Monthly Archives: November 2014

gag me with a spoon (and some winners)

2014-11-08_1415406053Shelley – that mushroom is for you.

I really found all of your food aversions fascinating – especially since many of those aversions stem from bad experiences in childhood. It reminded me of a few additional ones that I have.

Butterscotch – I once tried to “impress” a babysitter by sucking on an ice cube until my mouth was sufficiently chilled, and then poured Magic Shell straight into it to see if I could get it to harden before swallowing it. I remember being vaguely successful at it, until I unknowingly snagged a bottle of butterscotch flavored shell which made me throw up. Even the smell of butterscotch makes me want to hurl.

Flintstone Vitamins – I can dole them out to others, but I still secretly hold my breath. I used to hide them in my cheek when I was a kid, and then toss them behind the bed, unchewed. Ick.

And a later one – I used to like the flavor of anchovies in things. But one night, at my previous firm, we stayed late to work on a project and a co-worker ordered a side of extra anchovies with his pizza. When he opened the tiny box of them I completely lost my appetite. They looked just like the silverfish that scurry across my hardwood floors which made me completely sick and now I avoid them like the plague.

And now that I’ve completely grossed you out right at dinner time… here are last night’s winners (as randomly selected by assigned number) – Tesse, Lauralou, and Pam! I’ll email you later with the details, so check the email address you entered when you commented.

If you didn’t win this time, I’m sure there will be another one soon to enter. The odds are in your favor! Happy eating!

(story)time: Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins

Despite the wide variety of books on the shelves in our house, we get into book ruts a lot. F likes to keep a short stack of books on her bedside table, and she’s been known to grab the top three for reading each night until one of us yells “uncle”. Friday night we decided to all pile into E’s bed for a longer read aloud session, and I decided it was time to shake thing up a bit. I told the girls we are going to go through the books on the downstairs shelves in order, without skipping or rearranging, until we reach the end. They seemed excited about the idea of discovering forgotten treasures, and we dove in. I thought I’d also take the opportunity to highlight a few of our older favorites along the way here, and add them to the big master recommended reads list we’re working on for the upcoming school book fair as well. And it might help me get my act together to organize the (story)time posts on the blog too. Remember, you can find our book recommendation list at the (story)time tab at the top, or the button in the sidebar.

Hooray for Fish

Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins was one of E’s very favorite books when she was younger. The hardback edition is really large – great big pages to turn and read. You might be more familiar with Cousins’ work in her well-loved Maisy books. I love her illustration style, and it works so well within this rhyming romp through an active and diverse school of fishes. M and E were both reciting the words from memory the other night, even years after our more frequent readings. There are hairy fish and scary fish, stripey fish and gripey fish, upside down and round and round fish – all sorts of colorful, wacky fish.


I love the sweet ending when Little Fish comes back home from his swimming adventures. This book is absolutely perfect for ages two-five. Even slightly older kids might enjoy the subtle prompts to count and locate fish throughout. Or break out the bright colored paints and create your own unique fish in the style of Cousins’ work.

Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading! 

let’s eat: on the menu (and a giveaway)


One of the things I’m looking forward to doing again is writing my weekly post on what we’re enjoying (or not enjoying) food-wise around here. That was just one of the things I had to let go with the time crunch, but I like keeping track of food stories here.

We really do commit to trying to eat well, no matter how busy things get. It doesn’t take long with a less than desirable diet to get all four of us out of sorts. Eating is a non-negotiable thing, even when busy, so we might as well do that right, and let the laundry and vacuuming slide if need be.

Last night I came home to a quiet house (because everybody else was out working on a celebratory surprise!), and a stocked refrigerator. We use Blue Apron from time to time, and I thought the menu for this week sounded good, and it might be a nice treat for a week of waiting for test results. I got my favorite chef’s knife out and started chopping. Making dinner is really my favorite way to unwind at the end of the workday, and yesterday there might have been a little extra singing and dancing as I worked. It was a busy day, but a good one. Messages and calls and flowers and notes were coming in, and I felt connected, and supported, by so many dear friends and family members. If I could have invited you all over for dinner, I would have.

Since I can’t, I can offer you this – a week of Blue Apron meals to try out on your own. As I’ve said before, these are just free meals they give to me occasionally as a bonus for ordering from them – they don’t sponsor this in anyway. If you are interested and have never tried Blue Apron before, check out their delivery area here to confirm that you fall within it, and leave me a comment below to enter. Tell me the one food you just can’t stomach, especially if it’s something you wish you could like. Mine is fennel – it pops up in delicious sounding dishes all the time, but the licorice flavor (also anise, and licorice in general) – I just can’t do them.

I’ll draw three names from the entries on Monday night – good luck! And thanks again for all the encouragement and virtual fist bumps yesterday.