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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Just your average Tuesday. | Main | One of many getting-up-at-midnight-to-pee conversations »

What not to make.

It was Friday night. There I was, at dinnertime. In front of me was a bunch of arugula. Instead of doing all the usual arugula-y things I do with arugula (known as "rocket" to some of you and "rucola" to others and "arugu-wha?" to a smattering), I decided to make arugula pesto. I like pesto, and I like arugula. Arugula pesto! I thought I was so smart.

After making it, I noticed that it tasted like a solvent, like it would eat straight through the countertop, should any of it spill. The arugula was especially strong. I noticed its awesome bitter powers before whirring it in the blender; post-whirring, with its fellow pesto ingredients, the bitterness had increased exponentially. Please note that I am highly tolerant of the bitter greens. And yet. Anyway, I thought maybe if I mixed it with ricotta cheese, we would be able to eat it and live. Henry, as you may know, abhors anything green (or anything non-white, for that matter) so he would have just plain ricotta cheese in his pasta, and would thus be spared. I had some whole-wheat rotini, which I thought would be okay with the diluted horror of the arugula pesto/ricotta cheese thing.

We all sat down to eat, and Scott declared the pesto delicious and me clinically insane. My husband will eat anything. He's a goat. Actually he's part goat. He once ate an entire plate of fiberglass insulation for dinner. I, on the other hand, have no goat relatives on either side, so I picked at my dinner. The ricotta cheese had just made the whole affair gritty and gloppy. The whole-wheat pasta wasn't helping it go down any easier. I had made us some kind of Green Penance Sauce on a High-Fiber Pasta of Penitence. It was scouring my insides. I might as well have gnawed on a steel-wool pad. Unfortunately, I was really hungry, and I ate more of it than I should have--the amount I should have eaten being "none."

As you may have guessed, my body revolted. Scott took Henry to bed as I lay on the couch, gasping. I marveled at the fascinating new sensations coursing through my innards. Were my intestines actually twisting around my esophagus? Because that's what it felt like. I'll never know. I took about fourteen Tums (translation: four) but it was no match for the pesto. The horrible pesto. In conclusion, I was up until 4 a.m. And I was sad. And that's my story.

But hey, things are looking up! Because tomorrow, my friends, tomorrow, Wondertime is coming to my house for a photo shoot. Perhaps you've heard about Heather Armstrong's anthology, Things I Learned About my Dad in Therapy. Well! My contribution to that is going to be reprinted in Wondertime, in their May issue. I'm ridiculously excited about both the anthology and the Wondertime publication. I don't want to give away the subject matter, but let's just say that for the photo shoot, there will be light sabers, and cinnamon buns will be affixed to the sides of my head. You can bet your sweet bippy I'll be back tomorrow to tell you all about it.

Reader Comments (47)

that sounds pretty awesome.

the photo shoot, not the pesto gone wrong with a side of tums.

may the force be with you.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersizzle
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara
Buns! It's my dream hair accessory/snack combo come true. I read about the book on dooce and I CAN NOT WAIT until it comes out. Congrats!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersheila
Sounds like roughage to the nth degree, to me. Talk about too much of a good thing...
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuburbanCorrespondent
My husband--who is not, as far as I know, part goat--also loves arugula with a passion I cannot understand. I can deal with a little bit in my baby greens, but that is as far as I'm willing to go. I salute your bravery in producing the pesto but am unsure as to why you decided to go ahead and eat it. I hope you're not doing things now just to make us all laugh in your blog posts.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
I think "Green Penance Sauce on a High-Fiber Pasta of Penitence" just got 5.5/6 stars on, though some reviewers chose to substitute tofu for ricotta for vegan-friendly indigestion.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMonoCerdo
I'm sorry your dinner turned out so badly. I had that happen recently with broccoli and it was ugly. I didn't know you could screw up broccoli but apparently I have special powers.

I am so jealous about Wondertime coming to your house. I LOVE that magazine. I can't wait to read your interview when it comes out.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone Being Me
Hey Alice, you might consider getting tested for gluten intolerance if this happens when you go for the wheat fiber...
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFatemeh
Ah, thanks for your concern, but usually the whole-wheat pasta goes down just fine. I blame the pesto. Although I think the wheatiness of the dinner didn't help matters.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Oh Alice, I just love you so much! Congratulations!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
Wondertime is really great. When my sis worked for a related publication she used to hook me up with free copies. It's a very sweet and well-designed parenting magazine, and it's fun to read. For real!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterS-Way
yr awesomeI love wondertime even though they rejected my brilliant ideas :) I love that mag mucho and they are lucky to have you grace the pages...Yr a star gal! Excited for the book too! Congrats!!!!!!!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy
"Green Penance Sauce on a High-Fiber Pasta of Penitenc"--That is perfect! I suppose the processing of the arugula releases its essential oils or something.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatience
That sounds like my nightmare! Sorry the penance sauce didn't work out but, hey, you have a photoshoot tomorrow!!!!! WOOO HOOO! Congrats!JulesHouse of Jules

February 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjules
You bet your sweet bippy? I LOVE IT!

Who else here remembers "Laugh In?"

As a child I used to do an imitation of Lily Tomlin doing her telephone operator bit for friends & family. "One ringy dingy...two ringy dingy..."

Whoa - I totally just dated myself.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichele Rowe
How do I get a job like yours? Love to read ya.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
Alice, that is exactly what wine was invented for: to chase your dinner, sit on its chest and hold it down.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Always be back tomorrow to tell us about everything, mama.

I want to know: was the pasta Barilla Plus? I...just...want to know.

And congratulations!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTina
P.S. I realize that chances are small that the brand of whole wheat rotini was the brand of whole wheat rotini I thought it might be. (I don't work for Barilla, I also want to say. I just eat for them. I'm hoping they were not involved in this dinner accident. I don't know where else to turn for whole wheat pasta that doesn't make me frown.)
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTina
That reminded me of your "How not to make a meatloaf" post a few years ago.
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreta C.
Wondertime?! I've never heard of it, but it must be good if they want you! Also, Tina, I think it was 'Brillo Pasta' not Barilla. Hee!(insert winky icon here.)
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGinny
Yay for you!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life
Sara -- who was that comic? I'd love to hear more! Dude's hilarious!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
Arugula pesto - sounds like it makes sense. I'm sorry that didn't work out for you. Personally, I like mine chopped up and then sprinkled on my pizza (after the pizza is cooked). Yum!
February 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJuju
I would understand if you never want to attempt an arugula pesto again. But, if you are ever feeling brave, and slightly masochistic I suggest trying it with 1 part basil, 2parts fresh baby spinach, and 1 part baby arugula. Go light on the garlic and use an olive oil blend (i would use less than 20%) not straight olive oil. romano cheese instead of parm, salt and pepper to taste. you get something that doesnt taste entirely like arugula but with enough flavor to be interesting and mild enough to not dissolve your stomach lining.
February 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

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