It was a dark and stormy morning

You guys aren't going to believe this, but every entry for Martha's calendar this week is just "Netflix and chill," so, (shrug).

Also, I made this Roasted Squash with Bacon and Maple before I had any idea that bacon might be bad for me, so it doesn't count.

Grandfathered in.

Here is a partial list of tools that Martha incorrectly assumes I have on hand this month:
  • fringe cutter
  • awl
  • craft punch
  • narrow-bladed linoleum cutter
  • chimney sweep

Here is a fun home-decorating project for when you find yourself with extra mirrors and strings and also are pretty drunk:

The weather here has been of the inclement variety, so we've been spending a lot of time together, practicing our teamwork.

It's going great

And when we do venture to the store, it is only for necessities.


She might be under the impression that we send out Krampus cards

Hey guys. As an apology for my recent lack of attention to Martha-doings, I offer you a tasteful hint of Martha cleavage:

Teach and inspire, girl.

And also the following pictorial proof of our extreme seasonal busyness:

Birthday party!

Children's symphony!

These are the fanciest clothes they own.

Embracing the much-delayed change in the weather!

Out of frame: me, on top of the car, gleefully jumping up and down.

Working on our Christmas card poses!

This one.


Extra-freaky Friday

Hey guys, as you can see below, my staff and I have had a pretty intense week.

I mean, have you ever had to do time zone math in order to call from Spain and ensure your firewood is being stacked? Exhausting.

With all that, I still managed one autumn recipe, Chicken and Squash Curry. The food theme for this issue is clearly "Squash: Deal With It."

A directive that becomes much easier to follow once you embrace the glory that is pre-diced butternut squash, trust me. Every time I'm at the store, I hesitate: should I pay twice as much for this convenience? And every time I start putting together the recipe at home: yes, yes, I would have paid ten times as much.

A couple more examples of how Martha is going for legit, rather than campy, horror this year:

Nothing to see here, just a mouth full of toenail teeth, we're all having fun right?

Tell me this is not a dog whistle for new serial killers.

Halloween Dress Up Fun!

This week, Ivy dressed as a girl who is not even going to pretend she might participate in ballet class.

Ah, the subtle terror of wasted money. Very advanced!


You have to show them who's in charge

Children's Halloween party time! Better bust out the homemade...uh...mustard.

I'm a little off this year, you guys.

I did manage to make spiderweb eggs because a video on Facebook told me to, so, all is not lost.

I couldn't decide which direction to take this FB joke, so just grab a premise that suits you: a) FB is usually full of terrible ideas and this was the first good one; b) FB is for old people; c) I am an old person; d) something about Snapchat e) something about eggs.

Fortunately, I had some assistance with the perennial orange-pumpkins plate.

Rainbow unicorns are surprisingly competent in the kitchen.

So, it's probably obvious at this point, but I phoned in a lot of things for this year's party. It's fine though, right? I'm sure no one could tell that I just lazily skimmed the aisles of Central Market grabbing orange and purple things, right?

Totally fine.

Okay, I haven't really done anything of Martha's at all, I think the least we can do is pay her advice column some heed.

First she answers with words:

Then a few pages later she provides her real answer, in images:


Getting into the mind of the enemy

Martha knows that if I see the words "hash" and "baked eggs" in a recipe I am duty-bound to make it, even if the words surrounding it are "kale and squash."

Also, this was easy and good and Anna spent the rest of the evening telling everyone she saw that she ate kale for dinner, so I earned 150 smugness points on this one.

Martha's calendar this week is a lot of travel and speaking/hosting, and although our schedule was decidedly lacking in galas, Anna and I did man the rainbow fruit skewer table at her school's Health and Wellness Fair. 

Slippery fruit + linoleum floor + pointy sticks + elementary school children = longest two hours of my life.

Other than that we've pretty much just been puttering around, working on our Halloween costumes.

(She's going as a dog.)


Guess we're having broiled chicken this week

Hey, how is everyone enjoying their sixth month of summer? Everybody good? Let's eat pizza dough with sausage on it, I guess.

Kielbasa, Apple, and Cheddar Pretzel Tart. The best part is, I just set it outside on the porch for a little while to cook!

Martha's Calendar:

"Horseback riding," probably.


That's right, we didn't let a high of 97 degrees deter us from having some pumpkin patch fun this weekend!

Ah, fall!

Anyway, I have to go, according to Martha I'm supposed to install heat lamps in the chicken coops today.

P.S. If you are jealous of Anna's awesome bison shirt, which you should be, you are in luck because my sister-in-law will make one for you. (Also, armadillos.) (Seriously, check it out.) (I don't get a cut or anything, I just think everyone should have armadillos shirts.)


It's a dolphin! Jumping out of the water!

Is it October where you are? Like, actually October? Because we are caught in some kind of temperature warp here and no amount of listlessly flipping through Martha is convincing me otherwise. Maybe a recipe?

Spicy Sausage and Lentil Stew with Escarole Salad. (We don't use the "s" word in our house lest a certain first grader retreat screaming from the room.)

Pretty fall-ish! Probably better with spice!

Martha's calendar, October 6th-9th:

"Dig and divide hostas." Look, I have no idea what hostas are, but every time I skimmed that sentence I swear I saw the word "Doritos." I know you might not see it, but trust me, it's there if you lean back and cross your eyes slightly. I was really, really good at those 3D pictures in the 90s. (Quietly crunches chips while you squint at the screen.)

"Clean stainless steel appliances with white vinegar." Ohhhhhhhh but all my appliances are black. And who knows what vinegar might do them, no sense taking chances.

"Pack away summer clothes in canvas bags." Sure, let's just take a peek at next week's forecast to make sure--

(Weeps silently into empty chip bag)

I can't help but think the girls would be more excited about ballet if I were better at fixing their hair.

Anna looks like she's ready to saunter into her Intro Psych class in pajama pants and sunglasses.


I guess he's there to guard my field of foam pumpkins?

Before we get into Martha's Calendar for October, I just want to mention that I think something is slightly...off this year. As I noted previously, Martha generally appears insane and resplendent on the cover in some wealthy New England approximation of ghoulishness, but this year there is just a pumpkin. A pumpkin. With colorful crap glued to it. So that's a disconcerting start.

Then there's this:

The "Halloween Trick" is to buy a foam pumpkin? What are you even talking about, Martha? Should I just go buy up the Halloween section at Dollar General? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?

Then she goes hard the other direction. Warning--the following image may disturbing for some viewers, it certainly was for me:

I, uh...hmm. 

Anyway, I just wanted to give you some context for why I'm not adhering as closely to the calendar as last year. It's out of laziness fear.

October 1st-5th, highlights:

"Plant garlic." I didn't personally do this, but I did instruct my husband and children gardening team to plant some things, so maybe one of those things was garlic, what do I know.

"Harvest winter squash, make lasagna." One out of two!

This is the Vegetable Lasagna from America's Test Kitchen, which I intended to make it in September. It took three hours top to bottom but it was all worth it when one of my children burst into tears at the sight of it.

"Horseback ride." Ah, that's more like it.

"Schedule regular gutter cleanings." Hey! Dan! Clean the gutters once in a while! Done.

So, we're off to a start. Definitely got started. Just know that my team and I are out there, making the tough autumnal decisions.


If Martha is half-assing it this year, that means I get to quarter-ass it

Hey guys, I wrapped up September by deciding that having been married for nine years was a good enough excuse to not do anything productive this week. (Runner-up excuses: "it's still hot," "one of my children is still three," "Mercury is apparently doing something to everyone," "fall TV is back on.")

So we ate out!

Kerbey Lane and I have always agreed on how often a dish should be augmented with queso (i.e., as often as possible).

We also have similar views on pancakes.

Also, we got in a kayak for some reason!

I guess it really helped me appreciate how much of the past nine years I have not spent in a kayak.

Okay, fine, I was actually pretty productive, but all of it looked like this:

Don't worry though, I'm gearing up for October in earnest now.

Although I'm a little disappointed in Martha's costume this year.