Monday, November 1, 2010

homemade halloween

I spent hours sewing the kids costumes this year. I wanted them to make a good impression trick or treating in the new neighborhood. Last year, Gene was too little to dress up but last night he made an adorable lil devil. Bobby was sweet as a clown and Sally was supposed to be a lovely girl toreador. But she inked on a mustache, turned the cape into a poncho and went around as a barefoot beatnik instead! I hope the neighbors don't think I'm raising a hoodlum.

Friday, October 15, 2010

sally was hoarse for days after seeing the beatles

Don is finding out that raising children isn't the cinch he thought it was. Sally is going through a difficult stage, but she snapped out of it one Sunday in August when he took her to a Beatles concert. (They're those mophead singers from England who debuted on Ed Sullivan--all the rage with youngsters now!) Don just got film from his movie camera back from the lab. Can you believe he didn't take more pictures of Sally?

Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm a vegetarian sometimes. But Adelle Davis advises "the housewife who wishes to maintain maximum health in her family is wise to serve meats at least five times a week." She says going without meat can lead to depression. I've noticed that. Off to the market for a juicy rump roast!

Friday, July 23, 2010


There is much in my life I am grateful for. Three darling children. A well-appointed home. And a husband whom many regard as a savior. All this gratitude calls for another gimlet. Cheers!

Monday, June 14, 2010

casserole cozy

Isn't this darling? I bought it at our block party a few weekends ago. A newcomer to the neighborhood sews them and was selling them from a card table. So handy! Just tie up your potluck contribution in the bonnet and it stays fresh and warm til you cut the first slice. Best of all, it's washable! (Thanks to modern appliances, doing laundry is a chore I don't mind.)

Monday, May 31, 2010

pansy cake

A friend sent me a recipe for her pansy cake and I made it for a block party yesterday. It was a big hit. Chocolate and bourbon are a divine combination. Start with a chocolate box mix, add almond cream and plenty of whiskey. (Don't skimp.) Decorate with white frosting and pansies from the garden. Kids love it, too. I had to keep Sally from taking a third!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

rereading old letters

There's a bittersweet pleasure in coming upon correspondence from the past, don't you think? Usually, you see more than was apparent the first time you read it. What is it about Sundays that makes me nostalgic?

Friday, May 21, 2010

sun tea

As a little girl growing up in Philadelphia, the first sign of summer was a jar of sun tea glistening on our back porch. It's the easiest way to make tea. No muss, no fuss! All you need is:

a large glass covered jar (not plastic)
Lipton tea bags or loose tea
a sunny day

Fill jar with water. Add tea bags according to how big the jar is. (For 8 cups of water, use 4-6 teabags.) Cover and steep outside in sun for 4-5 hours. Serve over ice. You can add mint, sugar, lemon, whatever your fancy. Francine and I doctored it with a touch of Smirnoff's yesterday. Very refreshing!

Monday, April 5, 2010

devilling Easter eggs

Easter Egg Trees were the rage this year, did you try one at your house? Such a festive way to glamorize kids' handiwork, but what to do with the leftover eggs? Devil them of course! (Don't worry if whites are stained by dye, all the more decorative.) Here's my mother's recipe. To take eggs to a potluck, wrap each in waxed paper and twist the ends tight.
6 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
about 3 TBSP salad dressing or cream

Cut eggs in halves. Slip out yolks. Mash with fork or electric mixer. Add other ingredients, continuing mashing until smooth. Fill whites with yolk mixture. Ready for company!

Special thanks to dear Heather for clipping this ad!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

mother-daughter haircuts

Have you seen the lastest issue of Good Housekeeping magazine? They did an article on mother-daughter haircuts, which I think is adorable. Maybe I'll take Sally with me on my next trip to the parlor. Sometimes I worry we're not as close as we should be. But then I remind myself--I'm her mother, not her friend!

Thanks to darling Heather for tearing out the photo.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

thrilled to have won the Shorty Bake-Off

At last there's an award for what I do all day. And thanks to your darling votes, I took home an award in the Shorty Bake-Off! Because of innovative recipes like Wiggle Vegetable Mold and Bourbon Bundt Cake. I couldn't have done it without friends like you and Francine. And Betty Crocker, of course.

I wasn't the only one of our crowd to be honored. Dapper, hard-working Frank Adman won the advertising category. I'm tickled for him. Though, truth be told, I can't imagine why a man would want something called a Shorty.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

winter olympics

I don't mean to be unpatriotic but my favorite team was the skating couple from behind the Iron Curtain. They started skating together as teenagers in Leningrad and now they're married, winning medals at Innsbruck. Isn't that romantic? And look at her darling dress!

Once, I tried to get Don to skate at Rockefeller Center, but he said he knew of a place with better ice and took me up to the Rainbow Room instead.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

how to vote in the Shorty bake-off

A secretary in Don's old office moonlights doing training films. (Because a gal can't live in Manhattan on a secretary's salary.) Look at this darling little movie she made. How can I thank her? Perhaps I'll whip up a Bourbon Bundt Cake with extra bourbon!
Don't forget to vote here!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

at last, an award for what I do all day

Francine and I joke that if men did what we do all day, surely there'd be an awards ceremony for it. And now there is! She's nominated me for a Shortening award. Winner is by popular vote. If you like my Bundts, hope you'll vote for them here. Then, send out your best gown and gloves to the cleaners! If I win, we'll walk the red carpet together!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I've been thinking alot about marriage lately

While putting away Christmas decorations, I came across my hope chest which contained a little book my grandmother gave me. It was published ages ago, but the advice still seems fitting:
Don't spend the best years of your life in thinking about nothing but money-getting.
Don't come in at any odd time and expect to find your dinner done to a turn.
Don't leave to your wife everything in connection with the education and upbringing of the children.
I showed it to Don once, hoping he'd read it, but he just laughed and handed it back to me. Perhaps if he'd read it, things would be different.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

thoughts on being a lesbian

I went to Bryn Mawr (a girls' school) and just finished reading Mary McCarthy's The Group. So I'm familiar with what may seem shocking at first: girls liking girls, or at least pretending they do. I hear more young ladies are now tending "that way." But I think this can be chalked up to two reasons:

1. It's fashionable to seem bohemian these days even if you live on a tidy block in the suburbs.

2. Men can be hard to live with, so it's sometimes tempting to throw up your hands and swear off them for good. But where would be the challenge in that? I feel lucky Henry rode into my life just when I needed him, like the shining White Knight in that Ajax commercial.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a good breakfast

A good breakfast is the foundation for a happy day. And fixing a good breakfast is so easy these days. I usually set the table the night before, taking advantage of modern time-savers like ready-to-eat cereals and canned juices. On special days, I fix extra fun treats for Bobby and Sally. Like Cheerios over Pink Applesauce or Dollar Pancakes with bright jelly. Tomorrow, I have to leave very early to fly back to Reno. So I'll leave Fatso and Old Black Joe on the table to wish the children good morning. Won't Carla be amused?

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Television Party at the Wallaces last tonight. (Which was, honestly, just an excuse for Chet to watch football. I told them Don was tied up at work, which unless things have changed, was probably true!) Leave it to Nancy to serve darling canapes and smart cocktails. Here's her recipe for baconettes which she served on toothpicks stood in an apple! Elegant!

Peanut Butter Baconettes
1. Spread slices of uncooked bacon with creamy peanut butter
2. Roll tight, fastening with toothpick.
3. Toast under broiler flame, until bacon is done.
4. Serve toothpicks by sticking them all around a large apple.
5. Prepare for compliments!