A Few Questions for Deb Perelman

Last year, after hearing the news in a filled-to-capacity conference room on the 8th floor of the Conde Nast building that Cookie was folding, I went back to my office to begin the painful task of dismantling my bulletin board. The board (which I also called “my brain”) filled an entire wall in my office and was covered with about 200 index cards, each one representing a story idea that was in the works (white card) or that I wanted to be in the works soon (pink card). A “Morning-Duty Constitution” written up between parents (pink)…Recipes that don’t grease up the stovetop on “Cleaning Day” (white)…Some hilarious cartoons from Amy Krouse Rosenthal (white)…and then, scribbled on a pink card, “Deb Perelman.” Perelman, as you probably know already, is the creator of SmittenKitchen, the website that has become synonymous with food porn, and all the editors at Cookie (which only profiled parents) had been on bumpwatch with Perelman for years, waiting to descend upon her like a bunch of vultures once she had something to contribute to the family food conversation. Because we read the site pretty regularly, we knew she was due any day…A day, it turned out, we’d never be able to celebrate in the pages of Cookie.

But I’m happy to report that today I can celebrate her on DALS. Her son Jacob (above) just turned one, and parents and cooks everywhere are rejoicing the fact that motherhood hasn’t seemed to slow down Perelman in the least. She continues to roll out museum-worthy baked goods and simple, sumptuous dishes (SK is always my first stop for holiday menu planning), just sold a cookbook, and was able to join us for Kitchenlightenment t0 discuss what’s happening around and about the table in the house of Smitten. Here’s what she said…

What I’m reading now: I just finished Alexa Stevenson’s Half Baked memoir (in about 5 days), which was incredible, and now I’m finally reading Laurie Colwin’s More Home Cooking (I read the first volume a few years ago).

What I want to read next: The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay, which I started on the kind of long-ago vacation that allowed time for reading.

What I’m watching: Could one have a thick pelt of dust on a Netflix queue, we would. I think the last movie we watched on Netflix was “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which was not nearly as good as the book. That said, we are physically incapable of changing the channel if either of the first two Godfathers are on TV on the weekend, which is to say, we watch them often.

What I’m reading to my kidThe Going-to-Bed BookBelly Button Beach and Fox in Socks.

What my kid is reading: Apparently, The Zinn Reader, Judith Jones’ The Tenth Muse and Sock Monkeys, the three books he pulls down from the bookcases everyday and flips through intently.

What I’m listening to: Pavement, Amy Winehouse, The Stone Roses and Billy Joel.

What I’m cooking from: A long list of recipe ideas I scrawled over the last 5 years that I am plodding my way through, in hopes that I’ll find some cookbook-worthy gems within. Oh, and I’m trying out some recipes from The Perfect Finish this week for a contest I’ll be judging.

What I’m looking forward to: Seeing my son’s reaction to the red tricycle we bought for his first birthday, this weekend. And fall, which New York City, frankly, does better than anywhere else.

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