March 12, 2017

Great Purim Baking Show

It is Purim, which means costumes and noise makers and rabbinical students letting their hair down. Mostly, however, it means hamantaschen, those little three-cornered pastries that are meant to look like Haman’s three-cornered hat. Tonight was our Purim carnival and potluck dinner, and so I decided to do the Great British Baking Show: Purim Edition. I made sweet and savory hamantaschen. The sweet were easy, as a friend shared her recipe with me years ago, which in turn a friend…

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February 15, 2017

Make America Coffee Cake Again

I built a coffee cake on Sunday because we had a finalist for our high school principal position coming on Monday and I wanted to provide baked goods for the parent coffee because I am desperate for approval. Actually, I don’t give a hoot what people think of me to such an extent that I just used the expression “I don’t give a hoot” with no shame at all and really I just like feeding people. Anyway, we had a…

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February 13, 2017

Bake America Great Again

This baking thing started off as a challenge. I like to bake and do it regularly, so why not see if I can do it every day? But then, I needed to get rid of the baked goods, because we can only eat so much. I began bringing them places—committee meetings, the school front office, school board meetings. Places where people might not always be in agreement, where there is tension and strife. Where neighbors are losing sight of neighborliness.…

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February 10, 2017

Make America Bagels Again

Last night, I sat on the window seat in our library wrapped in a wool blanket. The moon was doing her thing out on the meadow, and I kept the lights off so I could watch the shadows of the trees on the snow. I called an old friend. We are now deep into our third decade of friendship, and there is little that could happen to change who we are together. I used to call him late at night…

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February 9, 2017

Make American Chocolate Roll Again

I wake up every morning and it takes me a moment to remember that we live in this alternate reality now. I was supposed to be waking up with my federal government a consistent but distant backdrop to my everyday life, something I read about in between Betty White memes and controversies over Gwyneth Paltrow’s philosophy on how kale prevents toenail tumors. Instead, I wake up now unsure of what day of the week it is, disoriented until I remind…

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February 8, 2017

Why we should worry about DeVos

I’ve seen any number of people writing that we shouldn’t worry too much about DeVos because the Secretary of Education doesn’t actually create the programs that impact kids. That the real work is done on the state and local level. That teachers will keep doing what they’re doing and that will be what keeps our public education going. Also that it’s not as though someone competent wants to dismantle public education. Yes, but… Perhaps the greatest tension in our democracy…

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February 5, 2017

Let them eat cake

We had no school on Friday due to an in-service where the teachers spent the day wrangling proficiency-based learning. When we have these long weekends, we try to send one child to D.C. for some special grandparent time. It was Lilah’s turn to go, so I had a house full of boys. Lots and lots of boys.   Because I grew up without one, I am fascinated with all that composes childhood. I want to encourage it, make space for…

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February 2, 2017

Make America Pound Cake Again

God, I love pound cake. I mean, just love it. And when your country has been taken over by a thin-skinned narcissist under the control of a Neo-Nazi with a taste for fascism, the only real solution is to bake something that calls for four sticks of butter. Frankly, I think anything named after the weight of butter in it just has to be good. So, yesterday was pound cake because we’re detaining people at airports and banning refugees from…

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January 28, 2017

Babka

We belong to this meat CSA, so I had a chicken in the freezer that I couldn’t really use because Zachary is allergic to poultry. Don’t even pull your whole “Oh, allergic, is he?” face on me. He is allergic. As in, has an epipen in case he accidentally ingests like a turkey sandwich or some chicken nuggets. Allergic as in allergic. The boy has also stopped eating pork. We’ll be leaving the meat CSA, because at this point our…

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January 24, 2017

Humble pie

I baked with a friend last week, and she commented, “You’re so confident in the kitchen.” In fact, the kitchen is the place I’m most confident. Once I understand the basic principles behind any type of food, I feel fully capable of just throwing things together. This is not characteristic of my usual Hermione-like commitment to doing research before any endeavor, be it travel, hiking, or hyphenation. My confidence throwing things together leads to weeks of just one type of…

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