The care she took

It wasn’t that the evening was perfect. It was the care she took in crafting it. You know the feeling. You head somewhere—a social engagement or obligation—after a long week at work. It’s Friday night and you’re still in final conference call mode (or your equivalent). You rush through the end of the work day,…

One-sided conversations in the kitchen

When all else fails, I make my mother’s spaghetti. When weeks are hard and binging on the Gilmore Girls on Netflix does not bring sufficient comfort, a girl has to step it up a bit. I even tried Baileys and coffee in front of the fire, but alas, my mother’s spaghetti it is not. I…

Reviving a lost art

“Well let’s face it, who on earth besides antique dealers and gay couples actually still gives dinner parties?” –Nigel Slater, food writer Oh, Nigel, Nigel, Nigel. Tsk tsk. I recently attended a dinner party. Or should I say a dinner pahtay. Hosted by a perfectly straight couple with nary an antique in sight. And this…

Ring a ding ding. It’s your nemesis calling.

If it’s the holidays, that means I am going to my yurt. Since I don’t  have a real one, I’m going to the yurt I keep in my mind to escape from my nemesis—Little Miss Perfect in the Pumpkin Patch, as I like to call her. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday in the States,…

Lessons I did not mean to learn

So much of what I have learned in life was unwitting. As a parent, this realization fills me with a strange combination of relief and chagrin. Because I can’t seem to stop talking. The teachable moments come fast and furious sometimes. I have so much hard-earned wisdom to impart about honesty, integrity, love (it’s a…

When did comfort food start making us uncomfortable?

On my loneliest days, I wish for my mother’s chop suey. This wish may sound odd to you, particularly if you know much about me. I’m not Asian. I come from a family of bland meals where salt and pepper were considered spices. I believe my mother even put Kitchen Bouquet in her recipe, which…

Holy making

I do what a lot of us do on a typical day. I wake up, get kids to school, work, work out, shop, cook, pay bills. On the good days, I find joy in the process. Or rather, it finds me. On the worst days, I wish for—what? More adventure, more money, more time, more…

Solace in the kitchen

The kitchen used to be enemy territory for me. I grew up with a mother who cooked out of necessity. I did not see joy in her face while she prepared meals. My father, on the other hand, saw cooking as one of the highest creative pursuits. He could cobble a spread from whatever happened…