Chopped onions, empty sock drawers, and my dad

It’s been years since my dad came to see us here in Chicago. Years. We don’t really know why so much time passed. But this year he made up for lost time by staying for five weeks. I was of course filled with the usual trepidation anyone might feel with an impending five-week-staying parent, way... Read more »

Feast for a rather lazy summer evening

We gathered a few neighbors together at our house recently to mark our son’s graduation from eighth grade. Nothing big, not even technically a party. My kid isn’t into making a big deal out of anything on his account. But grilling with neighbors seemed to fit the occasion. I smoked a brined turkey breast, friends... Read more »

Fire, dish towels, and dominoes

Fire, dish towels, and dominoes
My kids clean the kitchen now each night, more or less. My son was giving the counters a final energetic careless swipe with the dish towel and I thought of this, my inauspicious beginning as a cook. Perhaps you have some inauspicious memories of your own. ********* Eighth grade home economics, a relic of the... Read more »
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Dear Chicago Tribune, I'm not sure Barbara Byrd Bennett is listening. Will you?

Then again, you’re part of the problem. A big part. You’re so ridiculously anti-teacher and anti-CPS school, you sound like you’re on Rahm’s payroll. I know you don’t care about this, but you’ve lost many, many subscribers who are teachers. They can’t stand to read your misleading coverage of all things CPS. Like this line... Read more »

Are food deserts just a mirage?

Are food deserts just a mirage?
“The South Side really has so much beauty,” she told me. “The old buildings, the lakefront.” “I’m acclimated to the neighborhood now. But not everyone is able to.” We were speaking of Woodlawn, Lyletta and I. She’s lived there 11 years, she knows everything about her neighborhood, she’s written about it extensively, she can’t afford... Read more »

Dear Barbara Byrd Bennett, We're talking. Are you listening?

Dear Barbara Byrd Bennett, I missed you at the community forum Monday night. You know, the forum at St. Anselm’s Catholic Church? A sort of open-mic night where south side folks could talk to you CPS people? We had the Burnham Park Network brass there, but not you. I don’t know why I expected you,... Read more »
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Potlucks, because the pressure cooker blew a gasket

Potlucks, because the pressure cooker blew a gasket
Anybody else with children annoyed by Dr. Sears and his attachment parenting claptrap? (Oops, spoiler alert.) You know, that guy who said we moms should “bond” with our babies, unlike our mothers before us who failed in this regard, and has written a shelf full of books to tell us how? I know. It sounds... Read more »

Return Beautiful with love: Sweet Potato Pie and the President

Return Beautiful with love: Sweet Potato Pie and the President
I think it’s high time I shared some stories from the pie contest. Don’t you? Pie contest.  If you’re a new reader here, or you don’t personally know me (a small group, I confess), you may not know what occupied my September and October. My friend Kate and I had ourselves a pie contest here... Read more »

Metal never sounded so sweet: cochlear implants go bilateral at our house

So while I’m biding my time waiting for a pie recipe from a south side optimist and sweet potato expert (you know, you can never hurry these food stories), I thought I might talk about something completely different.  There isn’t a speck of food in this story.  But it’s a pretty good story anyway, so... Read more »
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Penniless, and wealthy as a lord

Penniless, and wealthy as a lord
I heard on NPR the other day– [Wait a minute.  Do you cringe when someone starts a sentence like that?  Is it just a little too annoying?  Too smug?  Too urbany-pledge-drivey-I-can-name-all-the-hosts-I'm-a-tiresome-boor-who-listens-to-and-quotes-far-too-much-NPRish? Cringeworthy, maybe I'll grant.  Nevertheless it's a staple in my conversational pantry.  But I digress.] I heard on NPR that the goal unemployment number... Read more »
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    Julie

    The only kind of housework I can manage is the kitchen kind.

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