We're going to have to invent like 100 new synonyms for "dangerous"

I have very recently become a paid subscriber to The New York Times, among other publications. Hard to say what inspired it, guess I'm just reaching that point in adulthood where I panic about the future of our democracy and specifically the free press, haha, middle age, so predictable. And hey, guess what? They have a Food Section! With tomato soup

And the soup recipe starts with half a pound of butter!

So I guess that's the sum total of good news for the week.

I did learn another new word though, and edification always brings a certain degree of satisfaction. If kleptocracy didn't seem quite dire enough for you, try on Jamelle Bouie's offering of "kakistocracy" for size. How's that fit? Feels right, doesn't it? Can't have a woman in charge of our government, so I guess the alternative is the worst men. Makes sense.

Time to check in on how that popular vote is coming, yeah? As of Sunday, Hillary Clinton's lead stands at 2,332,814 votes. Two million. Three hundred thirty-two thousand. Eight hundred. Fourteen. 

Now let's take a horrified peek at where the man we have...mostly not chosen, but here we are, to lead and represent us is getting his allegations that many of those Hillary votes are fraudulent: Alex Jones! Since our topic for the day, and surely many days to come, is "the worst men," let's look at a few other tidbits from this source that is for sure legitimate reporting and not the ravings of a complete lunatic: the U.S. government is responsible for 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the murder of school children at Sandy Hook; fluoride in water is for mind control; juice boxes are a conspiracy to make children gay; intergalactic lizard people control the world. All the greatest hits from the email forwards of your craziest grandparent are there. This is the source of "news" that our president-elect is leaning on in lieu of official security briefings from the intelligence community.

But, I mean, Hillary had a private email server. Lesser of two evils, right? Real rock and a hard place.


I think the tryptophan actually heightened my sense of dread

You may have noticed that yesterday was American Thanksgiving (I think I'm going to start making this blog more Canada-centric, no reason), which I did observe, as follows:

This is undoubtedly the most difficult time I have ever had summoning the joy of American Thanksgiving in my heart, for more reasons than I can reasonably link to, but...you know. You know why. Also some of this. I mean. FFS.

But we had Connect Four! I am, no lie, thankful for Connect Four this year. Some high highs and low lows in that arena.

So yeah, I don't know. All the best to you and yours and us and ours and them and theirs, I guess.

Oh also real quick Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote has now passed two million votes. In case you need a visual representation, here is a two thousand-character string of expletives:


So every one of those characters represents one thousand extra people who were really hoping to not have to consider the term "Nazi" with actual alarm going into the year 2017.



Join me on this quiet train

Lately I've been trying to remember what I used to do on the internet...before. Because I definitely spent a lot of time on the computer without reading serious grown-up news or having a Facebook  or Twitter account, but how? Why? OH RIGHT, food blogs.

Fooooooood blogs. They still exist everywhere even though I stopped looking at them with any frequency! So crazy. They are brimming with things like these Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies:

And they are full of ideas and images that fill me with literal hunger as opposed to hunger for, I dunno, the sweet release of death. So *greatjob* people taking nice pictures of food, you have restored my confidence in my own ability be pretty easily distracted.

Ivy knows that I was probably overreacting about that whole climate thing anyway, as our high today is only 78:

And good news, I have a lot of "getting ready to leave town" stuff to deal with so I don't have time to despair at length today. I'm just quickly going to leave you with a couple of Words of the Week:

And then make up for that by ensuring that you have heard of Slow TV, a Scandinavian station that includes things like a scenic 7-hour train ride through Norway and is probably the best thing I have ever encountered.


Remember when I used to be fun

My comfort cooking has moved from the everything in broth stage to the everything in tortillas stage. I am still using the Thug Kitchen cookbook. I am also still shielding you from links to it, my sweet precious darlings.

Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw

Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Burrito

Hmm, those two dishes look very similar in dim autumn light but I assure you they are entirely different piles of legumes and vegetables in flour tortillas. Varied as heck.

It was 86 degrees here on Wednesday. Fortunately, my Farmers Almanac had already instructed me to bring all of my potted plants in to protect them from freezing two days before. Meanwhile, the North Pole is 36 degrees warmer than normal and the extent of the sea ice is at a record low. This isn't an opinion, these are numbers that can be tested. I have been told that we are in a post-fact, post-truth era, but apparently "I like facts" is the unexpectedly necessary hill I have chosen to die on. For some reason I am a lot more worried about this than I was a week and a half ago.

Anna is deeply disappointed that you think climate change is a liberal hoax.

How can fact-checking be elitist? she despairs.


Chopping and stirring in the widening gyre

A couple of weeks ago a storm knocked over the fence in our backyard. Yesterday as I mindlessly pushed the automatic garage door opener the corner of the door came screeching off its tracks and was left stuck and dangling. Unfortunately, the fact that my tiny world is physically collapsing has not served as much of a distraction from the metaphorical collapse of my larger world, but rather has emphasized the idea that 






And it seems I am still settling into my coping response, as it is currently swinging wildly from getting a haircut that leans decidedly Mad Max to peppering conversations with Dan with sentences like "Maybe we should get two kittens."

I thought a library cookbook might help, because most of those contain soup, and it was very clear that I needed soup, but I grossly misjudged which side of the pendulum swing I was on and picked up the Thug Kitchen cookbook because that seemed like my mood. It really wasn't! If you are not familiar, it is vegan recipes but presented in an """""edgy"""" way. Like if an irritating 12-year-old was shouting at you about plant proteins. It turns out I super super don't want people yelling the f-word at me right now! Please, just very gently talk me about lentils. Whisper it in my ear. Give me the ASMR version of black bean enchiladas. Tenderly stroke what is left of my hair and exhale the words "carrot apple muffinnnnnnns."

But I waded through the unnecessary abuse, because I needed soup. I'm not linking the recipes because if you want to be assaulted by expletives that is your business but you can seek it out for yourselves. THIS IS A SOFT AND FRAGILE SPACE RIGHT NOW DO YOU HEAR ME.

Vegetable-Noodle Soup with Ginger Miso Broth

Wedding Soup with White Bean Balls and Kale

Much like my mood, my energy to *help* and *fix* and *work* and *change* is still very fragmented, as evidenced by my skulking around Yosemite-Sam-like muttering unintelligibly about climate change and the Supreme Court and false equivalency and misogyny and racism and "values voters" and daily press briefings and HE DOESN'T EVEN WANT TO LIVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE. And oh hey! Now is probably a good time to note that I spent 36 years trying not to openly disagree with anyone ever because I hate and fear conflict but some of y'all just voted that option right off the table for me. So I have started figuring out which issues I find most pressing and throwing my money and attention at them and if you are also in a SOFT AND FRAGILE SPACE or an ANGRY MAD MAX HAIRCUT VEGETABLE YELLING SPACE I suggest you do the same.

Anyway, Anna made some seed and berry cakes for the birds and we are doing fine.

Like, aggressively fine.

Come at us, bros.



That happened.

I am ragged still, and I do not have a lot of jokes. With all due respect to Ms. K├╝bler-Ross, my grief has gone through at least 1200 stages in the past two days, #84 being "At least I don't have to keep scraping for blog content twice a week because I am never going on the internet again." And this was a significant relief to me! I pictured a long stretch of low-effort, un-photographed Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays and Where Is That Takeout Menu Wednesdays and Thpagetti Thursdays and okay look it has just now become clear to me that while I have a pulse I will also have some degree of silliness, it is a natural process of my body somewhere between "breathing" and "caffeine processing."

But it is now Friday morning and I came here, because this is where I come on Friday mornings. Because I wanted a place to say "I am ragged." That I am scared for my fellow citizens who do not have the incredible protection of being straight and white and middle class. That I am sad for myself and my daughters who do not have the respect and the dignity and the opportunities that would be afforded to us had we been born men, not yet, no matter what we are told.

And because my friend Tara wants me to make some intensely Australian recipes for the entertainment and edification of my readers and I have not gotten to that project yet. And because I just realized yesterday that Ivy calls this movie "Chancey and the Meatballs" and it was important to me that you know that too.

Like a band in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon

And also because, as hauntingly poetic as it would be to have the last words I ever typed in this space be a link to Five Thirty Flippin' Eight, that's a little on the nose, even for me.

A lot of people smarter than me have offered a lot of advice as to how to proceed now. Swistle made a list, because she is my Internet Grown-Up and she is on top of things and I love her. Most of you reading this have probably seen Leslie Knope's Letter to America. This helped me. I imagine fewer of you have listened to Travis McElroy's fireside chat (transcript here, although I advise listening if you can) and that helped me too. And it's okay to reject optimism at this stage and say "please don't tell me things are going to be okay, white people/straight people/men, because I do not think they're going to be okay for me." Actually, I am giving you blanket permission to ignore all advice from straight white men going forward, you're very welcome.

But it's also okay, if it helps pull you from the fog of despair up into the pit of let's get to work now, to imagine someone supportively holding your hand. To embrace the stereotypical, touchy-feely liberalness that is mocked and derided and dismissed but is ultimately, for some of us, the best and most hopeful part of humanity.

I am holding your hand.


Let's think about something else

I know at least some of you wasted your extra hour this weekend feverishly refreshing Five Thirty Eight, at least I've heard that's a thing that people have been doing, wouldn't know myself, I'm not one for anxiety/obsessiveness, ANYWAY, I just want you to know that there are no red states or blue states here, only the State of Ivy, which is pink and purple and sparkly. 

Furthermore, here are some things that I enjoy, perhaps one or more of you would also enjoy some of them:

The fact that all of The Toast archives are still available for our pleasure and edification http://the-toast.net/2016/03/28/oh-no-my-thing-is-happening-women-leaving-tactfully-in-western-art-history/

The John Hodgman episode of the Dead Pilots Society podcast: http://www.maximumfun.org/dead-pilots-society/episode-2-only-child-written-john-hodgman

Researching skincare ingredients on beautypedia: http://www.paulaschoice.com/beautypedia 

Feverishly refreshing Five Thirty Eight: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-to-watch-election-night/


The calendar says five years, but the bags under my eyes say twenty

Hey, sort of a significant food milestone today, it's the fifth anniversary of the best milkshake I ever had!

We celebrated this morning by making Ivy work really, really hard for a new Barbie doll.

But the important question is, did she like it?

"Kind of" !


Spooooooky unseasonable heat

Not complaining, never complaining, just *noting* that our low temperature for Halloween was 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Good thing I have a bunch of pictures of kids in absurd outfits and do not have to generate any real #content.

Anna had three costumes this year, all of which were solid black because she knows that my most irrationally overwhelming parental fear is of them getting hit by a car.

My other fear is of someone mistakenly eating their head

Scarlett helped us squeeze in some straight up adorableness.

I was a farmer. Not a sexy farmer. Definitely a hot farmer, though.


Dan was a trick-or-treating safety beacon/terrifying nightmare apparition.

We made sure to take plenty of candy breaks.

Also, Anna won an award at school yesterday that comes with a free hamburger, so it was probably the best day of her life so far.