7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 140)

August 26, 2011 | 86 comments

— 1 —

I almost killed myself jogging tonight. Things had been going well until I rounded a corner and saw Carmen, one of the neighborhood girls, with what seemed to be a boyfriend. They were about 10 yards ahead, going the same direction I was — and their sweet but awkward body language indicated that this was the VERY LAST moment that two 13-year-olds would ever want the crazy neighbor lady who’s inexplicably running around the neighborhood in her capris and Mary Janes to interact with them, so I hung back. But I didn’t want to walk forever, and we were on a long, straight stretch of sidewalk where there was nowhere else for me to go. In a move that demonstrates the truth that listening to Let’s Get It Started on your iPod can cause you to mis-estimate your weight, your age, and your level of physical fitness by a margin of about about 80%, I decided to pass them.

A few steps into my run, I realized that they were walking faster than I’d anticipated. But then I really couldn’t stop, because it would look like I ran just to get closer behind them, which would be unbelievably weird. So I kept going. My lungs burned. My legs ached. Finally I caught up with them. I tried to casually say hi as I sailed passed them, but my foot caught an uneven part of the grass and it came out more like, “HA-GHAGHAAA” and I went back to gasping for air. And then I realized that I had to keep running if I wanted to get out of the “weird neighbor lady trying to get to close to us” zone. Finally I made it around the corner, where I clung to a stop sign pole and tried not to puke in between heaving breaths. But then they rounded the corner too, and I had to start running again.

When I got home my husband was startled by my red-faced, disheveled appearance. He asked what happened and I made some flailing running motions while getting out words like, “Carmen” and “walking.” He immediately said, “So you just about ran yourself to death because you saw someone you knew on the street ahead of you?” He knows me so well.

— 2 —

If this keeps happening, I’ll be ready for the Iron Man by the end of the month. Maybe I’ll start an exercise boot camp for socially awkward people, where I’ll arrange to have folks they know walking down their jogging path about every half mile. (For an extra fee, I could seek out people my clients really want to avoid, like bosses, exes, or people they owe money to.) Look out for Jen’s Boot Camp for the Introverted and the Socially Awkward, coming soon to a city near you!

— 3 —

Last week we saw our three middle girls playing some kind of game where one of them crawled around on the floor while the others alternated between pretending to feed her and squealing and running away. I’d seen some friend’s kids do this the other day, where the kid crawling was a puppy dog and the other kids were the owners. So I said, “That’s cute, girls. Are you playing puppy dog?” Alas, they were not. “We’re playing scorpion!” they replied.

— 4 —

When your children find it perfectly natural to play scorpion, it just might be time to call the exterminator.

Our friend Stacey Adams, who owns a pest control company, came over on Wednesday to do a little demonstration of Luke 10:19 for the arachnid population of our house. He and his assistant Caleb were here for a long time. When he was done, he sat down to go over all that they did, and it was epic. Every time I thought he was finished, he’d take a breath and tell me more. It involved the attic, the baseboards, the rocks outside the house, the spaces behind they dryer, secret cracks that serve as a “highway” for rodents and scorpions; chemicals that make liquid plutonium seem like Silly Putty. I got the impression that he stopped just short of using a flamethrower. Basically, if we see another scorpion within the next few months, we need an exorcist, not an exterminator.

(He didn’t ask for a plug, but I’m so delighted with the two dead scorpions I saw on my front porch today that I’m going to give him one anyway: If you live in central Texas and need someone to show your insects and arachnids who’s boss, call Vector 1 Pest Control!)

— 5 —

Here’s a question I can’t wait to hear your answers to: What are your top three favorite cookbooks, the ones you go to again and again for great meals? Mine are:

  1. 12 Months of Monastery Soups
  2. Saving Dinner the Low Carb Way
  3. Perfect Recipes for Having People Over

— 6 —

Have you heard of Khan Academy? I’m really excited about it. It’s a site with over 2, 200 videos on all sorts of subjects. Students can watch a short video, then take a quiz on its contents. They have to get ten answers correct in a row in order to move on to the next subject. And it’s free! My son has already enjoyed watching some of the math videos over the summer, and I think it’ll be a big help to us during the homeschool year.

— 7 —

How is back-to-school week treating everyone? We’re not going to start our homeschooling year until week after next, which I assure you was a decision based on careful calculation of the exact amount of weeks we’ll need to meet the goals of our carefully crafted curricula, and not based on procrastination and laziness.

Have a great weekend!


Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.



  1. Nathan Kennedy

    The only thing worse than jogging for socially-awkward people is working out in a gym for socially awkward people. I used to think I was just friendly, but when I started to notice that there’s this sort of unspoken shibboleth against making any sort of eye contact in the gym, I think I started to finally remember, “Oh no, they’re not unfriendly. You’re just socially awkward.”

    • JC

      If you think that the gym is bad, try the elevators in your local math/physics/astronomy building–bonus if all three share a building. On the other hand, the gym has the added effect of being prolonged.

      • Nathan Kennedy

        Ah yes, your typical math and science people! Nothing socially awkward about them. Nothing. At. All.

  2. Leila

    You do realize that I cannot get enough of your tales of introversion! It just makes me feel all warm and happy inside! Introverts, unite!!

    • Laura

      Hear hear!

  3. Laura

    Actually, I feel like all people when working out just become naturally awkward (so Jen you’re not alone and Nathan I don’t think your gym is in any way unique).
    My husband tends to go for random midnight runs at our local Snap Fitness. He usually just feels like a creeper going out that late at night in our relatively residential area, but the worst (best?) is when he runs into someone else hoping to have a little quiet exercise time too.

  4. Scott McMurren

    Jennifer–you are so funny. I follow u ’cause I’m a convert, too. Pray for us–our Gospel Groove group ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y61Dol17Xc ) is singing at the Alaska State Fair. The local parish in Palmer, AK has a booth at the fair with a small stage. HA…so we’re gonna rock the house! Hey–when you come up to Alaska to cool off, join us at Mass at St. Eliz. Ann Seton Parish. Best, s

    • Misty

      Scott, I’m an Alaska Catholic, too! Just moved from Virginia to North Pole in December. Nice to “meet” you on here.

  5. Kathy

    #7- haha! I made a policy that we start the first Monday (um… or second, some years) of August, because, by that point, we’re usually so sick of the heat that nobody wants to go out. So, I figure they might as well hit the books. That way, we’re done by early May (and slacking off by April), when any sane person would rather be outside revelling in the spring weather!

  6. dweej @ HouseUnseen

    Wait, so some people DON’T run like mad when they see other humans they know while out exercising? I’m not sure I understand….

    As for your cookbook question:

    The Americas Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (http://www.amazon.com/Americas-Test-Kitchen-Family-Cookbook/dp/1933615486/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314337920&sr=1-1)

    Buy it this instant! It is brilliant and delicious and comprehensive and easy to use and there is no better cookbook in the world. Seriously.

  7. Brent

    Hi Jennifer,

    You made me laughed here on your post though its a bit serious because sometimes jogging on the street can be dangerous for that instance.

  8. Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    Hey Jen!

    I love the Nourishing Traditions cookbook mostly because the information inside it has changed my life! The recipes are great, too. 🙂


  9. Dorian Speed

    I got that Paleo Diet cookbook during a manic episode. I tried the salmon cakes recipe.

    Did you know canned salmon comes with the bones? Like, the vertebrae bones?

    Anyway, after an extended discussion of this on Twitter, I am now proud to report that the social networking tool Klout considers me an authority on…salmon. I am leaving this comment for the sole purpose of boosting my reputation in this important area of my expertise.

    Oh, but I do like the cookbook.

  10. Ciska @ This Journey

    Just out of curiosity: will the 7 Quick Takes Friday be reduced to 3 Quick Takes Friday now the exterminators have taken care of your main topic? 😉

  11. Shannon

    What is a cookbook?

    I got a Betty Crocker cookbook back when I was in college. Kept it for years, mainly for the seven pages it opened to automatically that were thick with the primary ingredients for those seven items.

    These days, I keep a box of salad greens and other veggies in the fridge. Dinner done in 3-5 minutes.

  12. Monica

    Sounds like you and I used the exact same method to decide when the school year starts!

    I LOVE Kahn Academy, BTW.

  13. Christine

    For the last 6 months I’ve been walking 3 miles a day on the treadmill & I give myself 48 minutes or less to do so. If I went to 47, it would have to be jogging & that’s something I’m not ready for… too much jiggling & bouncing involved. At walking pace everything just “ripples”! 🙂

  14. Kimberly

    #1 would definitely be me if I 1. ever attempted to do more than walk or 2. if I knew anyone in my parents’ neighborhood. #2 would be something I’d be interested in if I ever did attempt to do more than walk, but alas I don’t ever attempt to go past a walk… at least not these days…

  15. Tami Boesiger

    How many kids do you know that play Scorpion?! Love it.

  16. Pat J

    I need to sign up for Jen’s bootcamp! I run on back roads in a National Forest. I feel more comfortable running where there is an occasional shy black bear. It’s much less intimidating than running in the neighborhood where there are people!

  17. Kimberly

    having a very hard time posting comments the past few weeks. I guess it’s just me. Maybe I need to use a different browser.

    Anyway #1 cracked me up. #2, well I could use some kind of boot camp, but it would only work if I ever felt the urge to do a bit of jogging. That urge has not struck!

    • Dorian Speed

      Hi, Kimberly – I have had the same problem! Not sure what’s up.

  18. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    You are so funny, I am glad to hear you are fighting your scorpian invasion with hired help!

  19. Wendy

    You just must be a scorpian magnet or some such, as I live in North Tx, for 17 years now, and have yet to see one. It is great to hear about your kids mocking you in play. Mine do it too! The bootcamp is a great idea, but would it work for the excerise challenged as well? That’s me!
    Now for cookbooks, Anything by Moosewood. They are veg, with some fish recipes. There hasn’t been any crossed off the list and I own 4 different books.
    12 months of monastery salads is great!
    Last but not least is Betty Crocker’s New Choices for Pasta, Grains & Beans. There is a Southeren Stir fry that is to die for, along with a Ginger Beef Lomein. So many choices! Lots of pictures!And cooking tips.

  20. Emily

    Is it bad that I google everything that I attempt to cook? But I found this blog (loveandoliveoil.com) and they have some amazing recipes on there! Oh, and since it’s early and I’m apparently blind I had to enter my capcha phrase like 4 times to get it right.. oy

  21. Kathleen Basi

    What will we ever do without scorpion stories? LOL

    My answer to the cookbook question won’t help you. I buy almost no cookbooks b/c I would rather compile the recipes that catch my eye into a binder. I have two binders (magnetic-page photo albums, actually). One has main dishes & desserts, the other has everything else. And I use them constantly. By far, the recipe book we use most.

  22. Amanda

    get yourself to a phidipiddes or a local running store where they track your form and running style. They’ll show you what kind of running shoes you need and it will make running more fun. 🙂

  23. Michael

    So how did your son feel about the girls playing “Scorpion”? 🙂

  24. Jamie @ A Rough Diamond

    What a hysterical jogging tale! As for the scorpions, you make my ant infestation seem like child’s play.

  25. Bonnie

    I loved the exorcist line!

    I’m glad you posted your cookbooks – I appreicate the suggestions! I do not yet own America’s Test Kitchen cookbook but based on the things my sister-in-law makes from it I am placing the book on my Christmas wish list.

    Also, a binder + protective sheets + family recipes + recipes found online/in magazines = the most used cookbook in my kitchen.

  26. rem

    Great description of jogging awkwardness! This is why I try not to use tracks during peak hours – I hate trying to gage my pace based on not wanting to interact with the other people on the track.

  27. Karen LH

    On cookbooks: The “Quick from Scratch” series put out by Food & Wine is wonderful (the recipes should all be on their website as well: search for “Quick from Scratch”). Also, anything published by Cook’s Illustrated. I subscribe to their website and have been making a lot of their recipes recently.

  28. Steph @ Moving to MD

    So glad you got an exterminator out there. I keep telling my husband your scorpion stories and he freaks out and wonders why you don’t have pest control. I will let him know it’s all under control now.

    Re: Cookbooks, my favorite is Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It sounds really fancy (and some of it is) but she does an amazing job of breaking down really basic things and giving you the courage to try stuff yourself. I also really enjoyed James Beard’s Beard on Food, which is more of a collection of essays that are really helpful and has good recipes throughout.

    If anyone is interested, I host a cookbook club on my blog. Each month we pick a cookbook and cook a recipe or two out of it and then come together and let everyone know what we think of it. It’s a great way to try new recipes and find new cookbooks.

  29. Theresa in Alberta

    I’ll start an exercise boot camp for socially awkward people…….
    ohohohoh,,,,can I join?!?!?!?!
    after your stories about scorpions, I will no longer COMPLAIN about enduring the cold weather temp’s here in Alberta where those icky things fear to tread!!
    My favorite cookbook is “The Pioneer woman” by Ree Drummond. My son inhales her meatloaf recipe when I cook it for the family.

  30. Lorelei

    My most used cookbooks are:
    Whole foods for the whole family, by the LLL
    A vintage 60s edition of Betty Crocker I recently found out is worth $100!
    Book and magazines by Taste of Home.
    All the cookbooks have recipies with ingredient real grocery stores really carry that don’t cost and arm and a leg 🙂

  31. Sarah

    I take Zumba at my local Ymca, and I am the most.awkward person in the class. I zig when she zags. It’s bad.

    My favorite cookbook is: Simply In Season. It’s a cookbook that has an index of fruits and veggies, and how to store them, handle them, etc. Then the rest of the cookbook is broken down by season and the recipes in each section use seasonal produce. It’s awesome. http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Season-Expanded-Community-Cookbook/dp/0836194942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314365662&sr=8-1

  32. nicole

    I’m glad you called an exterminator. I hope your scorpion problem is gone for good.

    My favorite cookbook is the internet.

  33. Smoochagator

    LOL @ exercise bootcamp for socially awkward people.

    And right now, I don’t really use ANY cookbooks. I’m in a total recipe funk. I occasionally find something new on the net that I want to try, but for the past… oh, two years (basically ever since I got pregnant with my son and had to start rationing the energy of my waking hours) I’ve been relying on convenience foods and only cooking “real” meals on the weekends – and the real meals are always things I’ve made before a million times. I really enjoy cooking and I miss it, but it’s just not high on my list of things to do when I have extra time for fun stuff.

  34. JC

    Thanks to these scorpion stories (and the fact that I have a wandering mind) I keep wondering if you can use a cattle prod to electrocute the suckers (I think the answer is yes, based on the idea of a bug zapper–but I’ve not been able to test it). I think your story last week about the scorpion not dying when you hosed it down with raid is what set my mind wandering to this subject.

  35. Leticia Adams

    Hey Jennifer, your bug guy (the one on the left) is kinda cute. 😀

  36. Andrea

    A 13-year-old with a boyfriend? Perhaps God sent you to exactly that place at that time to keep an eye on them.

  37. Anthony S. Layne

    With all the crud surrounding my little bro this week, I needed the laugh over your jogging and scorpion misadventures. I don’t have any in return; scorpions don’t show up in my neighborhood (though, oddly enough, geckos and the occasional roadrunner do), and I despise exercise so much I won’t even jog my memory.

    Cookbooks, you say? 1) Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook — the best cookbook EVAH! 2) The Pampered Chef’s Recipes from the Heart — the Fiesta Chicken Enchilada is the bomb! 3) No single particular book; we have a whole shelf in the spice cabinet dedicated to various cookbooks and recipe boxes, as well as other recipes that I’ve downloaded from Food Network and recipes.about.com. Plus, there are family favorites we make from memory, and I’ve modified a couple of recipes here and there; eventually, I want to put them all together into a “favorites” pdf file.

  38. Nayhee

    #1: Ha ha ha!!

  39. deanna

    I keep thinking about running and then I read your posts! OKay, it’s not just that, to tell the truth. But, as a total extrovert, I still dislike seeing people I know when I am exercising.

  40. GeekLady

    Oh, that cookbooks question is a tough one, a lot of my recipes are either made up on the spot or are old family recipes. Most cookbooks I find one or two recipes that are really good and run with them, or I only use cookbooks for baking, where there’s a lot more that can go wrong.

    In fact, I gotta call #1 for The Mummey Family Cookbook.

    #2, Everyday Pasta by Giada de Laurentiis, not because we make a lot of recipes from this book, but because the recipe for Farfalle with Italian Sausage and Kale (minus the mushrooms!) is so phenomenally delicious that it was worth the price of the book.

    #3 is the Internet. If I’m wondering what to make for dinner, usually I think about what I want to eat, and then if I don’t have a recipe, or am otherwise unsatisfied with the recipe I do have, I look online to see what other people do. Then I do my own thing anyway. I’m kind of a kitchen maverick. I’ve gotten loads better though! Himself used to come home to the following exchange: “Hi honey, what’s for dinner?” “I made a cake!” “That’s nice, but what’s for dinner?” “…I made a cake!” “…I’m going to Culvers, bye.”

  41. Alli

    My top cookbook is More With Less. It encourages me to think about what effect the things I eat have on me and the world around me, and emphasizes frugality.

  42. Kara

    LOL Sign me up for the boot camp!

    Hope your scorpion problem is under control now! That is so terrifying.

  43. Kellie

    My most-used cookbook is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. The book version’s too expensive for my price range, so I bought the iPod app when it was on sale, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s turned out to be the best $2 cookbook money can buy!

    I also use Fanny Farmer quite a bit. My third one…the Pioneer Woman website, maybe, if that even counts. But Monastery Soups is one of my favorites, too, and that’s thanks to you!

    • Kellie

      Er, FANNIE Farmer. The cookbook, not the brand of chocolate!

  44. Melissa Spence

    Your #1 about jogging made me LOL. Love your posts.

  45. Martina

    Bootcamp for socially awkward people, huh? Sign me UP! 😉

  46. JoAnna

    “We’re playing scorpion.” Heh. That’s great.

    My absolute favorite cookbook right now is “Fix It and Forget It Five-Ingredient Favorites.” Great recipes for the slow cooker with five ingredients or less. Ideal for the lazy cook on a budget!

  47. Trisha Niermeyer Potter

    I find it absolutely hilarious that you began running faster to the point of almost collapsing so you could get by two teenagers that were in front of you who you thought would rather be left alone. Teen years are the epitome of awkwardness, so not much to worry about there. Perhaps next time, you should catch up with them, then start talking to them about what life was like when you were 13 years old, ask them if they are interested in coming to collect the scorpions at your house, or some equally unusual comments that would be likely to get them running away, so you could continue your jog at whatever pace is comfortable. Just a suggestion, from someone who generally only runs when someone is chasing after me or when I’m trying to catch a little one before injury ensues.

  48. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    Oh, I LOVE Perfect Recipes for Having People Over! That’s definitely one of mine, along with The Barefoot Contessa and The New Best Recipe.

  49. Brenda

    I have that passing debate with myself on walks/runs ALL THE TIME. Especially on the track at the park. It’s so awkward!

  50. Suzi

    I will look forward to Boot Camp for the awkward introvert with disc desease and adversion to strange crowds and places! Fits me perfectly!

  51. Jennifer

    Three favorite cookbooks –

    1. Anything by Mr. Food (we have several,but I’ll count this as one)
    2. Fix it and Forget It (I have the “lightly” version – crockpot recipes)
    3. A cookbook you can’t buy because it’s a bunch of recipes collected prior to a wedding shower I attended years ago. We were sent recipe cards with our invitations and had to mail them back before the shower. Someone typed them up, copied them, put them in three-ring “report cover” folders, and they were given as party favors.

  52. Jeanne G.

    I know that my social awkwardness is what keeps me from trying to jog. I don’t mind walking with my husband, because then it’s not “weird” because I’m with someone else. I have a feeling there are people out there who don’t think it is weird for someone to walk alone. On the other hand, if it were jogging or aerobics or something like that, I would feel awkward doing it WITH someone. Can we ever win?

  53. 'Becca

    Your boot camp idea reminds me of a guy in my Social Psychology class in college who, on the first day when each student was supposed to ask a question we hoped the course would answer, asked, “Why is it that when two people who slightly know each other are going to pass on the sidewalk, they make eye contact and smile, but then at the moment of actually passing each other both look away?” At the end of the last day of class, he slouched out of the room grumbling, “She never answered my question….” (I’m still wondering about that one myself!)

    My favorite 3 cookbooks:
    The Moosewood Cookbook and its sequels by Mollie Katzen
    Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook from 1966 that we got at a yard sale
    binder of recipes collected from family, friends, and Internet (I have a lot of these on my site).

  54. Jenna

    In response to #5, I’d have to say:

    1. The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book by BHG
    2. allrecipes.com (ok, not a cookbook, but I love this site!)
    3. Best Ever Chicken by Pillsbury…you know, those ones you find in the supermarket check out. I am always at a loss for what to do with chicken…it gets boring. This one is awesome, believe it or not!


  55. Leah

    what the, I never heard of that game ‘scorpion’, the world seemed to have changed,kids this days must be exposed to too much technology, but I’m glad they still play games instead of staying home all day watching tv.

  56. Ann-Marie

    The New Best Recipe Cookbook is FABULOUS!! It reads like a novel. Seriously, I read it just for fun when I have no intention of making anything.

  57. Elizabeth @ Coppertop Kitchen

    About #4: We live in the midwest, so our worst pest problems involve spiders and millipedes which, while a nuisance, are nothing compared to scorpions. I’m glad you got them taken care of. And #5: Supernatural Every Day by Heidi Swanson is great, as is Express Lane Meals by Rachael Ray. But I mostly rely on food blogs and Bon Appetit for ideas day-to-day. I really love 101cookbooks.com, smittenkitchen.com, and joythebaker.com. Have a great weekend!

  58. That Married Couple

    Haha! Your Quick Takes always leave me laughing out loud 🙂 And so glad the exterminators seem to have taken care of you all!

  59. Kimberly

    “Maybe I’ll start an exercise boot camp for socially awkward people.” I’ll totally join if you do!

    And playing scorpion? That’s hilarious. Seriously.

  60. JaneC Duquette

    My favorite go-to cookbooks are:
    1) Out of the Nest, into the Frying Pan by Eileen Lafferty. It was given to me by my MIL and I have never had a recipe from it fail. It is full of every day food and she assumes that you are not a great cook and rates all the recipes as to how hard they are to make. My never fail pie crust came from this book. It is easily the dirtiest cookbook I own.

    2) Joy of Cooking or recipes from Cook’s Illustrated

    3) Great American Meat Book by Merle Ellis

    Now I have too many ideas for dinner tonight. A very nice problem to have

  61. Tricia

    I’m a mom, but actually LOVE the cookbook Dad’s Own Cookbook…really dummies-down a lot of stuff! And I like simple!

  62. Martha

    I laughed when I saw your #1 cookbook pick. I LOVE that cookbook, but my family recoils as if we’re practicing random acts of mortification every time I’ve served one of the lovely soups therein. They might rename the book “12 Months of Prison Soups.” Kudos for getting your kids to eat soup!

    My fave is my trusty old 1950-something original Betty Crocker cookbook (the illustrations are fabulous, and would seriously rile up any feminist, thus raising my enjoyment level. Ha!)

    Oh, the baby cried I laughed so hard at your jogging story. I’m so introverted, there’s no WAY I’d jog in town. I live on a farm and the field road is just fine, thank you.

  63. Laura M

    Hahaha I love your jogging story. I understand the situation but I’ve always been walking so it hasn’t ended in a near-death experience. I think, though, it was really sweet of you to want to let the young couple have their moment, a lot of people just wouldn’t have cared.

  64. Julie

    Desparation Dinners-for a wide array of tasty 30 min meals. Use this one ALL the time since my twins were born 3 1/2 years ago and time to make dinner became compressed. LOVE IT
    Fix It & Forget It-for crock pot recipes
    The Breat Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook–for lots of yummy breads

  65. Annette Heidmann

    I love the Better Homes and Gardens annual collections, but mostly I like to admire the pictures, rarely actually cook from them. Betty Crocker, Pioneer Woman website, and the rest a mishmash of handwritten cards from friends and relatives, and things I find online that I hastily scribble on the back of somebody’s old math worksheet at dinner time when I’m in a rush.

    Your running story was HI-LARIOUS!! 😀

  66. Eva

    My ‘go-to’ cookbooks are the Moosewood series; vegetarian, environmentally sounds, delicious, healthy. All good.
    Well that and any book with large chocolate cakes on the cover. Calories saved during main can be spent during dessert….

  67. Cheryl

    Just wanted to weigh in on the cookbook question:
    1. More with Less, the famous Mennonite cookbook. Can’t live without it.
    2. The New Basics Cookbook (Rosso & Lukins) for more fancy recipes–great vegetable section in there, very complete.
    3. Betty Crocker, which my mom always called her cooking Bible. Good for all things basic.
    In general, otherwise, I use some French recipes as well. But those are my favorite American ones…
    Thanks for your great thought-provoking blog! Blessings!

    • Eva

      Ah yes, the More with Less; I should have mentioned that one too. Great for basics, isn’t it?

  68. Kimberlie

    OK, first, I keep getting an XML error (like for the last month) when I type in the captcha code. Not that I care that people see what I have been posting, but I just find it incredibly frustrating that I can not solve why I keep getting this error message. I know enough about computers to be dangerous but not really solve programming issues. 🙂

    Now for the real reason I commented: cookbooks. My favorites are Cooking for Isaiah (Sylvana Nardone), Family Feasts for $75 Per Week (Mary Ostyn), and Barefoot Contessa’s Family Style (Ina Garten). Hubby and I are gluten intolerant and just found out (long story), so the first cookbook has become invaluable because it’s all gluten-free and dairy-free recipes (we don’t have to be dairy-free so I use milk). Mary’s book has some yummy, frugal recipes, and though I have never fed my family for $75/week, every recipe I have served has been a hit. I am itching to try her Ethiopian Sloppy Joe’s recipe but don’t know if that will be pushing my luck with my kids. And if your library has Ina’s book, check it out because the roasted vegetable soup is so incredibly wonderful! You make a big batch of roasted veggies to accompany one meal, then make them into a delicious soup for the next day. Yum, yum, yum. I love cookbooks. Ever since I’ve become a mother I can’t be as creative in the kitchen because of picky-eaters, but I still like to experiment.

    On homeschooling, my second son and I started our first week and it went so well. I love it. I don’t think I have the ability to hs more than one child at a time or with little ones at home, I am just not that talented or organized, but I love how organic learning becomes when a child is home to learn. Learning happens even when we’re out for a walk, at the store, or sitting in a fast-food restaurant and we are talking. Love it, love it, love it!

  69. Calah

    Oooh the cookbook question! Yum. My battered, #1 is the Ogre’s old copy of The Best Recipe. Most reliable cookbook ever. Then, my “when I want to impress someone” cookbook is Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Then I have a shameful copy of The Joy of Cooking which I use when I need something edible, snappy.

    Oh, and the homeschooling? We haven’t even ordered our curriculum yet. Your laziness ain’t got nothing on my laziness!

  70. tanya

    That first take is the funniest thing I’ve read in ages. My eyes are watering and my stomach aches!

  71. Lauren

    Your stories CRACK me up!!! I wish I was your neighbor!

    1) Nourishing Traditions
    2) America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
    3) The Food you Crave- Ellie Krieger

    I’ll have to check on the ones you recommended!

  72. Marie

    punch in ingredients on hand and recipes pop up.

    silver pallete cook books

    any barefoot contessa books

    also, I know you jest but don’t call yourself an ogre. you are a statuesque beauty.

  73. elizabethe

    I LOVE that socially awkward boot camp idea. I’m so socially awkward I actually find hanging out with mathematicians and physicists to be completely socially comfortable and I used to frequently do so in graduate school.

    My cookbooks are

    Mollie Katzen, Vegetable Heaven (5 a day, people!)
    Judith Bartlett (I think) Saved By Soup.
    My three Jamie Oliver cookbooks (Two Naked Chef ones and then Jamie’s Food Revolution — I highly recommend the last one, it has a real diverse selection).

    And my collection of recipes ripped out of old Cooking Light magazines.

  74. Julie B.

    Favourite cookbooks:
    More With Less
    Extending the Table
    Nourishing Traditions

  75. Holly Rutchik

    RE: #1 – I would have done the SAME thing. Being an odd ball can really kill you sometimes. Don’t other people think of these things and have a mental breakdown on the inside when something like this happens. I don’t get normal people.
    God Bless your hubby for knowing you so well.

  76. Jason

    Apparently, most of the younger generations today love posing like that which I really don’t why too. And regarding bugles, nice pictures… now I’m hungry just watching them. Thanks for the recipe, would like to make one. =)

  77. Clare Horne

    I understand the situation but I’ve always been walking so it hasn’t ended in a near-death experience. We haven’t even ordered our curriculum yet. Use this one ALL the time since my twins were born 3 1/2 years ago and time to make dinner became compressed.

  78. Alyce Ray

    I LOVE that socially awkward boot camp idea. I don’t mind walking with my husband, because then it’s not “weird” because I’m with someone else.

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