illustration: tram nguyen
The “freelance writing lifestyle” has its ups and downs. It’s been about a year since I quit my full-time reporting job to do the whole freelance thing, and during that period I’ve learned a few things about myself. For one thing, I am disturbingly okay with my limited degree of human interaction. Being at home alone with my cat all day suits me basically fine! I also like being my own boss. No one is going to give me shit if I sleep in or take a 2-hour ice cream break or work from bed while wearing my soft clothes; and because there’s no one to ask me to write cheap-click blog posts in the interest of “generating content” or getting X number of page views, I have no real reason to do so. It’s basically forced me to hold myself to a higher standard, which means that, in the last year, I’ve done mostly work in which I’m actually interested. That alone feels like an enormous luxury. Read more
Today’s our first birthday, which means Pen & Palate was born less than a week after Prince George, a very impressive feat. We’ll be celebrating by eating pizza and lying in bed (Lucy), and hanging with some very cool babies (Tram), but if you’d like to give us a prezzie you can “follow” us on Tumblr, give us a million dollars, throw us a “kidchella” birthday party, or just continue to click over here and read our stuff when you feel so compelled. Thanks for being a friend!
illustration: tram nguyen
This time last year, I was afflicted with the sudden fit of self-improvement mania that arrives like clockwork annually. I made all sorts of lofty, thigh gap-centric goals and ordered a new yoga mat and a workout DVD from Tracy Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal trainer.When it showed up in my mailbox a few days later, I was pleased that it had arrived in such a timely fashion. I then stowed it away in some shadowy recess for safe keeping and never touched it again.
I came to baking because I got married when I was 19 years old. I had never cooked, and I had certainly not baked. I burned down my parents’ kitchen when I was 13 years old, and I was not allowed in there again. When I got married, I was a college student; my husband Michael had his first job. They didn’t have takeout the way they do now, and we didn’t have the money for it anyway. So I learned to cook, but I was very excited about it; it was a whole playing-house thing for me. I cooked some pretty disastrous meals and some not bad ones, working from cookbooks. I tried to bake and I found that I loved it. I loved the process of it. I loved the way you touch ingredients when you’re baking. I loved the magic of it, the fact that you kind of don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s the same ingredients over and over again; butter, flour, sugar, eggs, but you can get so many different things from it. Also, it didn’t hurt that when you put a homemade dessert on the table, everybody was happy.
-Dorie Greenspan talks with Christine Muhlke in the latest issue of Cherry Bombe. I love that she burned the kitchen down and still came back for more, something with which I obviously have some experience. Read more
Hello and welcome to the second installment of our weekly links thingy! Today we have one woman’s journey into TGI Friday’s Hell, booze for Bronte lovers, ice cream delivery services, and, in further evidence that the end is nigh, selfie toasters. Read more