friday link love

Some evening reading as I'm flying solo tonight. @afreedman3 you've no idea what hodgepodge of snacks I'm gonna have for dinner.

Happy Friday, friends. This past week I’ve been immersing myself in some new work, which I am finding very interesting, and thoroughly (as in page by page) reading the two cookbooks which I’m finding absolutely incredible and alive: Vegetable Literacy and A Girl and Her Pig. Both are excellent, both have strong, distinct voices. In the case of the former, this isn’t a book you just open, pick out a recipe, and cook from. This is a book where you really benefit from reading Madison’s research on various plants: it’s as much of a gardening/botany lesson as it is a cooking one. This week I finished the first chapter, which is on Umbilliferae: carrots, parsley, thyme, just among a few. When Madison starts explaining vegetables to you by kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, I had to fan myself from getting so excited, I was practically lightheaded. Like I need an opportunity to geek out… I cannot wait for chapter two.

The second book, A Girl and Her Pig, is fresh, irreverent, and full of contagious enthusiasm, and recipes that make me want to forget about work, writing, blogging, laundry, and the rest, and just lock myself away in the kitchen for a few days. Bloomfield gives you a recipe for deviled eggs, but hers must be cold, cold, cold. She has an oatmeal porridge recipe in the book, and before you think to yourself how boring that sounds, consider making it. It’ll be the best porridge you’ve ever had. And how can you not love chapters titled “Meat Without Feet”?

In any case, here are this week’s links! Have a lovely weekend, all!


The kitchens of 2013 seem to be leaning towards white and pared down. The “show-off” kitchen seems to be losing its popularity. Do you guys have a dream kitchen all planned out? I do! I want a lot of white, I want white subway tiles with black grout, I want some stainless steel counters, but mostly I want marble (and I love when marble ages). I want a lot of low’ish shelving and a lot of it to be open. The list goes on. How about you?? What does your dream kitchen look like?

The child, the tablet, and the developing mind.

I’ve always loved Frank Bruni’s writing, but this piece is particularly good. I’m sure there’s been some backlash given that a childless adult doles out some parenting advice and observations, but just because he’s never reared a child himself, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some worthwhile things to say.

On white men and mass shootings.

And some more on guns… High rates of gun violence linked to weak laws.

Game of Thrones is back on HBO – in its third season – yay! I’m pacing myself through book five, not wanting it to end. Andrew and I are watching Season 2 on Netflix and recording season 3 on HBO. Here are some show-inspired cocktails. I must admit, I’m not tempted to make either, but perhaps I might be inspired to concoct my own version of Winterfell or the Dothraki (hm, what would go into that one?)

And Epicurious assembled a themed menu and party plan!

100 dinner rules from Dinner a Love Story. Numbers 75 through 77 are my favorite.

The Facebook phone. Anyone planning on getting one? Anyone intrigued? I’m usually a slow-to-adapt on new hardware, and I like my iPhone just fine.

Instead of leaning in, let’s just stand up straight. I think I am more of a stand-up-straight person, than a leaner-in. You?

Two days ago, Roger Ebert published this moving piece. I read it wiping tears away from my face because I was so moved by a man who just refused to stop. Yesterday afternoon, while running a quick errand, I got a news alert on my phone that Ebert passed away. He was 70. To say that this man was a cultural icon, an influence on so many, would be a huge understatement. Here is his obit from the Sun Chicago Times where he worked for 40 years.

I’d like to leave you this Friday on a happy note, as per usual. And here you go. Des hommes et des chatons. I can’t get enough.


  • Elissa

    We just finished remodeling our kitchen and it features almost everything on the list: white cabinets, quartz counters, glass backsplash tile, and some open shelves (we also opted for a farmhouse sink, which is something that seems very popular these days, although I don’t think it was mentioned in the WP article). Trendy or no we are thrilled with the end result.

    As a parent I found the Bruni piece a little irritating. Some of his observations I agreed with, but some of them showed that he has never been a parent, e.g. his criticism of parents giving children choices. Pretty much every parenting authority that I’m familiar with recommends giving children choices as a way of heading off tantrums and giving kids some sense of control over their lives (don’t we all remember the frustration of feeling powerless as a child?) Obviously those choices have to be limited and within reason (and the parent remains the ultimate authority figure), but if giving my kids some options will prevent meltdowns then I’m all for it. It doesn’t mean that I’m unable to set limits or that the kids are running the show.

  • Lena

    Love the links per usual, Olga.

    Can’t help myself and must chime in on the Bruni article.

    No. Just no.

    I used to get upset when my friends with kids would say you don’t get it because your not a parent, but the truth is, you don’t get it until you are parent. Speaking as a parent, albeit a very new one, I find it fascinating that anyone who has not raised kids of their own would think it was somehow incumbent on them to dole out parenting advice. And I say that as a parent who has not (as yet) and has no intention of doing many of the actions he finds objectionable. I mostly agree with his opinions on child rearing .. but I don’t try to impose them on others.

    Honestly as many facacta parenting ideologies (and don’t get me started on the ideologues!) as there are out there jamming their way into our overcrowded skulls, there’s twice as many people telling you, hey your doing it wrong! And what is the one thing I don’t need any more of? (Besides advice from my Russian people .. hot damn do Russian people love to give advice!) Its GUILT and JUDGMENT. Its just not necessary. Its hurtful. Its rude.

    How about we just let people raise their kids however they damn well want without writing dissertations every time some poor parent is trying to mollify their toddler with a choice between chicken fingers and pasta. How does Bruni know what that parent has dealt with that day? Maybe they haven’t slept in weeks, had two depositions that day, had to run out between them to take their kid to an emergency doctor’s visit, got yelled at by their boss while editing the living will for their very elderly very ill grandmother in law, all while trying to figure out the last time they ate? And oh wait, does the kid have food at home for dinner? Are there enough diapers? Is the house clean? Are the baby’s pj’s clean?? Did I feed the cat?Delightful. But also a more common day than I would like to admit. Add on top of that all the guilt, fear, and anxiety that comes along with parenting a child – which is every. damn. day.

    Bruni’s article is well thought out and beautifully written – just like all his work. But its baseless, its pointless, and to some measure, its cruel. I have enough judgment in my life, I don’t need his too.

  • olga

    Lena – I knew this piece would get a lot of backlash, and yes, mostly because he’s not a parent himself. I steer clear of advising my fellow friends (most of whom are parents now) on how to do what they do and how not to do it. Precisely your point: no one needs to be judged. We’ve all got enough crap in our lives. That said, I think his article is not one without merit… I took with a huge huge chunk of salt… And I think it’s good to hear opposing thoughts on child-rearing, and so on. Heck, I’m in food and I hear all kinds of judgmental pronouncements about how people should eat and cook, nevermind their access to ingredients or income level. If you don’t belong to a CSA, buy organic, know your farmer by name, make your own ricotta, fie upon you. Judgement the way it’s dealt is unnecessary and poor. I just didn’t read it as such. There were a few gems in there I thought were fantastic: like not everyone’s kid will be the next Jackie Robinson/Mozart/Kasparov/Tiger Woods, you know? Agree with you, but I took that article, diluted it in about a gallon of water, and then drank it :)

  • Lena

    Haha, I hear ya on that Olga, on all accounts actually (the constant judgment of every facet of life and the diluting the article to its essence which actually has quite a few good points).

    I think that with parenting/child-rearing it becomes really hard to take anything that has even the whiffiest whiffs of judgment because the barrage is so constant and the stakes feel sooo high (I know that it is not true that every decision you make can irrevocably frack up your kiddo but OMG does it feel like that in the moment – at least for me, right now).

    I actually really enjoy articles on parenting and child-rearing. I think they are interesting and I plan on accumulating them like tools in a tool box to whip out and use in the future (or promptly forget.) What bugs me is when people start calling out behaviors of others, judging them, and telling everyone that’s not the way to do it, this is. No one knows how to raise kids, no one. That’s why his article bugs me so much (on top of the fact that he has no idea what its like on the inside as yet again, not a parent), because he is essentially saying what your doing is bad and do this instead because I think its better. Not helpful.

    Like you said there are some very on point ideas here and if I step back and try to not let my feelings become implicated I do see the value in his words. But I keep circling back to the fact that this is just another one of many voices screeching at me about how to parent, and there’s just so many of them already! And this one doesn’t even come with any fancy scientific studies! ;)

    As an aside, I greatly enjoyed the standing up straight (v. leaning article) and not only because of my undying love of clementines!

  • whimsy2

    Alas, the link to the Roger Ebert article from 2 days ago does not work. Can you fix it?

  • Meghan

    Not tempted to try the Dragon’s Tail? But every ingredient is so delicious! I had all them all on hand and made one tonight, and it was fantastic. I’ll have to get more blood oranges for Sunday… Thanks for the link. :)

  • olga

    whimsy2 – fixed, thank you for notifying me!

    Meghan – it actually does sound good, but I’m not a big gin drinker, and I wanted a stiffer, less fruit focused drink. But my husband, a gin lover, would love this cocktail!

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