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My Name is Annie, and I Approve this Message

I have disappeared and returned, but I have never disappeared for this long. I am working full time for the first time since Sam was born (that’s 11 years) and I am working as Press Secretary for a Congressional campaign. That means that I write all day long, and that “recreational” writing seems less appealing that in days of yore. It also means that the closer we get to The Big Day in November, the faster things move. Inevitably, it means that I am not whipping up Thai dished for which I personally smash the stalks of lemongrass, or anything that involves crushing spices with a mortar and pestle. i cannot peel 40 cloves of garlic for a meal, or make pie crust from scratch and craft it into a scallop-edged lattice (okay, I never made pie crust). I can barely get potatoes peeled for mashed potatoes.

So I had this internal debate with myself about this blog. A wise fellow blogger told me last summer that I should write for my “people.” At that time, my “people” tended to be busy, but still trying to cook from scratch, concentrating on the fresh and local, and with some variety. They read food blogs, they read food magazines, they tried new restaurants and knew who Anthony Bourdain was. They knew how to sautee, and that Parmesan tastes better if you grate it fresh. They owned KitchenAid stand mixers and Cuisinarts and probably nutmeg graters. Leading them ever onward towards the light, I scorned the crock pot, the canned soup, the meatloaf on Tuesdays, and the folks who were just really too tired and overwhelmed to think about what to cook. I said, more than once, that “anyone can cook,” and I did not mean that they were physically able to dump a bag of assorted Bertoli dinner parts into a pan and torch them.

I am now part of a different group. I can still cook, of course; it’s like riding a bicycle. Well, it is less aerobic and more creative than riding a bicycle, but let’s not be excessively technical. I am a person who gets home too late to start the dinner she had planned to make, and orders pizza. I am the person who uses a crock pot at least twice a week, and feels unreasonably ecstatic upon coming home to find that “someone” (her morning persona) made dinner already. I am the woman in the ads who stands gobsmacked in the grocery store at 5:30, hoping that a muse wearing a white sheet and carrying a harp will tell her what to make for dinner.

So if I am going to write about what I’m cooking now, really, there will be about five more weeks of crock pot soups, convenience items and meals that never happen. It would be honest, and might be helpful to working folks or those who really don’t enjoy cooking, but will they feel swindled when I start posting fast and furiously on November 5th about making cassoulet from scratch? What happens if we win the election? I’ll have about a two month hiatus of cooking like a mad fiend, and then…I’ll be working again. If we lose the election, I might still get a job, because I kind of like this whole fast-paced insane pressure-cooker thing.

Tonight, I am in the middle of this road. I made pork chops in the crock pot. (Go ahead, delete me from your blogroll). With them, we are having frozen peas, but we are also having mashed potatoes made from scratch. There will, I guarantee you, be no amuse bouche, no molecular gastronomy, not even an imported spice. Just dinner. If you’ll stay with me, I guess I’ll just write about the phase I happen to be in at any given moment – quick and easy today, complicated and adventurous after the election. It won’t help me build a brand, or attract readers expecting anything approaching consistency, but it will be real. For right now, that’s the best I can do. My name is Annie, and I approve this message.

P.S. If you aren’t registered to vote, you’re running out of time. Do it!!


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

9 responses »

  1. I vote Annie. Happy to read you, no matter what the platform.

  2. I think that being a good cook is doing the best with what you have. Sometimes life doesn’t allow for the peeling of the 40 cloves of garlic and sometimes it does. Isn’t it great that some days you have that time?

  3. Maybe this will help you be creative in a different way, creatively finding ways to make quick easy meals? I enjoy cooking myself but I have to do it in a way that is delicious and doesn’t involve a huge number of foods that we are all allergic too. A challenge

  4. Ann,

    #1 WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!!

    #2 There is no pressure here. Every blog has gaps, and every gap has a story behind it. It is texture. I think of it as an indication you have a life…….

    #3 OK, we (‘your people’) will give you guidence. Do blog about whatever makes you happy. As far as food, we only draw the line at boilin’ bags. We dont care if they use fancy ones on Iron Chef, the frozen salisbury steak with mushroom gravy in a bag will make us leave. If you must, just omit any referance, what we dont know wont hurt any of us. Its not that we so much hold it against you personally, but we do have our own reputations to think of…….

    #4 Did you know that there are some of us who have never had a weeklong menu? I’ve made it to 50 without one.

    #5 You are nuckinfutz. “I kind of like this whole fast-paced insane pressure-cooker thing”. Its a cycle, it will pass. Brace yourself for the descent. The money is nice, but with the state of the union, filling the shelves with canned goods might be smart too.

    #6 Ask Sam weekly how he feels about his ‘new’ mom. He will be the canary in the mine……………

    #7 We missed you, NEVER LEAVE US ALONE AGAIN! You’re here now, everything is better now. (no pressure here)

    #8 I want to know why you didnt give us the porkchop recipe. Some big secret? I have shown you my crockpot photos….HMMMFF.

  5. Those of us who love to cook and also work, would love to hear about some “quick” and “easy” gourmet meals…. even if it involves crockpots. Any egg recipes would be nice also….. I have an egg issue…. I got 9 chicks in April… straight run… so who would have thought 8 of them would turn out to be hens! They are laying about 56 eggs a week!…. Yes that is over 4 dozen eggs in ONE week!!!! omy

  6. Diana, thanks for the, uhm, vote of confidence. i was really afraid no one would return after the drought.

    Mensch71, you are so right. According to the Bible and The Byrds, there is a season for everything. This is my season to work more and cook less.

    Michelle, thanks for dropping by! I will try to look at this as a positive challenge. Who knows; I may find recipes that are “keepers” if I go back to my old life asd a food snob.

    Robert, faithful stalwart and wind beneath my wings, where do I begin to thank you for your warm welcome back and your wise counsel? I will really try not to be gone that long again, barring my own, personal death. Point #6 is genius – i am really not doing anything more imortant with my life than raising that particular (and nifty) kid. As for the pork chop recipe, keep your eyes open.

    Christina, that is an awful lot of eggs. I’m hoping you bake – even if you give your product away to avoid critical waistline expansion (a thing I try to do, although I get sidetracked by the smell of things in the oven). I see frittatas, souffles and omelettes in our future. Stay tuned!

  7. i count on you for posts just exactly like this one…

  8. I always enjoy your writing, the food stuff was just an added bonus. At least we know you weren’t ignoring us on purpose. Here’s hoping you get that hiatus which means the right ppl won the election.

    Glad you’re back. I missed you a lot.


  9. claudia, as you know, you are the “wise advisor” of whom I speak. If you liked it, I’m good.

    Eric, I’m glad I’m back too. It feels like home. 🙂


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