event. She is smart and funny, interested in writing and books and mothering and good food, and so we are sure to have a fun conversation. I hope you’ll listen in!

The show is Friday, February 11th from 8:30 to 8:45 AM, PST. Click here to tune in.

edited to add: click here to listen to the archived version of the show.

Mama at the Movies: What’s On Your Plate?

I always used to say that breakfast is my favorite meal — it’s the one time of the day when you can justify eating dessert (pancakes! waffles! coffeecake!) as your main course — but lately my allegiance is swinging toward lunch. I still love breakfast, but usually I’m too sleepy to be any more creative than to eat my standard bowl of granola.

Lunch offers time for anticipation. Lunch permits a bit of planning. Which is not to say my lunch is always fancy or complicated — usually it’s not; often it’s a sandwich, or some leftovers, or a simple salad. Occasionally I meet a friend or even — when the stars align — my husband, and we’ll eat out. And one of my favorite lunches is in the school cafeteria.

I write about school lunch this month in my column for Literary Mama; here’s an excerpt:

My boys, as I tell them regularly, are incredibly lucky with their school lunch program. It wasn’t always this way. My husband went to the same school, in a time when on hot dog day one lucky kid was served a rubber hot dog, which meant free seconds and a bag of chips. I always wonder how many kids bit into that rubber hot dog (and how many of them took two bites before realizing their mistake). The school, like most schools, used to house vending machines full of sodas and candy. But then gradually — and not without difficulty or complaint — things changed.

The rest is posted at Literary Mama; click on over and tell me about your own school lunch experience.

I’m back!

My poor, long-neglected blog and blog readers, I am back and determined not to let Facebook status updates and tweets drain all my blogging energy away… anymore. I hope you’ll check in regularly.