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Clinton Street Baking Co

BIS Sez, Bitch’in Life

Carbs, A Love Story

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The other night I reunited with my own true love, and although I know it’s bad — hell, it’s flat out wrong to try to turn back time — does it help you to know that when I wandered off to the point of no return, both of my parents gazed on and my husband was at my side?

All it took was a basket of warm, flaky, buttery dinner rolls, and I was in a sensory blackout courtesy of my old bad boy flame. Seduced by the yeasty sweetness of it all, I ate most of the first basket and a generous portion of a second.

And when I finished it all, I felt sick.

I felt guilty.

And now I’m afraid there’s no going back.

Once upon a time, food was just food. Nothing spelled happiness like my mom’s spaghetti and meatball casserole, where a 350-degree oven baked the sauciness out of the Bolognese, leaving a crispy pile of melted cheese, overdone meat, and best of all, crunchy pasta. Sunday mornings were only complete when my dad came home with a brown bag full of still-warm bagels. I would kill for a greasy slice of pizza, a salty bag of Wise potato chips, a gooey hunk of homemade chocolate cake.

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Recipes

Expect Miracles, or The Chanukah Mommy

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I love holidays, and especially ones that have a killer back-story. And I literally mean killer — nothing better than ancient blood and gore that in modern times is celebrated with costumes, candy, presents, hearts, and flowers. And while I enjoy a pagan festival or two (Halloween, Valentine’s Day), nothing really beats the Jewish holidays for equal parts tragedy and triumph.

As a kid I was very struck by how the Jewish people have faced annihilation hundreds, maybe thousands, of times over the centuries. It actually made me a little nervous, and I was happy to just skim the surface and skip to the part where David slayed Goliath, the Israelites hightailed it out of Egypt for the relative safety of 40 years wandering around the desert, and the Nazis were defeated.

But as an adult, it’s my job to pass the word along to the next generation, and so finding the deeper meaning in the well-worn tales has been really interesting. Lucky for me, I’ve had ample opportunity over the years to dissect the most kick ass Biblical tale of all, as I am…. the Chanukah Mommy.

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Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Recipes

CAMP!

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Ah, Facebook — the ultimate documentation of seasonal shift. As I scroll past scores of smiling kids dressed in matching t-shirts and clean shorts, posing in front of Greyhound buses and overstuffed duffel bags, there’s only one time of year it could be.

Summertime.

Camptime.

Once upon a time, that ecstatic face belonged to me, the result of counting down 299 days until that moment. I look at those happy children and a warm wash of nostalgia comes over me, like peeing in my bathing suit during second period swim class. And just as quickly, that pleasant sensation gives way to a consciousness that underneath my calm surface lurks a deep, murky feeling as green as the muck in the lake.

ENVY.

Is it so wrong that more than three decades later, I would do anything to go back to camp and despise those happy children who have taken my place on the camp-bound bus?

My parents shipped me off every summer for two months from the time I was ten. Today, that seems like a long time, particularly by West Coast standards. But back then, that stretch was almost not enough for the Witness Protection Program of my youth, aka camp. There in rustic cabins, around dining hall tables, up at the stables and down by the lake, all sins were forgiven, as campers’ true identities were erased, and with a fresh slate we reunited with friends who knew and loved us in the best possible way: just as we were.

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