Monday, January 05, 2009

Why Tipsy Baker is not Cooking

Books and experts all warn you that your life will change after you have children -- that you will sleep less, see fewer movies, lose your girlish figure, and so on.

But they never mention the stomach flu, for which small and medium-sized children serve as flypaper. Is this not worth even a footnote, Dr. Sears? That following the arrival of your dear little infant, roughly once a year for the indefinite future your happy home will become a vomitorium? 

We've all succumbed over the last few days, but Isabel was hit first and hardest and is lying on the sofa as I type. Last night she was languishing in bed and said she wanted a "happy" book. She requested Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking, which, if you haven't read it, is one of the loveliest, happiest cookbooks ever written. 

While it might seem perverse to read a cookbook while recovering from stomach flu, it isn't really. The way you think about food changes in fascinating ways when you're nauseated, your aversions and cravings intensifying sharply and unpredictably. Yesterday, I found myself desperately craving pancakes, while Isabel, after reading Laurie C.,  is now craving biscuits topped with sliced nectarines. 

Poor kid.


  1. Your daughter is reading Laurie Colwin's food book. That's very cool. I was thinking of Laurie Colwin the other day because I noticed that Sheila Lukins, one of the Silver Palate authors, has a new cookbook called "Ten: All the Foods We Love... and 10 Perfect Recipes for Each." And that made me think of Philip Stephen Schulz's great cookbook, "As American as Apple Pie," from which Lukins, perhaps unwittingly, has stolen her concept. Anyway, Laurie Colwin first turned me on to "As American as Apple Pie." It was in an essay, included in one of her two food books, on the four or five cookbooks that she considered to be the most quintessentially American. As I recall, the list also included "A Taste of Country Cooking," "The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook," "The Joy of Cooking" and others.

  2. i can't believe my eyes. Vomitorium! written by the world's greatest fearer of vomit in her very own blog! i thought even the word vomit was too terrible for you to contemplate, but vomitorium?? i think this is just one of those odd maternal blind spots in an otherwise lifelong, consistent pattern.

    Now, one question, one comment:
    1. is that the first time she's read that book and she wanted to read it again?
    2. totally true about the aversions & cravings when you're nauseated, i remember it from being pregnant (artichokes & watermelon in, pretty much everything else out) but now i'm just sick with the same flu you guys have and i wanted a hamburger. and ate it. and regretted it. now i really want some biscuits with nectarines too.

  3. Oh, Anonymous 8:18 p.m., I know who you are -- you like grapes, don't you.

    1. She read "Home Cooking" and loved it a few months ago. She took it to school with her one day on a whim and told me all the things she craved after reading it. Then the other night she requested its sequel.

    2. Isn't it weird and absolutely fascinating what nausea does to your cravings & aversions? I think there's an essay to be written on the subject, but hopefully not by me as I would prefer not to acquire the expertise. I've been free of this bug for several days but am still a tiny bit under its sway and today I had to make a honey cake. HAD TO. Honey cake? Why? Honey cake is not part of my life, or my past, or my fantasy world. It was like this little bug got planted in my mind and compelled me in a way that never happens when I'm completely nausea-free. Meanwhile, pasta repulses me.
    I'm sorry about the burger. I will bring you nectarines on biscuits tomorrow if you are still craving them and if I can find a nectarine in January.

  4. grapes? why, um, yes. and now that you mention it, i'm also very fond of black beans.

    now, please save me a peice of that honey cake. you've planted that idea in my head and i want some.