Unsubscribing to Belief

[Note from Jodi: Did you notice both my brother and I are finalists in the 2009 Bloggie Awards?  It’s true!  Also true:  we’d love your vote.  If you have the time and the inclination, get your voting on here.  Pistols + Popcorn is nominated for “Best-Kept Secret Weblog” shhhhh!  Fat Cyclist is nominated for “Best Sports Weblog”  Thanks, citizens!!]

I think that girls are just screwed.  We start out being princesses, and then are told that we can be anything that a boy can be, but then are told not to be the things that the boys are being (because, seriously young boys are a little disgusting.  I know; I’ve got one.)  A little bit later the planet-wide adoration of a certain body type lets us know that our body should be one way and then our hearts and minds are told not to listen to that.  We start dividing into tough girls and mean girls and smart girls and bad girls and good girls.  We buy into the crowd-think and live or die by these identities all the while wondering if it’s really who we are and also, as a side note, wondering if there’s any chance Billy Idol would make-out with us if we could just get backstage.  Ok, only 1984 Billy Idol.  I’m not actually going to want to meet 2009 Billy Idol close-up.  Back to the 

girl thing – then we keep on moving on and become women, and come into our own thoughts and ideas and identities.  We break hearts and break trust and learn from those things and then we keep moving forward. 

Certain things stick.  We may know better now, but still silently swear at our body if the swimming suit doesn’t look so good.  We have abandoned God or found a new improved God or hope that he’ll be ok if we just don’t commit for now, but still have the outline of guilt pasted on any behavior that was once forbidden.  Those of us who were bad girls still have some badness left, and find even as an adult that it’s hard to let go.  It is tricky to navigate the adult world without anything to prove, when a whole lifetime has been spent proving things: I’m tonka-tough, I can turn a phrase and twist words with an “aww, shucks” smile, I have no use for a safety net under a trapeze, I will jay-walk.  Mostly: I will not cook.  I am not that person.


Roan is five.  He eats real meals.  Anson works away from home all day.  So as it turns out, I am that person.  I must be the one who makes the food.  It sounds so basic yet I’ve just accepted it recently.  I’ve always claimed that I hate cooking, that I’m a bad cook.  Now I’m starting to think that it isn’t true.  I could possibly like it and my son will enjoy more than Pokemon shaped Macaroni and Cheese if I accept this new challenge.  The key to me getting on board is realizing that it isn’t an antiquated idea, cooking for your family.  It is a sweet thing to do, it is a nurturing thing to do, and it is something I can probably do well.  There’s really nothing I enjoy more than going to a friend’s home and talking to them while they 

cook.  So I’m trying to get Roan to talk to me while I cook, and to help me prepare the food.  He’s totally into it and seems willing to try new things if he’s had a hand in making them.  To do next: remember to get him to wash that hand before we begin.

I’ve started out slow, mostly with sou
ps.  So far I’ve had good luck and have found out it’s pretty hard to completely screw up a soup.  So long as you blend it, it just tastes like soup.  Our home smells good like a mother lives there.  And I do.  I live here and I have just let go of a piece of me that I’ve subscribed to my whole life that wasn’t true.  Unsubscribing to a long-held false belief feels as good as loosing ten pounds, maybe better.  I guess I’ll have to use that next time I’m trying on a swimsuit and do not like the results.  So, if you hear a woman in a dressing room chanting, “Unsubscribe!  Unsubscribe!” make sure to say “Hi.” But don’t come in.  That would totally freak me out. 

 (Yes, I used the Tater Mitts, and I liked them, OK?  Here are the ingredients from the soup I made last night.  Feel free to leave me some recipes!)



87 responses to “Unsubscribing to Belief

  1. You make such a great point about rethinking our identity as adults. I think we would all benefit from examining our own traits and seeing which still suit us in our 30’s and 40’s and 50’s. Certainly they can’t be the same as the ones we had in our teens and 20’s?Great blog, I just voted for you. Now, heading over to the Fat Cyclist. Sounds like my kind of person.

  2. I just voted for you and your brother. I found you through his site and love your writing. Good Luck. P.S. Roan’s hair rocks.

  3. I couldn’t see your soup recipe. I emailed you a couple of mine.I’ve got that same rebellious thing going on. I have to stop myself from saying, “Oh yeah? Who says!” and “Don’t tell me what to do,” almost daily. I’m 40. Love the blog.

  4. I’ve wondered about being a mother in a city, and how you ladies do it. Your stories are wonderful. While I don’t think I could have raised my children in New York, it sure is fun to read about someone who can. Good luck with the competition. I think you deserve to win.

  5. I’m enjoying all the new blogs I’ve found from the Bloggies, but yours is the one I’m going to try to get through, top to bottom over the weekend. Thanks for writing, and sharing.

  6. Hello Jodi, I just found out about your blog and love it already. I also voted for you and your brother.Quick and easy curried tomato coco soup recipe!5-6 big skinless tomatoes (fresh no cans)1 onion1 can coco milk1 Granny Smith apple peeled and gratedcurry powder (1 spoon)salt, pepperloveSlowly fry onions low temp. Add the rest. Simmer for 20 min. Put in food processor. Eat. :o)

  7. i voted for your brother before i knew he was your brother. unfortunately, i didn’t vote for you because i had to vote for myself – i’m the competition. just wanted to say that (1) this was a great post and (2) i’m a food blogger, so come on over for recipes any time.

  8. I am way older than you are – a grandmother now – and I have just recently discovered things I can cook. Nutritious things. A few days ago, I found myself serving my granddaughter her dinner and telling my daughter, “I wish I had cooked like this when you were a kid.” Here are my faves, all so very, very simple and pretty tasty.Chicken Soup: Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, or Dash. Throw in a pot with a can of Swanson’s Chicken Broth with Roasted Garlic and water to make enough bowls of soup for the amount of chicken you use. Cook on medium high until chicken is tender. I serve this with wheat elbow noodles.Pork loin roast with sweet potatoes: Season the roast (I just use salt pepper and garlic powder) and scrub the sweet potatoes. Throw them all in the oven together for 1.5 to 2 hours at 350 degrees.Zucchini and yellow squash: Slice a bunch of both and cook on medium heat with a big tablespoon of real butter.ORSkip the butter, but add chopped fresh tomatoes and chicken thighs with a BIG dash of Sesame Oil. Omit the chicken if you just want a side dish.I never ate spinach, cucumbers, feta cheese, avocado or vinaigrette salad dressing in my life until a couple of months ago and now I’m hooked on spinach salad. Mix all of the above, plus chopped fresh tomatoes. We use light Italian dressing, Ken’s Steakhouse is the best.Not quite as healthy, but filling and tasty:Bruchetta: Slabs of French Bread topped with warmed diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, dried basil, garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil. Broil until cheese is melted. Slices make less of a mess than shredded.Quick Spaghetti: Slice up a Kolbaisa sausage and warm up with a couple of cans of Hunts Spaghetti sauce, one of Traditional and one of Garlic and Herb. Serve over wheat spaghetti. Add or substitute shrimp, but cook them in a little olive oil before adding the sauce.Hope some of that helps!

  9. Forgot to mention that I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I still can’t manage to make a chicken breast tasty. I think you have to have real aptitude for that. 😦

  10. You should tell your brother about the Tater Mitts.They look like they would be an excellent tool for cleaning a bike chain.Of course, that might make the potatoes taste a little odd.Now that I think of it, the dual use of kitche/bike tools might be why my kids don’t like it when I cook …unless they see a takeout menu nearby.So my recipe would be the phone number for the Clarke Street Diner or Fascati’s Pizza.There used to be a fantastic pizza place on Court Street in Cobble Hill with a brick oven and outdoor garden. Unfortunately, they closed and leased the space to Dunkin’ Donuts.Of course, Sal’s Pizzeria down the block is still pretty good.And in the summer, the lemon ice at the Court Street Bakery is fantastic. Almost as good as the Lemon Ice King of Corona in Queens (near the Hall of Science — both are worth a trip to Queens). Anyway, those are my recipes.

  11. As the cook in my family, I faced the same thing- how to get my four year old to actually stay in the kitchen and interact with me whilst I cook. It turned out to be easy for me: set her on the counter next to where I am working so that we are at eye level.She became my official taster, sampling a bit of whatever I am working with at the time. Raw potatos weren’t a hit, but the bowl of sea salt gets fingers dipped into constantly (is that gross?).Much to my wife’s chagrin, she has learned to recite my mantra: “Everything’s better with butter and bacon!”

  12. Hey Jodes! Love peeking into your world! You know me…” I have the best recipe!” Let me know what you want and I will send some your way! Anson will be amazed. Love you and hope you are feeling better.K

  13. Hi Jodi,Your website is great and I voted for you in the Bloggies. Your son is just adorable. Here’s a nice and easy recipe for sweet potato fries that Roan can help make:1 to 1-1/2 lbs of sweet potatoesapprox. 1/2 cup olive oil1/2 tsp. kosher salt1/4 tsp. ground pepper1/4 tsp. cinnamonPut olive oil and spices in a zip lock bag. Preheat oven to 400 deg. Cut the sweet potatoes into strips and add the strips to the zip lock bag. Seal well. Double check the seal and then let Roan shake, shake, shake to coat the fries. Spread the fries out on a tin foil covered baking sheet and bake for about 1/2 hour, turning once or twice during the baking.Good luck with the bloggies!

  14. Hi Jodi,Your website is great and I voted for you in the Bloggies. Your son is just adorable. Here’s a nice and easy recipe for sweet potato fries that Roan can help make:1 to 1-1/2 lbs of sweet potatoesapprox. 1/2 cup olive oil1/2 tsp. kosher salt1/4 tsp. ground pepper1/4 tsp. cinnamonPut olive oil and spices in a zip lock bag. Preheat oven to 400 deg. Cut the sweet potatoes into strips and add the strips to the zip lock bag. Seal well. Double check the seal and then let Roan shake, shake, shake to coat the fries. Spread the fries out on a tin foil covered baking sheet and bake for about 1/2 hour, turning once or twice during the baking.Good luck with the bloggies!

  15. Hey Jodi-Glad to hear you are cooking up the good stuff- we need to teach these boys how to hold their own in the kitchen- even if it means we have to learn in the process!I am the soup queen.That being said, I will bestow on you the best soup recipe I have come across. I hate mushrooms.That being said, this soup has made me love the little buggers…plus Phin has a blast cutting them for me. BONUS! So here it is….Hungarian Mushroom Soup * 4 tablespoons unsalted butter * 2 cups chopped onions * 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (I use crimini) * 2 teaspoons dried dill weed * 2 tablespoons paprika * 1 tablespoon soy sauce * 4 cups chicken broth * 1 cup milk * 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour * 1 teaspoon salt * ground black pepper to taste * 2 teaspoons lemon juice * 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley * 1/2 cup sour creamDIRECTIONS 1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in the dill, paprika, soy sauce and broth. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. 2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together. Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley and sour cream. Mix together and allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes. 4. Yum it up.BTW, I voted for you and your bro, as well as my amigo Marcos of the Daily Kos.You dudes rock my little world.-Lauren

  16. you know, my favorite soup recipe book happens to be some Mormon Favorites Cookbook ;). good luck with the bloggies.

  17. Soup again, sorry, but it seems to be the theme:Coarsely chop 1/2 onion and 2 garlic cloves. Saute in a little olive oil. Add one 28 oz. can whole tomatoes. Boil. Reduce heat and simmer ten minutes. Remove from heat, add a handful of chopped fresh basil, about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, and a couple of tablespoons (or more) of cream. Blend with an immersion blender, or just in a regular blender.Tasty and delicious. My four year old loves to dip bread sticks in it. And I too frequently forget about the hand washing for him. Good luck in your new role!

  18. wow…you just nailed it. I’ve always said I didn’t like to cook, was bad at it. And people used to nob their heads in agreement (like when my brownies boiled in the oven for some mysterious reason), then they half-heartedly disagreed with me. Then one day they started asking me for my recipes. But I was still kind of in denial.But I am happy that my kids eat home-cooked meals. Although the tide has turned in the adult world, they still complain that most of my cooking is yucky. But that’s probably mostly because it’s healthy food, not because I’m a bad cook. I can acknowledge that now.Thanks for helping me to acknowledge that it’s okay to be a person who cooks…fairly well. Nancy.

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  82. Just came across your blog and totally enjoying it. I hope I can raise my 18 month old daughter with half the grace and tenacity as you raise your son. I grew up in NY, so I know a little of where you are coming from.Best recipe for something quick, and no food in the house:Pasta with Peas saute some onion in olive oil, toss in frozen peas, some water salt, pepper. Boil for 10 min or so. Toss with cooked pasta, add parm. cheese on top.

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