Showing posts from August, 2012

BBQ Ice Cream Cake: A Recipe Contest I Can Enter

I cook. Yet, I am not a chef or a cook. I cook because my family and I eat. I’m fairly good at it—eating, not cooking. And yet, day in and day out I cook and so my family and I eat.

When I cook there are no mathematical equations, no formulas and no actual recipes.

I could enter a recipe contest, but I think judges frown on disclosures that read “do not attempt if you are living or would like to.” People tend to turn their noses up at recipes that list things like fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in the ingredients.

Growing up, my grandmother was a phenomenal cook: cooking is not hereditary. When I moved out on my own I was surprised to learn that I could not cook. Eating out was just fine—until I got pregnant, and hungrier. I began experimenting in the kitchen. That’s when I learned that there really were only a few things that didn’t taste better with cinnamon.

I cinnamonized everything.

Still, I can’t add cinnamon to a recipe since, you know, people expect other ingredients as …

Literally Me: Words Move Me

Almost twenty years ago I moved to Baltimore—because of words.

I was tired of working five days a week, hanging out five to six nights a week, and feeling like I was standing still seven days a week. Words reminded me that I had goals and ambition to reach them; that my life off the page was not at all like I imagined it would be.

Everything I was reading, all of the books I rewrote in my head, ended in Baltimore—I should mention that these books were fiction.

Still, they led me to move from New Jersey to Maryland; almost twenty years later, words move me again.

I am in the process of relocating my family, of uprooting them, to move to the UK for two years while I pursue my PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster University (UK). The pursuit of my PhD is on one hand quite a selfish one. There are no guarantees it will further my career or guarantee me a full-time faculty position. There are no guarantees my PhD will get my not-yet-written novel published.

In life, there are few guarante…

Boy Power Too: I'm Raising Men Too

Girl power!

It’s everywhere I look.

Online, I can search for games that encourage my daughter to solve problems, think critically, explore anything and question everything. I can look for movies to inspire my daughter to live her dreams: to make things happen. Offline, I can pick up books about real girls doing real things—really amazing things. Academically, I can enroll my daughter in programs to remind her that engineering, math, sciences, the world is hers for the taking, or the making.

My daughter is beautiful, intelligent, creative, kind; she’s amazing. She can be anything she sets her mind to be. I tell her these things —I have been telling her these things since before she was born—yet, my daughter doesn’t believe everything I tell her. As a mother of a daughter I am fortunate that the world seems to support my efforts. And so the world (at least my corner of it) validates my words through programs, organizations, portals, and other venues.

But what about my boys?

While I don…

If Daughters Came with Directions

I worry I don’t know how to parent a 15 year-old young woman.

I have been one. I have known some. But now that I’m raising one, it all seems different. 

When I was 15, I was in to boys—well, young men and their bourgeoning attentions. My friend—and since she’s a married, mother of three, I will not name her—and I strolled the Atlantic City boardwalk from one end to the other in attempts to capture their attention and hold it for as long as our fleeting moments of interest could allow.

My mother—I think—thought we were exercising. Seasons before she had accused my sister and me of being ‘boy crazy.’ 

I wasn’t yet.

By the time I could have been positively diagnosed as boy crazy, my mother was ready to move to Germany—alone.

Today, I parent a 15 year old with no road map, no directions, with nothing but common sense, love, and my memories of wanting to be mothered at 15 to guide me.