Real Life

11 Must-Have Thanksgiving Tools

The minute November hits, we’re all on the on-ramp to the holidays. Planning becomes the name of the game, to get all of the things done that need doing. Top of the list this month is Thanksgiving dinner. This is the kick off to all the holiday meals that will surely follow, and also a …

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When I Grow Up I Want to be Miss Olivia High

The weekly meal service and food pantry at Union Baptist Church is not one of the biggest around. It’s not one of the oldest. It’s certainly not one of the most modern. But it’s something special, in large part because it was conceived of and still run by a vibrant 92-year old woman, Miss Olivia …

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Eat Smartly and Carry a Small Stick … of 100% Grass-fed Beef

What does a teenage football-playing boy and an American Pygmy Shrew have in common?  They both eat 3 times their body weight every day in food. Okay, that is NOT true (well, it’s true about the American Pygmy Shrew), but if you are the person who is feeding one or more teenage boys then you …

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Last Minute Gifts (Rolling Down the Highway)

So, you’re driving down the highway, heading to your mom’s, or your aunt’s or your cousins’ for the holidays.  You’ve managed to get the car packed with your luggage, the wrapped presents, the Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake you promised to bake and bring, and everyone is accounted for, even the dog (who REALLY IS COMPLETELY …

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Why I’m Excited for Friendsgiving

You may have heard of Friendsgiving, that wacky new Thanksgiving trend that’s sweeping the country; basically it’s Thanksgiving with friends instead of family, either instead of the family thing, or in addition to.  And frankly when this started becoming a “thing” I reacted with an eye roll, given that America does love itself a brand …

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10 School-Night Dinners That Will Make Your Life Easier

Some of you reading this have already run through that perennial gauntlet known as the back-to-school period. Some of you may still be reading school supply lists and wondering when you will find the time to get those medical forms signed by your pediatrician. Some of you (read: me) may find yourselves with your fingers …

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The Olympics Are A-Comin’!

My newsletters are nothing if not inconsistent (how do you like my flagrant use of the double negative?). Last month, I talked about my recent favorite grain salads. The month before, it was Mother’s Day. The month before that, it was my eighth-grade home ec teacher. I’m telling you, this writing thing is not a bad …

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In Memory of Christopher Idone (The Dirtiest Dinner Ever)

Last Friday the inimitable Christopher Idone died after a long battle with cancer, and two years in hospice. He was one of the best cooks I ever knew — decades ago he lived and wrote about much of what we know about authentic, simple, seasonal, and regional cooking today. His cookbooks Glorious Food and Glorious …

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Just Hanging Out with My Eighth Grade Home Ec Teacher!

Here’s a story that I can’t get tired of sharing, and that just keeps getting better. When I was in the eighth grade, you know, OVER 30 YEARS AGO, I had a home ec teacher who I thought was pretty cool, and she somehow thought I was pretty cool (even though I was a bit, …

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