I burned the bread

What I did: soaked 125 grams of whole spelt grain in 125 ml of water for two hours; rinsed, aerated, and rested every 6 hours until it sprouted (about 18 hours); mixed it into a batch of sourdough bread dough, let it rest overnight in the refrigerator, got up in the morning and baked it, and burned both loaves.

What I did beforehand: took pictures of the cat 

What I wore: “MAYBE I LITERALLY CAN EVEN” t-shirt, pajama pants, Birkenstock clogs

Who went with me: the dogs

How I got distracted: looked at the news

Why I saw this show: you bake enough bread and the stuff you can buy will never be as good as what you can make.

Where I sat: just out of earshot of the oven timer.

Things that were sad: no bread for dinner; no bread to take to the barn.

Things that were funny: my brother suggested I cut off the crusts. What remained looked like a crouton the size of a large eggplant.

Things that were not funny: the burnt crust shattered when cut, and black crumbs large and small flew in several directions.

Something I ate: not this bread.

What it is: 200 grams home grown sourdough leaven, dissolved in 800 ml water, plus 200 g spelt flour and 800 g bread flour, plus 25 g fine sea salt in a almost-no-kneading technique. 

Who should see it: fans of rage cooking.
What I saw at the end:

I let him have it

What I saw: Captain having the new dog toy.

What I did beforehand: the Bacon Provider got home from a business trip in time to catch a late dinner with me. Then, he had to unpack (and re-pack) his suitcase.

What I wore: dirty jeans and the sweater of intermittent self-pity

Who went with me: Captain and the Bacon Provider and even Schwartz.

How I got Captain: we took in Captain as a foster dog in the fall of 2008. 

Why I saw this show: a colleague of my husband who I met on election night gave him a gift, saying it was “for his dogs.”

Where I sat: on the floor because I didn’t want to miss any of it.

Things that were sad: that this made me feel better.

Things that were funny:




Things that were not funny: 

Something I ate: toast.


What it is: a stuffed dog toy of ordinary durability, in the grip of a dog that is determined to rip the face off of every toy, empty out the stuffing, and pull out the squeaker.

Who should see it: as of this writing65,228,264 American voters, or, 2,554,576 more than the “winner.”

What I saw after: Schwartz made his inspection.

I saw “Women of a Certain Age”

What I saw: “Women of a Certain Age,” at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street in New York City

What I did beforehand: I dreamed we were building a mews for our golden eagle and the snowy owl.  I woke up to take the Bacon Provider to the train. The power went out while I was brushing my teeth. 

Why do we say “the power went out?” Like power is alive, and it died. Or it left? The deranged thoughts run through me like electricity. As a female citizen in a country with a pussy-grabbing accused child-rapist as president-elect, the power has gone out. We’ll be chased down the street with clubs. The presidency is lost to the forces of female enslavement and they will own the house and senate come January and pack the Supreme Court with old white men bent on snatching back women’s bodily autonomy. And yet fully half the people who could have voted couldn’t be bothered to. 

I drove my husband to the train. I got back in bed with my coat on and tried to check NYSEG’s website on my phone. I couldn’t get enough signal. The cat thought it was taking too long, and stretched out across my chest. I listened to our generator hum. 

What I wore: favorite Fluevogs, black tights, navy eShakti dress that has birds on it, two jackets, eye makeup, look of resignation, unwashed and unbrushed hair. 

Who went with me: the Bacon Provider

How I got tickets: as soon as they were available, online, for $40 each

Why I saw this show: I saw part 1 (which I still consider to be among the best plays I saw this year) and part 2.

Where I sat: row C, seat 14, behind the kitchen sink.

Things that were sad: the Gabriel family is facing some serious financial challenges after a death. This play is set Tuesday night of this week, and the characters all still believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton is about to be elected President of the United States. 

Things that were funny: we arrived early enough to eat before the show, but The Library (a restaurant inside the Public Theater) had no available tables and the noisy bar was packed with happy hour patrons. So we used Yelp! even though I distrust it in New York, and were  directed to two promising nearby restaurants, both of which turned out to be not open yet. A third, Bergen Hill, was around the corner, and inside we found a gorgeous little place with top notch wines by the glass, fancy cocktails, and a variety of small, shared plates (we tried and loved the oysters, hamachi, squid, burrata, and winter bitter greens salad) giving us one of the best spontaneous dining experiences we have had this year. 

Things that were not funny: I want a fourth play about this family. I need to know what happens to them.

Something else I ate: candy I found in my purse. 

What it is: a play, one hour and 45 minutes, performed without intermission. Highly recommended. 

Who should not see it: anyone still too wounded from Tuesday, people hungry for shepherd’s pie.


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’; color: #454545} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’; color: #454545; min-height: 14.0px}

What I saw on the way home: the post-its in the Astor Place subway stop. 

The power came back, of course, and the generator went back to sleep until its next automatic weekly test, on Monday. When we lose power I over-focus on the things I can’t do (use the internet, or bake), like I’m terribly inconvenienced by my momentary holiday from Twitter and being a #ragecook. 

I saw "What Did You Expect?"

I saw “What Did You Expect?” off-Broadway at the Public Theater on Lafayette in NYC.


What I wore: Chinese-made Australian boots, gray mid-rise straight-legged jeans, black Lilith tank, black ATM cotton blouse, black Helmut Lang loose-knit sweater, gray and lime green Marimekko scarf, eye-makeup, ponytail, a look of bewilderment.


What I did beforehand: took a MetroNorth train to Grand Central, went to the dentist for that bad news, looked at my favorite Baby Jesus at the Morgan Library, ate, walked, counted the unsmiling people on Park Avenue (57 out of 60), talked to a guy with a dog named Barry (who did not give me high-five), arrived early at the theater, discovered I’d bought two tickets, called The Graduate to try to convince him to join me. 


Who went with me: 160 white strangers.

How I got tickets: online, with a member’s discount.

Why I saw this show: it’s the second part of the Gabriels play cycle: election year in the life of one family, by Richard Nelson. Part one was “Hungry,” and my favorite play so far this year.

Where I sat: Row B seat 103, between an empty seat and a couple who knew the women behind me actors who’ve been friends since they met in a play where they were the only women in the cast, back in 1979. One of them misremembered the name of the man as “Donald,” and had to tell him twice that it was all on account of politics. 

Things that were sad: I think I expected to like this play as much as the first of the cycle. But I didn’t. It had all the same elements: the same set, the same actors, the same playwright.  It had similar moments of great poignancy. But it didn’t sock me in the jaw with its verisimilitude, as the first had. It would be almost impossible to have done. So it will have to come in second place, behind the first. And, of course, I can hardly wait for the third and last play in the cycle, to open in November. 

Things that were funny: I objected to the way one character cut onions.

Things that were not funny: there is a man running for President of the United States of America with the full backing of one of our two main political parties that is overtly and proudly xenophobic, misogynistic, racist, tax-avoiding, bankruptcy-exploiting, fat-bashing, inarticulate, unprepared, unqualified, ungrammatical, and mean-spirited. And we have to take him seriously. 

What it is: a play, lasting one hour and forty-five minutes, without intermission. It features actors cooking and kitchen-table story-telling with some well-timed cussing, covering themes of economic inequality and the quiet desperation and loneliness of modern life. It includes a master class on script-writing, props and costuming, and features a cast of actors so subtle and real and honest in their performances that they tower above almost every other cast currently performing in New York. 

Who should see it: anyone who missed “Hungry.” Anyone who should have seen “Hungry.” Aspiring playwrights. Residents of Rhinebeck, New York. 

What I saw on the way home: it was very late. I stepped off the train with a chatty woman wearing a colorful scarf who wanted to go together to our cars. We had parked in different lots, and each of us had to walk alone. 

I saw "Hungry" (Part 1)

What I saw: “Hungry (Play 1 of 3 The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family)” at the Public Theater, at 425 Lafayette St in NYC, west of the East Village, East of NYU, south of Union Square, North of Houston St

What I wore: custom black Vogel tall dress boots, safari tan full-seat Pikeur breeches, long-sleeved black polo shirt, zippered Ibex cardigan, Baker-trimmed black quilted jacket


What I did beforehand: rode a horse, drove to the city, ate a bagel, walked to the subway squinting the whole way because I left my sunglasses in the apartment, rode the wrong subway with a guy eating stinky, used the spacious and welcoming bathroom at the theater

Who went with me: my readers

How I got tickets: online, $10 off because I allow some theater companies to send me spam

Why I saw this show: family drama, politics and set in Rhinebeck? Pick me!

Where I sat: near the desk in the kitchen, front row

Things that were sad: characters in this play express their grief about a recent death  

Things that were funny: families are funny, good writing about how families talk in their kitchens is funny

Things that were not funny: many working class people today are not doing better, despite the news that economy has improved.

What it is: first of a three part play, set March 4, 2016, about the very real economic struggles of various family members in an election year, with cooking. Better than “The Humans.” Parts 2 and 3 to open in September and then November.

Who should see it: everyone

What I saw on the way home: a guy on the subway with a bag of chihuahuas

racler (Fr.): to scrape

Two Sundays ago, a twenty-something friend of mine looked out across the dinner table and said, to no one in particular, “Granny told me she’s ‘Feelin’ theBern.’”
Her mother, Granny’s daughter, turned to another twenty-something-year-old at the table, and asked him which candidate he liked.
I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of, “I like Bernie, and I think Bernie can win.”
It has been in my neighborhood for many weeks.
A week later, we had been invited to have raclette at the home of a new friend.  We didn’t know anyone but the host, but conversation had been lively, and limited to the two ends of the long table until one person spoke up in a lull. A funny and outspoken woman at the other end wanted to hear who was supporting Rand Paul. Or was it Huckabee? I can’t remember which one it was. One of the Republicans. Not Christie, or Trump or Fiorina. Maybe Carson, or Cruz. Everyone stared at her in silence. She kept listing candidates. More silence. No takers.
Cruz was dismissed by multiple people as, “ineligible.”
Kasich, someone said, “is a religious kook.”
As to Trump, another outspoken guest declared, “I know Donald Trump. I’ve had the misfortune to have dealings with him. He doesn’t care for me, either.”
“But,” she continued, “He has a real problem with the truth.”
Someone made a joke about Santorum.
A Frenchman, seated near me, asked, “Is the United States a democracy or a république?”


Once the list of Republicans had been exhausted, we got to the meat of the matter; this was Westchester, after all. There are about twice the number of active, registered Democrats as Republicans here.

Someone said with palpable irritation that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy was “unrealistic.”  The woman who knows Trump said, after gathering everyone’s attention and promising three excellent solutions, “I just want it to be Biden. Or Kerry. Or Gore.” She paused between each name to let each of her nominees be invited, arrive, and take a seat.

Supportive murmurings rippled around the table, heads nodding with subtle restraint.