Pen & Palate: Mastering the Art of Adulthood, with Recipes
by Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen
Hello my name is Lucy and I am in purgatory. I am nine months pregnant, days away (I HOPE) from giving birth, and also from publishing our book, and also from moving apartments. All of my belongings—save, like, two pans, a blender, a million diapers, and a movable bassinet—are in boxes, and even if my kitchen weren’t totally packed up I would not feel like cooking anyway. I barely feel like standing up. All I can bring myself to do is eat things Rob brings to me and watch the French Open via European livestream. While lying on my side. In bed. Read more
I have a tendency to overcomplicate things. For a casual basketball-viewing party, I might throw together a simple vegetarian chili to feed the crowd. And of course, I would need something to go with that chili, so I’d decide to make cornbread. But not just any old cornbread. I would want to bake the most authentic, delicious, pedigreed cornbread recipe known to man—something to impress my friends (who, to their credit, couldn’t care less about such things). But then there’s the problem with tracking down an “authentic” recipe. My people are from Southeast Asia, and my experience with American quickbreads growing up was mostly limited to those paradoxically greasy-yet-stale pucks they call biscuits at Popeye’s. When you’re trying to recreate food that you have no history with, it can seem like an almost insurmountable task.
Everyone is sick right now. This is a thing I have heard about before—the winter-to-spring transitional bug. Each year around this time, people talk about how “something is going around,” and that something is basically a cold or flu that is mysteriously related to the changing of the seasons. In the past, I cackled privately about this obviously fake phenomenon, because, as I like to brag about to people (because I am an asshole), “I just don’t get sick that often.” Read more
Lately I have frequently found myself wide awake at 6 a.m., tired but unable to fall back asleep, frantically googling things like “what can a person eat with one hand?????” This is because my body is currently hosting a child and, did you know, it is impossible to sleep when you have a human fetus crushing your internal organs. Read more