Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times’

“Simple” Meals? Depends on Who’s Doing The Cooking

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Like most moms, I’m always scrambling for simple-but-healthy meals I can throw on the table between baseball practice and homework crunch time. So at first I was jazzed to come across Mark Bittman’s article, “Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less” while cruising around www.nytimes.com.

But, Mr. Bittman! You’re making me feel pathetic. My idea of quick and simple is ground-turkey tacos. Or a jar of pasta sauce tossed in the crock pot with a couple of sliced turkey sausages. (OK, that’s cheating, I guess. The sauce cooks all day and the final prep takes 10 minutes. But it takes a whopping three minutes to throw that stuff in the crock put.)

Here are some of Bittman’s suggestons:

° Put three pounds of washed mussels in a pot with half a cup of white
wine, garlic cloves, basil leaves and chopped tomatoes. Steam until
mussels open. Serve with bread.
(To me, simple means working with what’s in the cupboard, fridge and freezer, not heading off to the store to buy fresh mussels — and then wondering what to do with the ones that don’t open. Pitch ‘em, right?)

° Put a few dozen washed littlenecks in a large, hot skillet with olive oil. When
clams begin to open, add a tablespoon or two of chopped garlic. When
most or all are opened, add parsley. Serve alone, with bread or over
angel-hair pasta.
(I’m seeing a trend here. More “openings” to worry about. And more fresh stuff to buy at the last minute…)

°    Boil a lobster. Serve with lemon or melted butter. (OK, now I’m picturing that great scene from “Annie Hall.” I’m Woody Allen.)

And my personal favorite…

°    Sauté squid rings and tentacles in olive oil with salt and pepper. Make a sauce of minced garlic, smoked pimentón, mayo, lots of lemon juice and fresh parsley. Serve with a chopped salad of cucumber, tomato, lettuce, grated carrot and scallion, lightly dressed.

Sigh. Scrambled eggs and hash browns, anyone?

Happy Mother’s Day from Kelly Corrigan

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I want to be Kelly Corrigan when I grow up. The author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, The Middle Place, has a new book, Lift (soon to be reviewed here), and a new video that will bring a lump to your throat.

Lift celebrates the successes and trials of motherhood, and this video is what Kelly calls the thank you inspired by the women she knows.

I love how she put it together. Through Facebook, Kelly asked her friends and fans to list all of the things that mothers want to be thanked for and to share photos. Kelly compiled a photo montage and a voiceover, all edited by her seventeen-year-old neighbor who will be attending NYU Film School this fall.

With Mother’s Day approaching, this is the perfect time to thank your mom — and to pay tribute to all the moms you know. Send mom a link to this video. Then write her a letter telling her what you appreciate about her and thanking her for all she’s done. Happy Mother’s Day!

Worried About H1N1? Wash Up!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Children washing their hands before lunch. Tak...

A terrific article in the health section of the New York Times caught my attention yesterday. With so many parents worried about their family and the H1H1 virus, I thought it was good advice to share.

The basics to share with your kids:

°    Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer

°    Keep your hand away from your face!

I know, I know. You tell them this all the time. I do the same with my middle schooler. But sharing this article with them might help bring the message home in a new way.

According to the piece, a host of recent studies have highlighted the importance of hand washing. One of the most graphic was done at the University of California, Berkeley, where researchers focused video cameras on 10 college students as they read and typed on their laptops.

The scientists counted the times the students touched their faces,
documenting every lip scratch, eye rub and nose pick. On average, the
students touched their eyes, noses and lips 47 times during a
three-hour period, once every four minutes.

Check out the article and share it with your kids. If we all pay a bit more attention to these two hygiene habits, it can make a real difference in fighting H1N1 and other illnesses this winter.

“Animal House” an Exaggeration? Not So Much

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Beer Tasting

As the mom of a son who will be in college in less than six years, I read with great interest a terrific personal essay by Dartmouth College student Owen B. Jennings in The New York Times today. As a parent, I found it pretty frightening.

"My liver failed two springs ago, when I was a senior in high school," says Jennings. "I
don’t know the cause of my liver disease — a genetic mutation, an
environmental trigger or just plain bad luck. But one of the many rules
of my long recovery has been no alcohol. Not one drink. Not even a sip."

He goes on to describe what college life is like for a student who doesn't drink. I like how Jennings is able to stand back and take a clear-eyed look at the massive amount of drinking going on on college campuses today.

I'm going to ask my 13-year-old son to read this essay so we can talk about it. It's so easy for parents to put their head in the sand about heavy drinking in college (and high school).

In my community, stories circulate about massive drinking parties — with no parents to be seen — that are broken up only when neighbors call the police because kids are driving recklessly down the street, screaming obscenities at each other (often in some warped spirit of drunken fun), and puking in the front yard.

In college, of course, kids are away from parents completely, and we have to rely on them to make good decisions. Obviously, many are making decisions, sometimes nightly, that can either lead to long-term health problems or to tragedy, in the form of alcohol poisoning or car accidents.

Certainly a good number of STDs and unplanned pregnancies are the result of this level of drinking. And the resulting Facebook photos, which can be copied, shared and found on the Web by potential employers years into the future, can be a sad reminder of some pretty stupid decisions.

Jennings says it best: "I’m not talking about the casual sipping of a few beers. Here, alcohol
consumption means the rapid and repeated gulping and guzzling of beer
after beer after beer. Often, students will drink upwards of 15 or 20
beers. On any given night, a frat brother or a sorority sister will
spend hours vomiting. Sometimes a classmate will wind up in the
hospital with alcohol poisoning. And often, these people wake up unable
to remember anything that happened the night before."

These are our kids. Their futures — and possibly their lives — are at stake here. Talk with them about the heavy drinking that's going on. Share Jennings' essay with them. We need to keep our heads out of the sand. This isn't a "kids will be kids" situation. This is life and death.