Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I have a confession to make. I have a serious addiction. Those of you who know me may be thinking “ah, yes, the wine,” and while it may be just my denial talking, I will reply with a hearty “no.”
No, this addiction is far more unexpected and therefore more insidious. It’s salty. It’s savory. It calls to me from our kitchen pantry at all hours of the day and night. It is… in two words… beef jerky. Yes, that’s right. I have an almost irresistible craving for salty-to-the-point-of-brackish beef that has been smoked to the consistency of aged leather.
And I’m not talking about those silly Slim Jim sticks. Oh, no. No perfect cylinders of processed meat for me. I’m talking about homemade jerky made from actual strips of real beef. The stuff that looks disturbingly like a pile of giant scabs.
Mmmm. A plate of scabs chased with a hearty red vintage.

I have a pusher, too. My husband’s Aunt R makes the stuff at home and brings it with her to our house every time she visits. I successfully resisted her attempts to get me to indulge in her devilish creation for several years, but last month I guess I got a little peckish after a long run and started craving a salty treat… next thing you know, I’d eaten about 10 strips of chewy, sinewy, jaw-straining, beefy goodness.
Writing about it is making my mouth water even now (which isn't all that surprising, since if you dissolved about 8 strips of this jerky in a large body of water, you could recreate the Great Salt Lake). I had a full dinner tonight followed by a delicious homemade brownie. I should not indulge in anything else.
And yet...
The pantry is summoning me. Maybe I’ll grab just one or two strips. And perhaps a glass of cabernet…

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out, John Lennon

You know how, as the parent of a young child, you hope that at some magical moment you will catch a glimmer of your child’s future brilliance?  For me, that day has arrived.

I’ve always suspected that my Ballerina’s talents were geared toward art.  My tiny 3-year-old enthusiast doesn’t color anything a single hue. Rather, she makes every coloring book character an intense calico.  She can spend 10 minutes meticulously coloring in a space 2 inches by 2 inches, choosing every tint and shade with care and making sure to blend the colors into one another, even layering colors for effect. She practically floats with joy at the mention of paints, and she thinks mixing mediums – markers, paints, puffy stickers, glued magazine cut-outs, stamps – is nirvana.

Did I mention that her favorite item of clothing is her pair of black pleather boots?

This past weekend, Ballerina spent the better part of an hour drawing a picture for me of about forty “houses.” When she brought me my paper, 2-dimensional neighborhood, I almost fell over. First, in all honesty, I was shocked at how very un-house-esque her houses appeared. I mean, most little ones, in my experience, at least draw something approaching a box shape when sketching a house. My child’s houses look more like… well… red squid. A swarm of them.

But that’s not what got me. Check out Ballerina’s "house" next to John Lennon’s famous self-portrait:

Almost identical, right???

The resemblance is uncanny!!  My 3-year-old daughter is channeling Lennon!  She may even BE John Lennon reincarnated!  I need to give her more time at the piano…

Speaking of reincarnation… several months back, my sweet, 5-year-old Bear read a science book chapter about the decomposition of trees, which led to an existential discussion about the circle of life as we took one of our many trail walks. Tonight, out of nowhere, Bear decided to pick up this conversation, but he suddenly became focused on the fact that I will die someday and that he will die someday, yadda yadda… crying and howling and tears (oh my)! Eventually my husband and I calmed him down by throwing theories at him, telling him about the idea of reincarnation and the possibility of heaven and how some people even believe that we stick around after we die and watch over our loved ones. This idea that there may be some sort of "after" gave him pause. Positive pause. (No, not paws... you know you thought it...) Bear still is not 100% convinced that he shouldn’t live in abject fear of death, but he’s pondering. Right this minute. As you read this. I guarantee it.

Finally, I learned that today my Bear loves me more than my husband. I am She Who Is Most Loved. Everyone say “awwww.” Bear told us this tonight. He loves me “point one” more than my husband. To be specific, he loves me “one point four one two” (1.412) and he loves my husband “one point three one two” (1.312). I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll take it. I might even make it into a T-Shirt. 

Want one? 
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