How to survive your first week at home alone with two children (or one. or three. or twelve.)


  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c basil leaves, rinsed
  • 2 tsp ground sumac or 1/4 sumac berries
  • 1/2 c blueberries (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp citric acid or juice of one lemon
  • 1 c water

Combine sugar, basil, sumac, and berries in a small saucepan. Muddle until basil is fragrant but not mushed to hell.  Add water and citric acid or lemon juice. Heat over medium heat, stirring well to combine. Boil until sugar has dissolved. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into jars and cool.

Reserve until the witching hour.

Combine, in a Collins glass or sippy cup:

  • 1 oz syrup
  • 4 oz dry white wine, chilled
  • 4 oz seltzer, chilled
  • Blueberries left over from toddler’s snack (1 oz)

Do not share. Cheers.


A Weekend, with too many parentheses and just enough sunshine

On Saturday, we:

  • woke up to a sunny day
  • ate eggs + bacon + spinach + onions to make way for this week’s CSA pickup 
  • ran (RAN) out the door to get to that CSA pickup,a bounty of garlic scapes and arugula and red leaf lettuce and zucchini and radishes and more spinach and broccoli rabe and my new very favorite, salad turnips (have you ever eaten a salad turnip?  If not, get ye a salad turnip and some fleur du sel and call to thank me later.)
  • drank sour beers and watched Argentina v Iran and tried to yell when everybody else did
  • took a nap (just Winnie, I swear) 
  • took the train to Coney Island
  • caught the tail end (ha!) of the Mermaid Parade, ate Mr. Softee because summer, and headed to the aquarium
  • met walruses, stingrays, seals, an otter, some penguins, lots of very cool fish and coral and the two greatest sea lions possibly in the history of the world (aside: Winnie couldn’t believe her eyes when she woke up from her nap in the aquarium, and she ran from tank to tank shouting and pointing at the fish, looking around to see if anyone else was noticing how so completely awesome this place was.  When we took her to the sea lion show [aside aside: you can see THE OCEAN from the sea lion show— like, beach views from the bleachers] she sat, rapt, mouth agape, utterly transfixed, until she began to slow clap at a time when no one else was clapping, which grew into a much faster clap accompanied by squeals [not to be confused with seals])
  • walked down the boardwalk to the beach, where we lugged a stroller across the sand (not recommended) to give Winnie a second shot at loving the beach (first shot, in Portland, she declared it [via yells and tippee-toe-standing] to be The Worst).  She loved it.  She love love loved it, and wanted down to splash in as the waves rolled in, and wanted to dig in the sand, and generally proved herself to be her father’s daughter. Phew. 
  • came home to find our dear friends were now our dear friends AND neighbors, and shared chicken tikka masala around our coffee table amidst our very messy apartment and were not, I don’t think, judged.  It’s a magical feeling.
  • all passed out, with just the right amount of sand between our toes

On Sunday we:

  • ate blueberries and yogurt and bagels and cream cheese and coffee
  • read the paper
  • hurriedly turned the house from “is this even legal to inhabit?” to “Just normal parent-of-a-toddler messy”  
  • welcomed my mom and her friends after their three-day trek to Brooklyn
  • ate brunch like I hadn’t already eaten a whole giant breakfast, because French toast and mimosas don’t count (made up rule)
  • walked to Prospect Park 
  • walked in Prospect Park
  • walked some more in Prospect Park 
  • rode the carousel in Prospect Park
  • toured the Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park, where we: carded some wool, mimed some butter churning, learned about flax processing, and let Winnie peruse a potato patch
  • walked to the Lakeside water feature where we decided we would let Winnie play in her only dry clothes rather than the two swimsuits we had packed 
  • decided to face the water spray head-on, literally (just Winnie)
  • got nekkie (just Winnie) and changed into a dry swimsuit and out of wet clothes, because sometimes parents make bad wardrobe decisions
  • walked home (stopping along the way for Pimm’s Cups and beers, because three blocks is a long way and watching Algeria get their first World Cup win in 32 years is kind of great) 
  • cooked more of those CSA veggies for dinner than I thought we’d eat in a week— hooray for no food waste!
  • all passed out, with just the right tired in our bones

And I didn’t take a single picture.

Thanks, weekend.  Come again soon.