Easy Recipes for Drunk Moms

A few years ago, I had wanted to write a cookbook for drunk mothers. At that time, I had regular dinner parties at home in the Bay Area, or at our second home in Tahoe. My friends and I would be cooking for a crowd and simultaneously drinking wine. Sometimes mixed drinks, but mostly wine.

These two activities are mostly incompatible as there are many pitfalls to engineering a meal that will likely be served on your second cocktail.

Of course, you don’t have to be a mother to throw a disastrous dinner party. This was evidenced by my hipster co-workers who were mixing cocktails while executing a complicated and expensive recipe for Cioppino, a crab and lobster fish stew, for their girlfriends. Needless to say, the entirety was eventually fed to the garbage can, and Chinese takeout predictably ordered.

I would hear of these escapades on Monday, over lunch, and then another dinner would be planned for the following weekend, again to disastrous results. I finally pulled out a pen and wrote a simple menu on the back of my napkin.

Drunk men should not be making pizza at home for guests. Pizza burns when unattended. Yes, it’s true. If you put a pizza in the oven at 400 degrees it will be black by the time you notice the kitchen filled with smoke.

I was very motivated to solve this paradox as dinner is my favorite meal of the day, and I personally can not drink alcohol unless I’m well nourished. Plus, I wanted to enjoy my friends and not be the distracted cook and dishwasher at these events.

Over the years, I’ve devised many strategic recipes to get dinner on the table with a party in full swing. We entertained so frequently that I became an expert in this area.

In the early years, it was tempting to forget dinner and just serve heavy appetizers, but as the little ones arrived this was not an option.

It was no easy task to execute dinner for twelve with six screaming kids, music playing and my best friend telling me a funny story, all of this with a delicious chilled glass of Chardonnay in hand.

There were also those long summer evenings with the toddlers when my husband worked late, or took friends to a Giants game, or played a round of golf. After a full day with the little ones and the housework, (I’m not complaining I cherish those days) I needed a respite to recharge. It was then that I would pour myself a water glass size margarita and go outside to water the lawn and flowers while the cartoons played on.

As necessity is the mother of invention, I devised very clever ways to get dinner to turn out perfectly with the minimum amount of attention.

More to come on this project, but in the meantime, I’m putting my finishing touches on my book about grief and the year following the sudden death of my husband. It was a transformative time, but I miss my good humor and playfulness. It is this part of my character that I now wish to embrace moving forward.

Love and blessings.

Loving Everything

Recently, I’ve been trying to pin point the happiest times of my life. It’s almost like connecting the constellations of the stars with a dotted line.

After some reflection, I finally realized the periods when I was the most content and when things were most effortless were when I loved the hell out of everyone and everything.

The summer I spent in Vancouver, British Columbia after my first year of college, the year I moved to San Francisco and met my husband, or the year after I had my first baby, and worked South of Market for the French Google Founders. There were also, the years that my kids remember when I wore pink cargo pants and told everyone how much I loved them. I tutored reading at the elementary school then, and instead of forcing the children to read I would ask them what their favorite color was and talk to them. After school, I would invite a dozen kids to my house to swim or we would make homemade pasta or decorate cupcakes with pink frosting in paper pastry bags with metal tips.

It was during these times when good things just fell into my lap as if by magic.

Over the last few years, I’ve not been so open and loving. I’ve kept to myself more, surrounding myself with just a small, or small for me, circle.

Lately, however, I’ve been more like I once was. Open, loving and optimistic. I let people know how I feel, and how much I appreciate them and I don’t assume they already know.

Because I’m more content internally, I’m willing to let things evolve naturally. I’ve calmed my need to control the uncontrollable. I still do my best of course, but I allow myself to believe it will all turn out for the best no matter what.

Maybe happiness is not as illusive as it appears, and love really is the answer. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Love and blessings.

Sailboat Races & The Corinthian Yacht Club

My business partner was racing today, and in 30 plus knots of wind, I might add. So we went to the Corinthian Yacht Club in Belvedere, California to meet him. This is a stunning place all around. I walked upstairs and there was no one around except a man drinking a margarita and talking on the phone. I took a seat and we both looked out over the San Francisco Bay. There were maybe 100 people in the bar and deck below, but it was supremely peaceful and comparatively quiet on the second floor.

Sailing has become my life. Not just the sailing, but the lifestyle and the people. After the Corinthian, on the way home we stopped to put the tags on the boat, however the wind made this task better for another day.

I went into the clubhouse and there was a Jazz band playing. Several friends were there, so I joined them. The jazz band played on as the winter sun slowly set over the San Francisco Bay.

Love and Blessings.

Love

Midwinter

Happy belated Valentine’s Day. I apologize for my recent lapse in writing. I’ve been writing a book titled Love and Blessings and it will soon be available on Amazon. It is a collection of writings from my journey. It chronicles the 12 months after the sudden death of my husband with an epilog at the end.

I often wondered why there were so few grief books and now I know. Once we pass through those difficult days the last thing we want to do is relive them, and you can not write about them without reliving them. However, I have been encouraged by so many people to do this, so I’ve taken the past six weeks and I’ve worked very hard on it. If it helps just one person than it will be worth it to me.

But, the book is not just about grieving, although it does cover a good deal of that, it is about using the challenges in life to strengthen our own character and to become better people through our suffering. If we do not do this then the sufferings is of no value.

Being a highly sensitive person who likes to think about things, the experience of this loss provided so many lessons that allowed me to grow. It has enabled me to deepen my wisdom.

Things that in the past I once thought difficult come to me now with ease. I am finally the person I always hoped to be. I feel incredibly fearless and this courage is not something I needed to develop to help me deal with further challenges, but this characteristic is helpful in achieving my dreams. I am confident that I can overcome the many obstacles that present themselves as I continue to pursue the things I love.

No one gets through life unscathed. We all have our heart aches. I am fortunate that mine are now far behind me and I can look toward the future with optimism.

I spent the past weekend at the San Fransisco Bay Midwinter Yacht Race. I was on the Mark Set Boat for the Berkeley Yacht Club where I am a member of the Race Committee. We were setting the marks for the race course. It was stormy with high winds and it could not have been more fun for me. I love the beauty of the water, the people and the competition. It has taken a long while for me to be in this place of happiness and calm and it didn’t just happen. I worked very hard at it and it took all of my faith and courage.

Now, I am doing meaningful work I love, I have a sport that I love, and I have so many people in my life to love.

A few days ago, I took the time to send friends text messages telling them how much I loved and appreciated them. The responses were more meaningful than I could have imagined. Then, I followed them up with Valentine’s Day messages. Gestures of appreciation, kindness and love are never a bad thing.

Last night for Valentine’s Day, my bf gave me a 17″ vintage replica model sailboat instead of flowers. That and red velvet and chocolate cupcakes surpassed any expectations I might have had. A perfect day with many more to come.

Love and blessings.