MONDAY MIX – 3/5/18

Back in the saddle with Monday mixes!  The last few weeks were so full -namely because I was making enough carrot cake to feed 200 people for a dear friend’s wedding (hence the photo above) – that I let it slide.  And to be totally honest, part of why is that I started to think it was silly to keep writing these, because only, like, ten people read them each week, but then I realized a) so what?  ten people are not inherently less valuable than ten thousand people, and b) I enjoy having these posts for myself, as an archive of the things I’m thinking about and reading, as well as the recipes I’m making.  So, now that I got my mind right about it all, let’s go.  (And if you’re one of the ten people reading these posts, hi and thank you!)

  • I haven’t willingly watched a horror movie since that unfortunate time I saw The Shining at a friends’ house, so some of the references in this piece were lost on me, but I loved it anyway.  A timely & thoughtful piece of commentary about the role of the genre and the very real consequences of disregarding women – The Peril of Being Disbelieved: Horror and the Intuition of Women:

“Horror exists as a genre primarily to reflect the ugly and the despicable parts of our world back at us through a funhouse lens that makes the trauma digestible…Some of these lessons are cautionary, which explains all the teenaged kids making bad spring break choices. But some of these lessons are simply mirror images of terrors we know all too well—like a girl telling someone that she isn’t comfortable, and being told in response that she’s the worst kind of downer for daring to admit it.”


“But the Mississippi I grew up in, the Mississippi that I live in now, that I’m raising my children in, resists this broadened understanding of what it means to be a human being. It resists the desire to rise above the circumstance of caste that we are born into and to never worry about the next time you’ll eat or whether your children are hungry. The desire to avoid having to feed your children the cheapest, most filling food you can—beans and rice one day, hot dogs the next—and still see them openmouthed. This Mississippi insists that there is a natural order to this arrangement, that if you are poor or wanting, you’re to blame if you starve. That you deserve your poverty, your squalor, your suffering, and that you do not deserve help or, as this Mississippi likes to say, “handouts.'”


  • This was a hilarious delight – New York Public Library reference cards from the 1940s, essentially the old-school analog equivalent of today’s Google search.  My favorite: “Is it proper to go to Reno alone to get a divorce?”  See more here.


  • Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks is a reliable source for vegetarian meals that help break me out of my cooking ruts: this green falafel recipe is a recent favorite.  They weren’t at all hard to make (and were convenient since I already had all of the ingredients on hand), and all three of us loved them browned in a pan and then finished in the oven.  I served them with a yogurt-lemon juice-garlic-salt sauce, hummus, and some za’atar roasted carrots.  Next time, I’ll make a double batch so I can freeze a dozen!


  • Last but not least, I am offering a new writing course!  Several folks have previously indicated interest in a memoir/personal writing course, so I developed Crafting Personal Narrative, a course that will run in two parts: Part I this spring, Part II this summer.  Registration for Part I is now open and will close this Friday, March 9th; read more about the courses and/or sign up here.


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