June 11, 2012 • Parenting: Dad
In honor of Father’s Day, I have chosen a few of my favorite pop-culture dads. They don’t always make fatherhood look easy, but they usually have the best intentions.
In many ways, these guys could’ve helped write Stuff Every Dad Should Know… and could also be readers who learn a little something from the book.
June 6, 2012 • Handbooks: Worst-Case
It’s Worst-Case Wednesday again, so prepare for more useful advice, just in case. Last week, we covered weddings in anticipation of all the ceremonies that will be taking place this month. This week, it’s time to approach the other end of the romantic spectrum, with an excerpt from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide: Dating and Sex.
Dates can be just as terrifying as weddings, maybe more so, as they happen to us far more often. From minor disasters, like a wine stain, to more serious dilemmas, like a terrible kisser, dating is dangerous. So, we’ll start out with the worst-case scenario for any date.
June 4, 2012 • Cookbook: Desserts
Searching for a baking project? Consider National Applesauce Cake Day on June 6th for your inspiration. Scents of cinnamon and apple will remind you of the holidays, you won’t spend too much on ingredients, and it’s wonderfully delicious.
You can make the cake with or without frosting. It’s tasty no matter what. The pictured cake was made with the walnuts mixed into the frosting, but you can always bake the walnuts (or raisins) into the cake itself. Applesauce cake is flexible to your whimsy. I recommend using coconut flour, which is loaded with nutrients and contains less carbs. The flavor blends in nicely, and the prevailing belief is that it’s a healthier alternative to regular flour. You will be doing your tastebuds and your body a favor.
An historical aside…applesauce cake was promoted as a patriotic dessert during World War 1 because applesauce was easy to produce and affordable for customers. Also, it used fewer expensive materials such as eggs, butter, and sugar. The economical cake made its debut into cookbooks in the 1910s. In today’s cake world, applesauce cake is still very popular, and after stocking up on essential baking items it is still pretty lean on the pockets. Enjoy!
June 1, 2012 • Cookbook: Drinks, Parenting: Dad
According to Wikipedia, an adult can achieve a blood alcohol level of .03 (or less) after consuming 1 alcoholic beverage. Said beverage would result in mild euphoria, relaxation and joyousness with little impairment to your judgment. After a long day, that sounds pretty good, right?
June 1, 2012 • Gardening
A still from the Secret Garden film adaptation
From Gilgamesh’s Garden of the Gods to the Garden of Eden, cultivated green spaces have found their way into writing since the practice began. Recently, garden clubs across America have declared June 6th as National Gardening Exercise Day, a reminder that exercise in nature is more fun than hitting the treadmill indoors yet again.
Some of our favorite fictional gardens have been the sight of some serious exertion as well, both mental and physical. Check them out.
Kublai Khan’s Garden in Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: In this strange and beautiful novel, Marco Polo sits in Kublai Khan’s garden and describes to the emperor the various, wondrous cities he has seen on his travels.
The garden itself is as magical as the invisible cities Polo describes. As he tells Khan, “Perhaps this garden exists only in the shadow of our lowered eyelids, and we have never stopped: you, from raising dust on the fields of battle; and I, from bargaining sacks of pepper in distant bazaars... Perhaps the terraces of this garden overlook only the lake of our mind.”
The Gardens in Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence: This scandalous 1928 novel tells the story of Constance, Lady Chatterley, a bored and frustrated young wife who begins an affair with the estate’s gamekeeper. Lawrence’s novel was censored for its explicit descriptions of sex, but the garden details are racy enough in themselves.
Take, for instance, this brief snippet: “Yellow celandines now were in crowds, flat open, pressed back in urgency, and the yellow glitter of themselves. It was the yellow, the powerful yellow of early summer. And primroses were broad, and full of pale abandon, thick-clustered primroses no longer shy.” Whew!