I hope you had a lovely long weekend. My parents were here, which meant Rob and I changed very few diapers and had the luxury of catching up on work and reading. It was also a balmy eight degrees in New York today, so we took that as a cue to stay inside and continue Lilly’s baking indoctrination. More on that and a short list of other things I’m up to:
Being late to the fan club: Poet Mary Oliver passed away last week, and I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t familiar with her until I read her obituary and the many quotes and tributes dotting my Instagram feed. It was then that realized I’d heard her words—especially from her famous “The Summer Day”—without knowing who had written them. I don’t think of myself as a poetry person but I’m looking forward to getting to know Oliver so that I, to steal the title of Rachel Syme’s essay, may stay amazed.
Hydrating, toddler and parent: A few months ago, we accidentally gave Lilly ezcema with our overzealous evening bath routine. Who knew those bubbles were so drying? Now, we do soap every other night and slather her in Cerave before putting her in her jammies. And for my wintery skin, I’ve been *loving* Kate McLeod’s Body Stones, which are essential solid moisturizer bars made with cocococoa butter and natural oils. You just roll it over your skin and it kind of melts and leaves a light layer of hydration. They’re also great for pregnant women because they’re all natural and make it easy to moisturize a growing belly.
Baking with tiny helper friends: We’re at the stage where Lilly can actually participating in cooking, which I’ve been waiting for since I read about the French yogurt cake in Bringing up Bebe. Last weekend, she helped make an excellent batch of salted chocolate chunk cookies (my go-to choc chip because you don’t have to refrigerate the dough). Today, we made two types of banana bread with our profusion of overripe bananas. The first: BA’s Best Banana Bread, which has chocolate chunks and walnuts, and is very, very good; and the second: Smitten Kitchen’s Crackly Banana Bread, which has tons of spices and is slightly healthier, given the maple syrup and coconut oil.
Lilly is great at cracking eggs, dumping ingredients into bowls, and taste-testing chocolate chips. By spring, she’ll be ready to shell fava beans and de-stem herbs 🙂
Speed reading: I’m rushing to finish this newsletter so I can slide into bed and finish Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday’s two-in-one novel. The first half was about an unlikely, and improbably sweet love affair between a young editor and a much older, very famous writer. The second half is about a Muslim man being detained at Heathrow Airport. It’s transporting and melancholy, and I want to know how it ends.
Giving advice: As I’ve mentioned before, my friend Rachel has two amazing podcasts: “Do You Follow?,” which is all about social media marketing; and “Since You Asked,” where she gives straightforward, practical, and fun answers to wedding questions. I got to cohost both pods last week, and had so much fun talking about how to build a brand on Instagram, how to make sure your wedding food is actually good, and more.
Oh, and one last thing I can’t take credit for: Rob has been on a cooking tear recently and made a batch of pork ragufrom the Franny’s cookbook. It’s rich but not crazy so and exactly what you want on a frigid winter night. I love it with Sfoglini whole grain pastas, if you can find them.
P.S. Old editions live here! One of these days I’ll figure out how to tag things.
P.P.S. For anyone who is curious about Hungryroot, use code MOLLIE for half off your first box—definitely get the new mango coconut yogurt and sprouted flatbread!