Posts Categorized: Posts by Andy

Thank You, Teachers

As our kids head into their last week of school, teacher thank-you notes in tow, it got us thinking: What about our teachers in the kitchen? What about all the little voices that instruct us as we whip our cream, brown our chops… and overcook our dry-aged ribeyes? I’m not only talking about the Marcellas and the Julias and the Bittmans,… Read more »

I’ve Got a Secret

There are secrets in every marriage, and ours is no different. Jenny has a leather-bound, blue diary she keeps by the bed, and its contents, after almost 20 years of knowing her, remain a total mystery to me. The other day, when I logged into my iTunes account, I discovered that someone — i.e. my wife — had purchased six… Read more »

Come and Get It

See the coffee table in this picture? We’ve had it for fifteen years. We bought it before we had kids, when we were rushing to furnish our first real apartment and we went to some big Crate and Barrel sale and bought a bunch of stuff that looked like the kind of thing that grown-ups would have in their first… Read more »

Scalloped Potatoes

One night last week, Jenny and I were in the kitchen, cleaning up after dinner, and Phoebe was sitting at the table, finishing her homework, surrounded by the contents of her scoliosis-inducing backpack. As Jenny checked Instagram and I scrubbed a pan of rice, talk turned to Thanksgiving — and our total lack of planning for it thus far. The… Read more »

The Accidental Broccoli

We have no one to blame but ourselves, but Tuesday nights are hell. I’ll spare you the numbing logistical details, but all that’s relevant here is that a few times a month, by the time I pull into the driveway with the girls in the backseat, it’s almost 8:30 at night. We stagger through the door, shedding soccer bags, shin… Read more »


Jenny begged me to write this post. She begged me to write it because we have spent most of the last week on spring break and she has spent much of that time feeling guilty about not having posted. She keeps circling the laptop, turning to me and saying, “Should I post? Just something quick? Is it bad that we… Read more »

Hurry Up and Fail Already: Lessons in Creativity

Jenny and I have written a lot about books on this blog — and more specifically, about the role books have played in our kids’ lives, the highlight reel they will summon when they’re old like us and thinking back on the things, beyond family, that added meaning to their lives. What we’ve never really talked (much) about is another… Read more »

From Scratch

GG Car

For my grandmother’s 80th birthday, her best and oldest friend in the world, Midge — fellow bridge clubber, golf partner, drinking buddy, all-around Golden Girl — hosted a dinner party, on the Wedgwood china, in her big brick house on Forest Avenue. Jenny and I were in attendance, as were my father, two widows — Mary and Shep, both in… Read more »

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

We put a lot of stock in the idea that families — whatever form “family” might take — create meaning, and identity, through ritual. When the kids are little, that might mean reading to them in bed every night for twenty minutes, or going for long bike rides on Saturday afternoons and talking about life its ownself. It can be… Read more »

What Passes for Fun on a Saturday Night

“Make Dinner Not War,” huh? The pacifist ethos may look good on a bumper sticker, and it may reign supreme at our family dinner table, but when it comes to, say, girls’ soccer or beach-kadima-fer-chrisskes or routinely kicking her husband’s arse in a “friendly” game of Clue? Jenny is not to be trifled with. It’s why I hesitate to tell… Read more »

¡Viva Family Dinner!

I’m a *little* worried this is going to sound like a wedding toast. I have basically been following Mike Paterniti around for the past twelve years. When I worked at Esquire — as a kid, practically — Mike was the star writer who would come into town, from Portland, Maine, with his Patagonia backpack and his good vibes, and be… Read more »

Banned For Life

There are certain food items that Jenny has banned from the house forever. Most are desserts. Actually, all are desserts. There were the Mallomars when we were first married, which we stashed in the refrigerator and ate by the box until she turned, viper-like, upon them. There were those sugar-coated, citrus-y gum drops from T Joe’s, which she loved dearly… Read more »

Ode to the New Mexico Breakfast

We went to Santa Fe last week, thinking we would enjoy some clear blue skies and some beautiful hikes and some of those 20-mile vistas you just can’t get on the East Coast. What we didn’t bargain for is that the highlight of our trip would be the breakfast table. It was like our world had suddenly flipped and —… Read more »

How to Eat Leftovers

We’re not a camping family. Or maybe, to be fair, we’re not camping parents. We’ve done it a couple of times, for one night, and I wouldn’t say we excelled at it. I’d say we survived it. The ground was too hard. The birds were chirping too loudly. Our sleeping bags were too hot, but our ears were too cold…. Read more »

You Say Potato, I Say Greek Potato

When Jenny and I were in our mid-twenties, we both had jobs in publishing – she at Real Simple, me at Esquire – and worked a few blocks apart, in midtown Manhattan. Sounds pretty glamorous, doesn’t it? It wasn’t, not really. But it was fun. For Jenny, who had spent two decidedly unfulfilling years, post-college, at a financial consulting firm… Read more »


Two weeks ago, I flew down to Fort Myers, Florida to spend a couple of days with five college friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a decade, maybe more. It hurts my heart to type this, but it’d been nineteen years since we’d graduated. Nineteen years since we’d borrowed each other’s toothpaste on the way to the bathroom… Read more »

How to Read a Label

If you’ve picked up a newspaper in the past decade, you might be aware of a few basic strategies for shopping smarter in the grocery store. Most of us, for instance, likely know that: ♦ It’s wise to stick to the perimeter of the store — produce, dairy, meat — where the fresh products are sold. (Interior aisles are filled, floor-to-ceiling,… Read more »

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