Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Not Dead…Not Quite Out of Bed

It’s been a rough couple months here Chez Maeve – largely it’s been me, but there have been other issues with the people I live with.

Sometimes you have to pull back in extreme ways just to keep yourself whole – that’s how it’s felt.  This blog, such as it is, has often felt like a fissure – albeit one I created myself.  Thing is, I’m not naturally comfortable with exposures of inner self – and when that inner self has disintegrated into a plethora of ball bearings spewing all over, well, it was time to close up the fissures for a while.

I  haven’t been completely dead to the world – I play on FB a little; I hang out on Pinterest; and I discovered some interesting new blogs – Fashion for Ladies of/and/or Approaching A Certain Age, LOL.  I’ve cooked a bit – and that’s really an indicator of how things have been – I just haven’t been able to cook much.  Really, though, the worst has been that I can’t read.  My TBR pile (electronic, that it is), is enormous.  I just can’t seem to indulge myself.

It wasn’t actually my intent to engage in a PLSUM mini-rant – somehow ended up that way and that’s the problem – EVERYTHING seems to come out that way.

However.  I’ve always been a “take the bull by the horns” kind of girl, and the pity party has degenerated into an out and out orgy of “Woe is Moi”.  I can’t stand it anymore.  So, am going to try and post some tales of my travails and (digital) travels and see if I can’t turn this space into something a little more meaningful.

Hey – I just thought of something kind of cool – Le Mari and Moi are going to a morning meditation thingie tomorrow at the local yoga place (OK – nobody get antsy – I’m not going all new-agey-wavey and all that.  It’s just that I need to find mental quiet and this seems  like a good start – I shall report back).  Also, it might actually help me go back to church.

I hope all you dear friends have had a lovely summer and that your fall is cool and invigorating.  Mostly, I hope someone is baking something!

A bientot!



Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

This happens all too often…

That something has occurred is not, in and of itself, indicative of a normative situation, so it’s rather foolish to discuss it that way (as though it’s typical).

Conversely, the fact that an occurrence is not normative doesn’t warrant exclusion with the dismissive, “that almost never happens…”.

Also, not everything’s a red herring.

(You could say I have a bee in my bonnet today, an all too normative experience for me.)




Easy, My Ass…

“…books about cooking largely admitted what every homemaker knew to be true:  that feeding people was backbreaking work, and then you died.” (The “Myth” of Easy Cooking by Elizabeth Dunn – linked in earlier post referenced and linked below)

Thanks to Els’ encouragement to expand on my earlier post (which was really just a link), and because my blog pal’s latest post has sparked some excellent commentary, here is my little screed on the matter of “Easy” cooking.

Every single thing in that article resonated with me.  I have DOZENS  of cookbooks (even post-cull) and any number of them promise “easy”.  Easy.  Sure.  Maybe in an alternate universe.

Let’e talk turkey, shall we?

30 Minute Meals.  I owned 4 of these cookbooks.  You can’t actually prepare any of this, from lights-on to table in 30 minutes.  Really, you can’t.  Not unless all your prep is done ahead of time.  And then – let’s talk about the sheer ridiculous number of post and pans and utensils required to produce the meal – basically an hour of clean up.  And you know what else?  In my house, the produce is not all washed and dried and prepped and ready for me to slice/dice/chop.

How about ingredients?  Spurred on by this article, I pulled out a couple of my “easy weeknight meals” cookbooks.  Kohlrabi.  Celeriac.  Butternut Squash (you know it takes an hour alone to simply carve that thing into something you can actually at some point cook and eat, right?).  Le Sigh. (Disclosure – I can actually get kohlrabi and celeriac at my local grocery store, but I’m lucky that way and anyway, it’s only fairly recently that securing some of this stuff didn’t require a pilgrimage to Whole Paycheck).

Mostly where Dunn gets it right is in WHO is exactly creating these recipes.  Not “home cooks who learned at their mothers’ elbows in family kitchen”.  Culinary School grads.  Nothing against them, but what the ^%$#(*&^do they know about screaming into a driveway at 6:30 (sure, you left the office at 5, but then you had the commute and you had to pick up the kids from daycare and then you still had to stop by the grocery store before heading home) with tired, hungry, cranky kids?  Answer?  Big Fat Hairy Zilch, that’s what.

I firmly believe that there are nights you pick up a grocery store rotisserie chickn, maybe a frozen mac & cheese and bag-o-salad.  That’s what you do unless you have a martyr complex the size of Mt. Rushmore.

You also need to get over youself and allow that shortcuts by way of semi-prepared and/or prepackaged food items are not only permissible, they’re essential.  Look, most women, whether they work outside the home or not, ain’t sitting back on the chaise longue, sippin’ on mint juleps and noshing on bonbons all day.  They’re really working.  All day.  And some of them are herding small children.  All. Day. Long.  They’re tired.  Kids are tired.  Hubs comes home – he’s tired.  Everybody’s hungry.  Shortcuts are your salvation, and if you can swing some prep work on the weekends, or even do some make-ahead meals, that’s great.  Otherwise, let’s all chill out and stop worshiping at the altar of “Everything-From-Scratch”.  And have a glass of wine, while you’re at it.


True Confessions Tuesday

When it comes to those I love, I’m a card-carrying member of People Pleasers International.

This isn’t exactly a good thing, because it means that I tend to contort myself in all sorts of ways to ensure that everyone is happy – not necessarily acting in their best interests, you understand, but trying to make them happy.

It’s also bad because deep inside my core, I’m also a Type-A, Don’t Tell Me What To Do, Stubborn As A Mule, Irish chick.  AND because I actually do have a back bone that would make a T-Rex envious, and will literally beat an issue to death, resurrect it and then beat it to death again, I’ve (mostly) developed a general policy of “avoid confrontation unless absolutely necessary”.

Except sometimes I forget and then I have Le Regret.

I’m pretty sure that no one has ever had to eat her own words more than I have.

Le Sigh.


Reality-based Menu – Invalid Edition

There is no menu here in Maeve’s House of Sickness.


Actually I’m the only one who is sick, but since I AM the House of Maeve, there you go.

Perhaps you’re wondering why I have not sent forth the minions to shop for provisions and then cook them.  Because it would be too much work for me.  They’re both rather concerned with doing things exactly right (or rather, exactly as I would do them) and that means they ask questions.  A lot of questions.  Many text messages and phone calls.  Much peeking of the head into the bedroom to ask if the vegetables have been chopped correctly.  It’s just too fatiguing to even think about.

So here’s what we’re going to do.  Campbell’s Soup (until we run out) and grilled cheese sandwiches.  And any leftovers warmed up in the microwave.

It’s not that they don’t want to shop and cook, they do.  I just don’t have the strength for it.

So, what’s cooking at your place?




True Confessions Tuesday (I know today is Wednesday)

Sometimes we have these angsty little confessions (last week, for example).

Then there are the humorous ones.

This morning I was trying to get all the laundry out of the washing machine and couldn’t reach the socks in the bottom because my boobs got in the way.

I need to stop eating cookies in the closet.

Or start using tongs to reach the socks.


I Knew It Couldn’t Just Be My Problem

FINALLY – some actual honesty about “Easy” cooking for the family.

Recommended reading for anyone who has to cook dinner for more than him/herself.


You’re Welcome!


True Confessions Tuesday

Last night I closed myself in the closet and ate half a bag of Chessmen.

There’s no reason for it.  I can eat cookies anywhere, time, or reason I like, but there I found myself, like in the very very bad old days, eating in the dark out of sight of everyone.

They don’t taste as good when you can’t see them.



True Confessions Tuesday

So.  There’s this recipe I’ve been dying to make for a bit (Roasted Cauliflower Carbonara with Burrata) – in fact, it’s been on my menu plan for what, two weeks now?  So, uh, what’s the big deal Maevey?  Make the pasta already!

Erm, no.  See, this particular recipe called for long fusilli.  I looooooooove long fusilli and it’s ridiculously hard to find here in Chucktown.  There is a highly chi-chi-pooh-pooh shop over in Mt. Pleasant which carries it (and a whole lot of other highly esoteric items), but that would have involved actually going there.  It’s not that big of a trek, actually, it’s more than I’m just too busy (lazy).

Now, you’d think that, since I’d ruled out traveling the 20 or so miles for a package of thick twirley spaghetti, I’d just get some other longish, thickish, readily available pasta, like, oh, say, linguine.

Well, you’d be wrong.  That fusilli was burned into the brain – there would be no Carbonara with out it.

Whatever shall Maevey do?

She turns to Amazon, that’s what she does.

Yesterday 17 packages of pasta were delivered to my door – to be fair, it was a case (12 packages) of the Long Fusilli, but then if you also bought a 5-box pack of Bucatini there was an extra discount.

That’s right folks.  I was not willing to drive 30 minutes to the store to buy 1 bag of fusilli, so I ordered 17 packages of pasta.

Le Extra Double Shame.

NB – I  made it last night and it’s one of the most luscious things you can eat.  If anyone needs some long fusilli, I can help you out.


True Confessions Tuesday

My preferred mode of reading is to skip to the end of the book and then work my way back.

I’ve been forcing myself to read linearly and find it extremely difficult.

(Yes – I like spoilers for my movies, too).

Now you know.

Le Sigh.

Edited to Add – that’s not really a confession.

THIS IS A CONFESSION:   I can honestly say that on innumerable occasions I’ve wanted to shriek to my family, at the top of my lungs:  “No – I don’t care if you’re hungry.  Fix a bowl of cereal.  Eat some popcorn.  Just please leave me alone because I’m at a really good part and I’d rather not kill you.”  Extra shame:  I still get that way.