15 Realistic Recipes to Feed Your Family in an Apocalypse

The pandemic continues, Oregon is on fire along with the rest of the West, and even though the fire a couple miles from our house is now 75% contained (THANK YOU, FIREFIGHTERS!), my brain is broken. Just totally kaput. Zero percent battery, and I forgot where I put my brain charger. 

I was feeling badly about this, as though my inability to get anything done is proof that I’m a lazy sack who doesn’t deserve the air I breathe, even though that air is currently full of smoke and so dense we could chew it. But then several friends reminded me that our brains and our bodies are reacting exactly as they were built to do. There are fires in our forests. Visibility is shot due to opaque air. We’ve been at a heightened state of emergency for six months. OF COURSE WE’RE EXPERIENCING MENTAL SHUT DOWN. Our bodies are priming us to fight or flee. Our brains don’t need to form complete sentences right now. They don’t need to do anything other than basic survival.  ...  read more

21 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I’m popping up and down from the kitchen table while I’m writing this, trying to keep Family Pizza Night on track, so we’ll see how this goes.

Today is officially Day #37 of Quarantine. They say it takes three weeks to form a habit. I don’t know who “They” are, but it’s one of those things that’s accepted wisdom like don’t go outside in the winter without your coat on lest you catch a cold — things that are verifiably, conclusively false, but things we say and believe regardless. So I suppose it’s not surprising that I feel on some level like I should be used to this by now — less bewildered, more settled, further along on Quarantine Adjustment, coming to terms with the uncertainty — but I’m not.  ...  read more

13 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I spend most of every day worried about the Mommies of Littles.*

(*And probably the Daddies of Littles who are the primary caregivers, as well… it’s just that my experience is as a Mommy, so feel free to substitute gender as you see fit.)

I think about the Mommies constantly. It is, I’d say, the most consistent thought I have during this period of isolation. ...  read more

Bread and Body Fluids: I’d Come Up With a Less Gross Title, But I Have One Kid Crying, One Harfing, and One Bleeding… I’m Sure You Understand

Took my kid to the orthodontist this morning.

He had to have brace wires removed so I could take him to the dentist to get four teeth pulled.

Spilled my coffee.

All 20 ounces. All over the floor of the orthodontist’s office. I put it on the floor, then immediately kicked it over. I hadn’t had coffee yet, so I couldn’t clearly think through coffee placement. It’s a Catch 22, I tell you, this whole Had to Perform Coffee Tasks Before Having Coffee situation. It’s not right. We live in a broken world, friends. ...  read more

Milk and How to Use it… Yogurt, Cheese, and Labels: Oh, My!

I have a few “rules” this week as I try to eat no commercially preserved, packaged, or processed foods, the foremost of which is DO NOT BECOME A HANGRY JERK, BETH.

Greg and I learned through the joy of travel early in our relationship that there is no jackass jackassier than a hangry, exhausted jackass, and that, unless we wanted to go ahead and file for immediate divorce and save ourselves a world of hassle, we ought to travel with snacks. Snacks = Marital Harmony. Snacks = Marital Bliss. Snacks = the difference between being kind, flexible and accommodating of each other’s tiny flaws and foibles and I AM GOING TO RIP YOUR EFFING FACE OFF. We were precious, I tell you. Darling. ...  read more

It Looks Like Granola, But It’s Really Self-Care

The first step was to stop saying, “Stupid, stupid, STUPID, Beth. How could you be so STUPID?” to myself in the car on the way home from work. It didn’t matter, really, what I’d done during the day; I’d slide onto the cloth seats of my Pontiac in the late afternoon and berate myself, like clockwork, sure I’d done something unforgivably foolish or said something truly humiliating.  ...  read more

On Eating and Life: I Know You Understand

I’ve been a little radio silent around here for a bit. Mostly because I’ve been eating. Or thinking about eating. Or planning the eating.

To be fair, this is the case for me All the Time. I like food. But in my defense at this particular time, my friend Maggie and I just held our first ever Food and Wine Retreat, so All the Thinking About Food = LEGIT. ...  read more