Bacon Brussels Sprouts

A recipe from a non-chef. Non-cook.

I buy everything at Trader Joe’s*, so I’m going with their sizing. Obviously if you’re a real cook you will change these proportions.

1 package sliced, thick-cut bacon (12 oz? ok)
2 packages brussels sprouts (1 lb each, so… 2 lbs. I don’t know, I’m a girl, my math could be flawed; you should check it.)
4 cloves garlic

olive oil
garlic olive oil
21 seasoning salute
garlic powder

First, clean and slice your brussels sprouts. Cut off the ends and cut them in half.
Cut your bacon into small pieces. I like to cut the strips length-wise, then widthwise so they’re about 1cm square.
Slice your garlic thinly.
Put water into the bottom of a colander like this one:


throw the sliced brussels sprouts into this part of the colander:

add some olive oil (2-3 tablespoons) and put the lid on.

Now fry your sliced and cut bacon. You know how. Wear an apron. Like, a sexy one. With heels. Yeah… heels. Like that. Maybe nothing on undernea…


Fry your sliced and cut bacon about 3/4 of the amount of time you would fry your bacon to your taste. Apparently to fry bacon you have to pay attention to the stove and move it around.

When the bacon’s not quite done, and the brussels sprouts are al dente (you DO NOT want mushy brussels sprouts here), take the brussels sprouts off the fire and drain. Don’t forget to turn off the stove. Check that, like, three times, just to be sure. Turn off the fire under the bacon, pour off the grease and save that in a Disney mug of some sort.

You should now have a pan (with the grease poured off) of not-completely-done bacon and a drained pot of all dente brussels sprout halves.

My pan isn’t big enough to do this all at once so, at this point, I put half the bacon into a bowl. Because the bacon isn’t burnt to a crisp like I like it, I can usually refrain from eating all of it.

Leave the bacon (or, in my case, half the bacon) in the pan.
Put the brussels sprouts (or, in my case, half of the brussels sprouts) in the pan.
Turn the stove on low.


Put the sliced garlic in the bottom of the pan!
Add 1 tablespoon of garlic olive oil!
Put the brussels sprouts on top!
Shake some garlic powder onto that whole mess!
Shake some 21 seasoning salute onto that whole mess!
Add a pinch of truffle salt! You’ve gone mad! DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! But don’t add nutmeg. Revolting.
Now, the piece de resistance?

You have your bacon grease mug, right?
Take your tablespoon and SPOON THAT STUFF ON TOP OF YOUR FRYING, GREASY, DELICIOUS MESS. Let the brussels sprouts soak it up.
Let the garlic fry in it.
Let the bacon unite with its grease, as nature intended. Smell the delicious smells as they unite as one in the pan. Resist the urge to eat the garlic slices straight out of the pan; they are hot. You should still be wearing your saucy apron and heels.

Stir this stuff all in! Move it all around! Make sure the bacon and brussels sprouts are evenly burned cooked!

When it looks done… for me, when the bacon is burnt to a crisp and pretty much all of your delicious semi-firm brussels sprouts have brown edges, YMMV, take that mess off the stove. Pour off any excess grease (LOL, excess)(avoid pouring directly into your mouth), and serve.

Serves 1.

*my husband buys everything. Grocery stores make me panicky.


Every time I try to say whether the year closed up or down, I remember something to push it in the other direction. Solstice last year was 17 minutes, crossing the international dateline on our way to New Zealand. We tromped through rivers in New Zealand, braved the masses in extreme heat at the Sydney Opera House. We rang in the western New Year, releasing burning lanterns on the beach in Phuket with dear friends,while singing of our memories of those passed. We swam with sharks with my brother, halfway around the world in Koh Tao. We smoked cigars poolside at night, playing with wildlife. I saw a location that had been etched in my mind for years. We had a bowl of noodles in Tokyo. And this was all in the first three weeks.

I modeled for Dark Garden. I debuted four new roles. Attendance was an excellent barometer of what I’ll support in the coming years. I produced Thunderdome three times with, quite possibly, the best and certainly the most professional, crew we have ever had. My father camped with Thunderdome.

My fiercely kind sister completed another year as a single parent, mother to my favorite child, one who greets me with smiles and wonder and who gives me renewed faith in the world. My sister insists on seeing kindness where the bearers would bury it; a lesson in herself.

I went to Germany. I saw Leipzig and Dresden for the first time. I planted potatoes. I said what I couldn’t know were final goodbyes.

I managed to stay happily married for a year. We celebrated in Canada, during the summer. We kayaked with a native guide in the crisp Canadian summer.

I went back to Germany. I was thankful for one of my favorite lessons; treat everyone as though this is the last time you will see them. If you do this always, overblown sentiment and dramatic outbursts are rendered unnecessary. Live well, be well, speak well and, when those for whom you care (or even for whom you don’t) die, your conscience will be clear. Know how deeply irrelevant your un-loving words are. Let no loving words go unsaid.

We put her in the ground. I watched her go first where the rest of my family there will go. I watched three grown men struggle to take care of themselves in ways they should have learned well before. I watched them learn most of these things from a man who has never in his life learned anything the easy way, and I left knowing that those three boys could not have a better teacher.

I have learned that the people who challenge us, insist on facing off with us, feel the need to compete with us, are paying us the biggest compliment we can ever be issued; they would not do this if they did not consider us their equals or better. This must be taken not in the way it is intended, but for the depth of what it actually is – a declaration of equality at the least, and almost always one of admiration as well.

As a corollary to the above, I have learned that, to truly ally oneself with someone, one must respond to what someone feels rather than what they say. That one of the most egregious underminings of a friendship comes when we insist on calling out failings publicly, or calling someone out as being other than they purport to be. Whether or not it’s true is irrelevant; our own image of ourselves is carefully crafted and fragile. Without coddling the ego, we can still be good and honest friends without deliberately smashing self-perceptions; it’s graceless and unnecessary.

I have learned the hard way that, if I take on too much, I will end up in the hospital. I have simultaneously learned the hard way who my friends are. Again.

My career gives back what I put in, with colleagues that amaze, amuse and humble. I am learning to Not Look Down.

This year, the premium has been on kindness and humanization, on awareness and reciprocity, and the dividends are exponential in all the ways that matter. I have invested time in relationships in the way I have always wanted; actually taken the morning tea, the quick lunch, the long-promised dinner. I have not raced through to do as many things as possible, but have been present, awake, responsive to as any moments as possible… and have in that way accomplished more in a year than I have in many previous years.

The me of the future is stretching, breathing, wide-eyed, and thrilled for what’s to come; it will, as always, be built on what has been.

Happy Solstice.


The sun has set, and we are well into the eve of October 1st.

October is a big holiday for my people, and I have deep concerns about how it’s been incorrectly celebrated over the years. One might even say that this holiday has been… appropriated*.

I’m concerned because I believe that some of the people who celebrate this holiday have never experienced a German Summer. There are these daft illusions that Europeans get “all of August off” as though it’s some sort of extra vacation.

There’s a possibility these people haven’t awakened early in the day to attach the Mähbalken to the tractor to go to the fields and cut down the hay. And then do it again. And again. And again. For days.

I’m concerned that some of them have not then waited anxiously for three days for the stalks to dry, hoping there will be no summer thunderstorm (there are often summer thunderstorms, you know, clouds peeling the sky back to expose broad thunder, lightning coursing to the ground or destroying the tallest trees), don’t know that you can’t immediately bundle it or it’ll mold.

I don’t know if they’ve attached the Strohpresse (works just as well for Heu) to the tractor, racing through the fields as best they can, knowing that going too slowly will mean a loose bundle, too quickly will mean an overpacked bundle, that patience and consistence runs deep in the blood of the German people and that “right” will trump “quick” every time but both together would be preferable and really, much more efficient.

Does everyone who celebrates in October know the sweet joy of stopping briefly to drink Gerolsteiner (from a glass bottle, thanks) and eat salami-butter sandwiches, racing against time to get everything baled before the afternoon thunderstorm. If it rains after it’s bundled, that’s ok; you wait again. Have these people lifted the heavy bales into makeshift hay houses out of hay bales to protect as many bundles as possible? Made a game of it?

I’m pretty sure that one or two of these people have never loaded the flatbed trailer onto the old tractor, the one from 1917 that Just. Keeps. Going… and loaded all of those bales onto it, carefully balancing the weight load, not teetering too high because that dip just before you leave the field and get onto the country road will knock all of your hard work onto the country road. Maybe they’ve never driven the flatbed carefully. precariously. with all the caution in the world… into the barnyard, pulling up next to the hayloft and then sweat, competing with siblings and cousins and uncles, whoever’s around, to see who can throw the bales the highest, the furthest back into the loft, the work that gets more and more difficult the more work you do because the distance between the bottom of the loft and the top of the bale stack increases as the work goes on. Maybe they don’t know that making that trip several times in a day is an act that can only be committed with a good share of teasing, sibling rivalry, and pride in workmanship.

How many of them know the feeling of the blistering sun, the sweat dripping in their eyes, being covered in hay, and hay dust, and itching EVERYWHERE, from allergies or from tiny little abrasions, the sunburn on top of sunburn until it just doesn’t matter anymore because, damnit, the sun gives us warmth AND character?

Some of them have no idea that the beer after those days, weeks, months of work is the best beer a German ever consumes, even if it’s just Trumer. It doesn’t matter; it’s consumed outside, poured into glasses (because drinking from the bottle is just gauche, except not gauche because that’s French and well, we have issues), the luxury of not having to change to your inside shoes to enjoy it. That, on the farm, there isn’t really any drinking at all until all of this work is done and that to drink two in one evening is an extravagance afforded the hardest workers, the bale-tossers who didn’t give up even as their eyes watered and their skin itched and their lips split and their noses peeled. That a malzbier is just as good because it’s not a competition; it’s sharing a beverage and company and a job well done at the end of the day. I have faith, though, that most of the people enjoying this holiday are celebrating its true meaning and the heart of its intent, not drinking themselves into oblivion out of boots while wearing slutty dirndls, and faux (again with the French) Lederhosen (do yourself a favor and learn the difference between leather pants and song pants), and to you I wish a Frohes Oktoberfest.


*this post is satire. Let’s please all appreciate that not all adoption of ritual and celebration is appropriation; sometimes it’s acknowledgment of and respect that and appreciation that another culture really Got It Right. Perhaps, if someone could learn a bit more about it, a funny post, instead of shaming and self-righteous indignation, will help them to learn what you might hope they’d learn about a culture about which you care.


Occasionally an animal will come into our lives that is more than just a pet. Often coming to our lives when we least expect them, they become somehow bonded to us, and it’s apparent that this is not just a furry footwarmer, but the creature to whom we return Home. I have seen a few of these in my life; Jake, our family’s second collie. Eek!, Ben’s cat whom I met when it was a kitten, with whom I lived for four years when Ben and I were roommates, and who lived with me and Luke for the last year of his life. Spider, Angela’s giant black furball who lived with me while she was in school. Sylvia’s sweet cat who made it into their wedding vows. Thumper, Jade’s vocal polydactyl. Jasper.

Some animals bond with other animals, or are simply soft and happy, or they’re beautiful purebred creatures only; these bond to us. They know when we’re upset, they look at us like they know what we say and sometimes they talk back. They run to the door when we return home. They’re the reason we don’t want to be away from home for more than a week or so. They’re the barometers by which judge the new people in our lives, and they’re never wrong.

Saying goodbye to these creatures is to say goodbye to a part of ourselves; the part that represented the kind, non-judged and non-judging open heart that we otherwise guard so well. They are our familiars, our daemons, if you go in for that kind of thing (whether or not you do, actually), and like our own shadow (shadows that sometimes trip us), we carry them with us forever.

Jake died Christmas day 1996.
Eek! died July 5 2011.
Spider died January 4 2012.
Sylvia’s cat died this past year.
Thumper joined them today.

I loved Thumper. I didn’t see him enough. I always said to Jade that, I swore, I just wanted one foot. One giant polydactyl paw. She could have the rest of the cat. Every time Jade and I went to one another’s homes, we would go first to the cat and, upon leaving, try to sneak out with the cat. Thumper was Jade’s Jasper.

She had to say goodbye to him today and I am so glad that Ben was there with her, with them. Nothing I say will make it better, and today I am hugging Jasper closer and not pushing him away even when his horrible breath is right in my face. Jade, you can visit us any time… but you can’t have a paw.

R.I.P. Thumper




Jade’s blog, and beautiful posts about Thumper, are here:



My beloved, amazing friends (and in particular my ladies, my CHA, the women with whom I’m growing old(er)),

We are mostly Of A Certain Age, and I’m seeing a pattern.

The overall pattern is amazing. We’re multicolored, beautiful. But behind this glorious exterior is all that we have been through. The tribulations of our twenties and early thirties were hard; we fought the labels and worlds of our teens, we adopted and created our own, and we are now beginning to cast off the labels with which we dubbed ourselves and have begun the process of accepting ourselves as a whole. Slowly no longer referring to our chemical imbalances (OCD! Neurotic! Depressed! Manic!) as defining features, getting more comfortable simply saying “I’m having an off day,” without labeling it, saying “I’m not up for going out,” without the self-depricating comments that go with it.

Do you know what this is? This is incredible. Most people never take that first step. Most people never bother to figure out their own make-up and address it at all. They vomit their baggage all over the place and don’t apologize. This is the blessing and curse of the examined life; we know too much to feign ignorance and go blindly into the world. This is, apparently, the baseline of my adopted family. Intelligence, brilliance, creativity, and awareness. But the fallout is huge. We figure out who we are as we rebel against the world… and then we figure out that the world thinks we’re all right, the world wants to know what we have to offer, because people who are awake glow like lights in the darkness and are appealing to the asleep for reasons the asleep can’t even explain. This creates some sort of strange juxtaposition between our rebellious teen selves, our examined and perceived-as-broken (OCD! Manic! Depressed! ETC.!) selves and our teetering-on-successful not-quite-midlife selves.

Who are we, if we are not in conflict with the world? Followed by, who are we, if we are not in conflict with ourselves? Followed by, Holy Crap, You Want To Pay Me For My Brain/Talent/Take on Things?

It’s a lot to take in. Of course it throws us into a tailspin. We’ve always been responsible for ourselves; that’s the first rule, the mantra, Weirdo 101. But this is something new; this is realizing that the world, in fact, loves a weirdo (an intelligent one, an eccentric one, an artistic one, a talented one, at least), the world wants to take a weirdo and capture its brilliance, put it under glass, examine it, ram a little pin through it and put it on its wall, to brush close enough to it to feel alive and bright and brilliant for a moment.

This is exhausting. Being aware of others has never been a problem. Being respected by others, others interested in what we had to say, what we thought? This shit is unprecedented. Looking at my last few years, the turmoil, the ups and downs, the changes and finally getting over my own crap enough to breathe into and OWN IT, coming up occasionally for air, I have the chance to see all my brilliant friends doing just… mindboggling things. Amazing, creative, beautiful, intelligent things. Things for which we have been planning our entire lives. We are, together, metamorphosing into something … brilliant. But it hurts. As our old language and old patterns die away, we are exhausted, we have no frame of reference, we must rely on ourselves in a way we never thought we would, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally envy the unexamined.

Do you know what a caterpillar does to become a butterfly? It digests itself. And only the imaginal discs survive. Right now, as I watch, we are absorbing all of what we are, we are becoming bright, brilliant, beautiful, not discarding what we were but absorbing it, using it to fuel our futures. 

I am so proud of you. I admit it, I’m even proud of me, when I’m not too busy wondering when everyone will figure out I’m a fraud, I’m proud of me. And I will see you on the other side, and we will FLY.


Diva Dishes

Following is a list of the suggestions I received on a facebook post asking for good quick late-night and running-around-during the day foods.
Here it is, compiled! Thanks for all of your suggestions.
Not necessarily the healthiest but definitely delicious:
Paula – I’ll scarf salami, cheese with bread. I’ve also hit up Super Suppers before.
Jesse – Salami and cheese are my go to. The sacred wheel soups are my as of late go to, I freeze them in pint size containers. For salami I buy the Olympic provisions as they are soft enough to cut with a knife and I dont look like a cow chewing cud.
Kristin – I’m also the salami, cheese and bread type…I ate a lot of sandwiches, salads, and that type of thing. The whole time I lived in San Francisco I didn’t have a kitchen in my studio so cooking ahead wasn’t a thing. Canned soup is a decent option. Or burritos. Microwaving some beans and putting them into a tortilla is about the extent I can handle when I crawl back into my house after working 10 hours.
Sam – Toast/english muffins with stuff* on it.
Where in stuff = what is cheap with my safe way club card and I think will be good on toast/english muffins.
*butter is the base that stuff sits on.

Quick ideas for home:
Kim – Trader Joe’s rosemary roasted chicken breast. Ready to eat. Just open the package, eat cold or warm it up in microwave. It also keeps in the fridge for a few days. Super convenient, healthy and delicious!

Amberina – I always keep a couple of packs of the trader Joe’s chicken salads that come in like three different flavors and eat that on the trader Joe’s “some enchanted cracker”. Also their (TJs) wrapped SAMMICHES are fantastic, low fat and really tasty (tarragon chicken is my favorite.).  Another healthy late night snack is to buy TJS boiled and shelled eggs and then you can make toast, put a little curry aioli (that you can buy) on toast, wild rocket, and the slice eggs and place on top open face. Takes the time to toast the bread. Super easy.
Devon – Whole foods has some excellent organic microwaveable meals. Hard boiled eggs
Eliza – I keep tamales in the freezer for just such occasions. I also like to make a big pot of rice in the rice cooker whenever I get a chance. Then microwave it and eat it with a fried egg and some microwaved vegetables for a really quick meal. Trader Jo’s sells pre-made rice if you don’t have a rice cooker. Great job as Lola tonight!!
Laura – Naked Green Juice. Sliced turkey lunch meat.
Rachel – My go-to when I’m out working is a pack of dinner rolls, a pack of deli meat, and sliced cheese for tiny sandwiches, rounded out with a couple fistfuls of prepped fruit and veg. When I get home and want something that takes two minutes, I poach an egg in the microwave and put it on a piece of toast spread with hummus or cream cheese.
Mortiche – Hard boiled eggs, either by themselves or on/in a salad. Hummus can be tucked into many foods and is easy to eat (scoop with crackers/veggies, add a layer to any simple sandwich). Whole Foods sells about six of their own varieties, I love their lemon hummus. Avocados are so versatile to me: savory drizzled with some olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper (throw some fresh parsley on it if you have some) or sweet with some maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. In the time it takes you to make toast, you can put all three together ON a piece of toast to make one of my favorite snacks; scramble an egg while the bread is toasting, slice the avocado. When toast is ready, top with the hummus, egg and avocado, salt and pepper. Granola bars, or actually fruit and nut bars are again high in protein and healthy fats. Costco sells Cascadian Farms organic granola bars. Top yogurt with granola and dried fruit. You can buy precooked rice that is frozen and reheat in the microwave. Trader Joe’s has brown and white, plus one with other grains and vegetables mixed in. Top with smoked salmon and some gomasio (a sea salt/seaweed/sesame seed condiment) or furikake (Japanese seasoned seaweed sprinkles to flavor rice). Both should be easily found in most supermarkets around here, but if not let me know and I can get you some.
Sarah W. – My PhD-student go-tos are oatcakes (think really grainy crackers) with cheese and baked beans; Greek salad (only chopping involved); self-assembled parfait (yogurt + muesli + fruit).
Sam – trader joes sells pre shelled hard boiled eggs in a bag. I would probably have died by now of a protein deficiency with out those.
David E. – But more often, for a late night snack… rolled oats with some vegetarian protein powder. The one I have now tastes so good!
Rose – Sliced carrots thrown in a bag and a tub of hummus, hard boiled eggs, almond butter packets squeezed on an apple or banana, sliced cheese and crackers, olives, avocado with a spoon… Late night when I get home quesadillas with green stuff or grated carrots thrown in.
Meredith – My late night go-to: Greek yogurt for protein and a fistful of berries.
Rat – *gasp* just realised you live where avocados exist. this is no longer a question. -buttered toast, sliced avo on top, 1clove chopped raw garlic on top, generous cayenne pepper, sprinkle salt- staple meal for the exhausted. mandatory fart warning.
Zenon – Revitalize crackers have high fiber and low carbs as a filler, also try a few oz of whatever protein like turkey slices and a half of a cucumber or a whole green pepper or some zucchini or raw squash. Broth or miso is a good chaser. 90 to 100 gm protein with 120 gm complex carb is good. Avoid chips .hummus, etc… Let’s not forget the old Wagnerian sauerkraut a few tablespoons. If you add brags vinegar to it you get stabilization of your blood sugars. And after a few days some weight loss from ummmm all the fiber
Edmund – Hummus and pita FTW.
Cheryl – Sliced tomatoes with cheese and balsamic and olive oil at home, or Greek yoghurt plus fruit and nuts and chia seeds with a touch of honey. I always have TJ’s simply almonds, cashews and cranberry trail mix with me. Kashi or Kind bars. You could also microwave a small potato and add yoghurt and Parmesan when really empty.
Elizabeth – I used to keep cantaloupe or other melon around. At 11 pm you can eat a whole or a half of one and it’ll be easy on your digestion, hydrating and it will make you feel full.
Mary – Yes, a full avocado eaten like ice cream. I just made myself leftovers at the end of the day. Or a big salad at the end of the night is yummy.
Autumn – I also like their cold cuts wrapped in lettuce or kale.
Hearts of Palm dipped in TJs red pepper/eggplant dip, so good.
TJ’s pre-cooked chicken breasts are close to the fresh pasta, the sausage and hotdogs. I don’t get the sliced chicken because it has cornstarch in it.
Remember that there is no denser source of calories and fat than nuts, as awesome as they are.
Mara – Oh and grilled cheese are quick on the stove. Can add proteins like lunch meat or avocado! Btw I like the rice pasta from tj’s vs all the flour ones.
Carmen – Disclaimer: I typically hate canned soup….but….Trader Joe’s or Amy’s brand organic Lentil Vegetable canned soup. It’s the perfect combination of tasty, relatively low calorie yet filling, natural ingredients, and all you have to do is pour it in a bowl and heat it up. Easy to store and will keep for a long time.
Lis – At our TJ the pre cooked chx is in the premade salad section. There’s usually 2-3 kinds (regular, rosemary, and Caesar).
Twila – Trader Joe is a good answer. There are reasonably priced great tasting items in their deli area. I particularly like the BBQ Chicken salad. They put everything in separate packets so when you put everything together in less than 5 minutes, it really tastes fresh, fresh. And all the ingredients are carefully noted on the back of the package, complete with calories and fat.
Val – Put cottage cheese and frozen berries in a container in the morning. By evening snack time the berries will be thawed but the whole thing will still be cold. Great protein source.
Aumna – I keep frozen veggies and second the microwaved potato. Also salad, hummus and carrots, and for the future a little forward planning can leave you with bags of frozen rice and daal, or really frozen anything you like to eat. When I’m doing a show I make big batches of stuff before the rehearsal period starts then freeze it or box it and then I have a lot of easy grab n go or microwave meals. But probably the easiest is microwave a potato, steam veggies in the microwave, top potato with veggies and a can of beans. I also keep lots of cans of black beans and garbanzo beans and what have you because instant tacos/burrito/salad/pasta topping. Then for the true lazy-man’s dinner, there’s always oatmeal (or your cereal of choice). Though seriously, egg + nonstick pan + high heat takes less time than microwaving food. And as a bonus you can probably just wipe the pan down and use it again to cook eggs in the morning.
Sharma – Warrior bars, Starbucks salads and protein boxes, apple and cheese, pacific soups, also ants on a log with the ants!!!!
Judy – hummus and pita.
Scrambled eggs… With whatever you want to out in it.
T.Js also had some really good omega 3 trail mix.
It’s not a real meal, but a few handfuls has been my dinner at that hour on numerous occasion, plus, not too much for the body to deal with, when it should at rest.
Erik – Wraps. Hummus. If you are in Vallejo and in need of food, call us! That is an option.
Mary – Or some zap-ready veggie chili?
Gabe – Greek yogurt is nice, add schtuff to it (I like banana bread)
Josh – Buy a salad mix. When Luke (see what I did) is chopping veggies, chicken, whatever; some goes into the fridge for you to toss into the salad. The haes part is keeping the Tupperware from leaking. [from Marisa – this is brilliant! I love this one!]
Cynthia – Are you veggie? Three Stone Hearth makes great nutrient dense meals that you can just hear in a pan. I find that Tanka bars are good too. I also like fruit and cottage cheese or yogurt, and apple with cheese or peanut butter. If money isn’t an issue, stop at whole foods or andronicos deli and buy prepared meat and squash or grain salad. It’s hard!
Cynthia – mashed tuna and white beans, with dried (or fresh) chopped parsley sprinkled in, and a healthy squirt or 5 of lemon juice. spoon onto bread, toasted or not.
Hilary – Salads (which can vary in complexity from “pile of greens” to “add random protein and veggies from fridge.” Yogurt & granola & sometimes fruit. The boxed soups from Imagine tend to be better (and healthier) than canned soups. Edamame. Salad w/ pre-cooked black lentils from Trader Joe’s (in the produce section, Luke), or with a can of tuna thrown in for protein. A roast chicken (picked up from whole foods or the like) can do a pretty good job at being several meals worth of “add to salad”. Carrots or pepper strips and hummus. If you eat eggs, hard-boiled eggs make very portable snacks; fried eggs and a handful of greens makes a quick dinner.
Joule – Trader joes also has strips of pre-cooked chicken in their Frozen section. Less worry re: spoilage. And I lived off their black bean and corn enchiladas, which are actually dairy free, so less calorie dense.
Not-so-quick ideas for home:
Sarah – Not the same, but when I was writing my thesis if forget to eat, do I kept a variety of frozen veg, assorted frozen meat substitutes (tofu, boca burgers and sausages, etc) and mix and match. You can even batch up boxes to store in the freezer and pull out, if you feel inclined.
John A. – What I do is put rice, water, meat, and vegetable in rice cooker and turn on. Take a shower, get into jammies and it’s almost done. Add sauce of your choice and boom, tasty meal
Rat – if you have one day with hours to spare make some burritos n freeze em. make like 30. and make 30 burritos in 4 varieties so your digestive tract doesn’t feel like some kind of horrible factory processing tube
Mary – make chili and freeze it (for the end of the day)?
Mara – That precooked chicken breast or a rotisserie will get you pretty far because you can add it to so many things like salad a quick sandwich, soup, pasta, rice. They have microwave cups of jasmine rice. Frozen shrimp cook up really fast. Bean and cheese burrito or quesadilla in microwave (just cover with a damp paper towel and it’ll steam it vs norm micro killing of food. Nuke a potato (don’t forget to poke holes in it) and stuff with cheese/chicken/scallions/etc. You might want to get a rice cooker that can also steam veggies/fish. That way you can set the timer and walk away for 15 min shower or whatever then come back to low grease cooked veggies and fish etc.
Lis – It’s an investment, but we freaking love our breville slow cooker+rice cooker+risotto maker. Slow cooker meals are epic and should be fine for being out of the house that long (granted we don’t put meat in them but there’s a whack of veggie recipes).
Wende – I luv the TJ pre-cooked lentils. Throw them in the cuisinart w/kale carrots & bell peppers, keeps in the fridge for ~a week. Throw the combo in some flatbread or tortilla & it’s easy burrito. This is as close to “cooking” as I get.
Noel – In the “for tomorrow” category: dump stuff into the slow cooker at 2PM…
Mollie – TJ’s has a really yummy Greek Chicken with Orzo in their pre-cooked fridge section. I often eat this when I get home from club at 3am. Takes 2 min in the microwave and is super yummy.
Mary – How about a batch of pasta salad?
Cynthia – At the beginning of the week I make a huge batch of smoothie with frozen berries, whey (or protein powder), flax seed oil, chia seeds, greens powder, some stevia or OJ and some water, then I freeze them in small mason jars and take them with me. They keep other stuff cold and melt enough to eat with a spoon.
On-the-road ideas:
Alex – When you do cook, wrap up the leftovers burrito-style and freeze them. On a hot day you can just leave them on your dashboard to warm. If not then microwave.
David E. – Burrito
Lori – I used to take a little cooler with me and keep hard boiled eggs, sliced turkey, Greek yogurt or tuna salad in there. My fav post-show meal was a tuna sandwich. And bananas and apples…
Mary –  low sodium (or homemade) beef or turkey jerky (lots) and nut mixtures or trail mix with some dark chocolate. Fruit and veggies with peanut butter and hard boiled eggs. You rock!!! Toi toi toi!
Autumn – I used to get single serving milk boxes and kept granola with me when I’d be away from home too much. At home for late night after sewing or performing I loved TJs chicken potstickers.
Now I make sure I have their pre-cooked chicken breast which I slice and eat with any number of things, sliced apple being a favorite.
Twila –  I keep a big canister of Kirkland Extra Fancy Mixed Nuts. When I’m starving, a couple handfuls of this high protein snack will fend off the hunger pangs.
Budd – If you can have a good prepared meal at lunch – the right mix of protein and energy bars, plus apples/carrots/celery/broccoli/cauliflower as you can carry – will help a ton if you keep eating regularly as you are able. Sunflower seeds and nuts can also give boosts if added judiciously.
Nikki – I generally always carry a protein bar with me for emergency food. (When my blood sugar gets low, I crash fast. Not a good thing.) My current favorite are the peppermint stick Luna bars.
Aumna – I also take fruit with me everywhere, and usually don’t leave the house with less than three pieces. An banana that I’ll eat early, an apple or an orange which will stand being rolled around all day, and something fun like mango or pineapple or peaches. Also take a bigger lunchbox! At least a sandwich or something! Canned tuna, pb & j, whatever! Don’t let yourself starve! Also nuts, granola, etc. are good. grabbing like four extra granola bars so don’t really think I’m gonna eat.
Hilary – For portability, sometimes I’ll do yogurt-based smoothies or some of the odwalla juice smoothies with protein added.

Farmer’s Daughter

My siblings and I grew up partly in the states and partly on a farm in Germany. Which is to say, they weren’t vacations; they were working Summers. The reason much of Europe shuts down the month of August has to do not with a leisurely lifestyle but that all hands were needed on deck to help with the harvest and we were imported labor.

Our uncle, whose farm it is, has a sensitivity towards animals that is hard to imagine until you’ve seen him nurse an injured one. As you can imagine, this doesn’t go so well with certain aspects of farming, and so he long ago gave up raising (seriously delicious) bulls for slaughter, as well as eating the chickens we raised (eggs only). Roosters and geese go on living to ripe old age, usually until a marder gets them.

My sister and I grew up creating things like the Super Slug Savers(™) club, which primarily consisted of waiting for rain, then going into our (dead-end, almost-no-traffic) street and scooping slugs onto leaves with sticks and bringing them to the other side of the street (in the same direction in which they were headed, obviously. Anything else would have been a cruelty.). When we (ok, Miriam) accidentally drowned a caterpillar we were trying to save by floating its cement-covered legs in a 50 gallon drum of rainwater (we couldn’t tip it over. We tried.), my mother offered her stock response… “It will all be over in 100 years.” A year later the response turned to “It would have been long dead by now,” which is a response that was quite handy also for when she regaled us with our grandfather’s horrible WWI stories; he worked with the warhorses. Many of them died. I won’t go into it, but these as bedtime stories probably shaped a large part of my sense of humor and faux-callousness. But, don’t worry; they would have been long dead by now.

One of the Summers we spent, we raised rabbits. I should have known better than to ask to say goodbye to them our last day. But, the previous evening’s stew had been quite delicious. I was 5 or so at the time.

One Summer, the sheepfarmer who lived nearby had a black sheep in the flock. A black sheep! How fantastic. We named it. Naturally, we named it Blackie; originality with naming not being so much our strong suit. We visited Blackie every day; it was primarily Miriam’s obsession, and she loved him. We brought food especially for Blackie. And Müsler, the sheepfarmer, thought this was adorable. We did this all Summer. We watched Blackie grow. We were super-excited to come back the next year and see how much Blackie had grown; this was, after all, primarily a wool farm. 

Imagine our excitement when, as we prepared our last few days of the Summer, our Uncle told us that Müsler had something for Miriam! What would it be? Something made from Blackie’s wool? We waited in rapt anticipation as Müsler proudly revealed… oh, I can’t say it.Image

We stared. I tried to say thank you. Miriam, I think, ran from the room to cry. Poor Müsler felt terrible; he’d given us a fantastic gift, very valuable. He could have sold it, could have made good money, could have kept Blackie for years for wool. He’d thought we would love this and didn’t understand these (primarily city) kids’ unnatural attachment to farm animals who are 95% functional, 5% pet. Miriam is still a vegetarian. I eventually recovered – Blackie would have been long dead by now.