Severely healthy recipes for January

I'm not going to tell you exactly which page out of 822 I have reached in Middlemarch, except to say that it rhymes with "plenty poor" and that it's probably a good thing I don't mind hot soup in the summertime. In my defense, I have been using all of my book-reading time to try and finish my book club book by Saturday, and also to watch television. I will say that my favorite part so far is on the first page, when the sisters are described as having "naturally regarded frippery as the ambition of a huckster's daughter." With all due respect to my own parents, I have been known to indulge in some frippery now and again, but today, in the spirit of the Brooke sisters and the book that I will likely still be reading in January of 2017, we will investigate Martha and BA recipes that are rather on the stark side.

Loses points for: making me grate butternut squash; leaving me with half a butternut squash in my fridge.

Gains points for: only needing a slight drizzle of honey to convince my children that they were actual, edible pancakes.

Martha Contender:  Carrot-Spinach Soup with Dill.

Intended use: Dinner of a three-day "detox."

How I used it: Beverage to wash down grilled cheese and avocado sandwiches.

Winner: chickpea pancakes, by virtue of being fried and containing more than 7 calories per serving.

SPEAKING OF FRIPPERY, the other day Ivy kept hollering at me to take her picture while she posed with her new giant ball. I'm pretty sure she was trying to recreate the Parisian photo shoot from Funny Face. It's our favorite minor midcentury musical.

That disconcertingly old photographer will definitely fall in love with you now!

Also explains why Anna has been barking orders about the color pink.