Month: April 2018

Where I Work

I once worked at a San Antonio newspaper where the office was so small that all we editors could hold hands and sing kumbaya without leaving our desks. At tech PR firm in San Francisco, we all sat in the same room, in clumps they called pods, everyone stressed out and yelling all day. The company was based in the UK, so we sometimes drank beer in the middle of the afternoon, and then everyone would sing, and for a few minutes it was fun. Okay, it was super fun a lot of the time — smart, wildly creative people. In a very organized, calm kitchen in Portland, I had my own prep table under a light well. The restaurant had a grocery and bookstore attached, so I could wander over and get a cookbook, whatever ingredients I needed — or maybe a bottle of Vermouth I wanted to try — and make something. That was the life. Now I can work at home, where I have a nice, light-filled space. There’s plenty of room for my books, which …

Nobody is Safe

When I tell strangers that I’m a food writer, they tell me I’m lucky, and then — looking at my belly — ask, “How do you eat all that food?” I like to say that I only eat three bites of any dish I taste, but that’s hooey: I got the idea from a novel, and though its restraint appeals to me, I’ve never been able to do it. I rarely tell them that I don’t write reviews anymore because eating all that food started to make me sick. I never tell them that at the peak of my short eating career I ran 15 to 20 miles a week so that I could tuck into my meals with careless abandon. As a “foodie,” being free of such worries is part of my street cred and, as a woman, I’m supposed to have some control. People like the three-bite secret, and the question deserves a false answer: after all, no one asks my male colleagues how they keep from getting fat. So why am I …