Yes, I Broke It, Now What Gift Should I Send?

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We just got back from a family visit to Toledo, Ohio where my husband grew up. In a whirlwind three days we visited his sister and brother; we saw old friends and new babies. We stayed with cousin Mike who lives alone in a beautiful townhouse with a private guest suite. Mike keeps an immaculate home; he makes Felix of the Odd Couple look like a slob. Mike says he likes “everything perfect.” And it is.

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Tell Me “No Cook” and I’ll Cook. Maybe.

Kitchen frustrations

It’s possible I may have the distinction of being the only person who’s been reading Bon Appetit for 30 years without trying a single recipe. Well, that’s a small exaggeration. I’ve tried a handful for better or worse, but my kids have always told me, “You’re better at the basics than when you try to go gourmet, Mom.”

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Avoid the sweat. Keep them wet.

Sprinkler Drinkers

Two of the most annoying words ever spoken by kids with great imaginations, plenty to play with, and backyards that beckon: “I’m booorrrred.” Hot, bored kids can have a chilling effect on any parent’s mood.

Water is a natural, plentiful mood elevator. That is, unless it’s preceded by a question or request along the lines of, “Please take a shower and wash your hair,” or “Did you load the dishwasher?” So let it flow in novel ways when the heat is on.

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Remembering Where Old Recipes Came From

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Our family recipe files are stained by tomato paste and smeared with olive oil. I came across a favorite recipe given to me by a favorite friend whom I haven’t seen in the many years since she moved to California. The recipe was on an index card, written in her own hand. “Add sour cream and parsely (fresh).” At this point she had written “Yummy!!!” Judy was always a three exclamation point person.

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