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Dearest Reader,

Don’t go away!

Fine. You can go away, grab a snack – then maybe another snack – and then come back.

Just putting the icing on the new Simmer. We’ll be up and rolling soon!

Yours in all-butter goodness,



Something is Simmering!

Well hello! Just a note to say that yes indeed, something is simmering.  After a long and sleepy absence marked by travel, procrastination, and too many donuts, Simmer Till Done is – finally – on its way back. Watch for news of the redesigned, revamped, rebooted Simmer. And when I say rebooted, I mean several well-meaning people had to boot me to get this done. And I love them for it.


In the meantime: enjoying your summer? Sweltering along, hitting the road, watching the Olympics? That meatball up there is going for high dive gold.

If you are not my mother and are still waiting around for Simmer, I can’t thank you enough. Back soon.



Happy Holidays to you, my Simmer friends. Peace on earth and good will toward all! All except the malicious spam-creature that is continually sucking good tidings from this blog.

Yes. Somewhere, deep within world spam headquarters, an extremely small-hearted bot decided that Simmer would be a good place to nest. Simmer Till Done is under spam attack. Serious spam. You know the kind I mean – male-pharmaceutical pick-me-up last-for-four-hours spam. Several weeks ago I began seeing unusual search terms. I usually see searches for “spritz cookies” or “Cleo’s pumpkin biscuits” or, may she rest in egg noodle peace, “Aunt Rose’s kugel.” What I don’t see too often: “how do I get free Viagra from Canada?”

What does it mean? It means links to this blog don’t work well, and our subscriber list is shot. It means every word I type* is attached to Internet ads for medical male assistance. It means when legitimate kugel-bakers Google a Simmer recipe, they now find odious pharmaceutical spam. It is most discouraging. What would Aunt Rose think?

Sigh. Let’s just look at latkes.

I feel better already.

The tech elves are working to fix Simmer – but I should note that this is the last post until we’re hack-free. The next time you read Simmer Till Done it will – hopefully – have a new design, spam-free archives and a happy, refreshed writer at the helm. In the meantime, I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons, full of golden potatoes and tart applesauce, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding or a marvelous onion-soaked brisket, like the one Cleo is so interested in, below:

Sigh (second sigh). Why can’t Labradors provide tech support?

* not every word you type, just me. Feel free to add your spam-safe commiseration.

To give is better to receive, and to give the gift of coffee is almost as good as drinking it yourself.  Here’s a tiny little no-craft craft (for even the least crafty among us) that you can use for birthdays, holidays, or any day you feel guilty about all those paper java jackets.

You will need: a coffee gift card, a java jacket, double-sided tape, and a birthday (or other holiday) card

1. Place a small piece of double-sided tape between bottom “seams” of the java jacket. Press together. Now you have a flat “pocket.”

2. Place another piece of double-sided tape on the back of java jacket “pocket,” and press into birthday card.

3. Place coffee gift card in pocket. (If card slides around, use a tiny piece of double-sided tape on back of gift card to keep in place)

4. Gift your happy, caffeinated, amazed friend.

And you didn’t think you were crafty. Feel like getting crazy? Like using a hole punch? Try the pretty-pretty version.

Punch two holes in top of java jacket. Pull ribbon through. Tie bow. Pretty!

Sparkly version? Use decorative stick-on gems.

And there we have it. A no-craft craft that reuses, reduces, recycles, and keeps your caffeinated friends happy.

Why would I bother doing this? For what it’s worth, I support our local coffee shops and drink many a cappuccino there. But I like that frothy Starbucks froth, and enjoy it on occasion. Now and then.
mpn cups
It’s not like I have a problem or anything.

Happy Third Anniversary, you crazy blog of mine.

To honor three food-and-tale-filled blogging years, let’s revisit a reader favorite: from May 13, 2009, here’s a story about my friend Andie, and also Andie’s mom and Judy Blume, and what we learned about men from them both.



Original post and comments found here.

{ A Mother’s Day tale }

ForeverIn 1978 just three types of contraband existed for me and my pal Andie Lerner: shoplifted Bonne Bell makeup, those curious magazines in our brothers’ rooms, and Judy Blume’s teen sex novel, Forever. But at eleven, I feared juvenile cosmetics prison and declined the five-finger discount; despite many examinations of our brothers’ covert reads, Andie and I weren’t quite clear on the attraction; and finally, though we’d heard the title whispered and wanted it desperately, we were not wise to the horizontal goods in Forever. We were not actually wise to anything.

What we were was clueless, but lucky – a copy was circulating in our classroom by day, and pedaling home to bedrooms at night. The smudged paperback moved desk to desk – when Mrs. Endicott turned to the board, one girl slid it to the palms of another, and by the time she turned back, the deal was done. Math resumed with two flushed faces, one triumphant and one hopeful – and one day during fractions, the palms belonged to Andie. It was Friday afternoon, and our eyes locked in telegraphed plan: sleepover, toaster-oven snacks and a cover-to-cover inspection – no falling asleep like last time, Andie - of Forever.

Andie lived two houses down from our split-level, in a rambling old Tudor. Her family snacked on flax bread, and ate lentil soup in hand-thrown pottery crocks. Wide oak stairs led to a sunny living room crammed with macrame plants and art books and an enormous black Steinway, on which Andie’s dad would balance a glass of red wine and frequently bang out jazz. My own dad liked to browse tax law, so I found it all thrilling, right up to the day Mr. Lerner met a young woman and left the grand piano – and Mrs. Lerner – behind. Andie’s mom started wearing bangles and scarves and higher heels, and buying potato chips, and was never home. Mr. Lerner’s unfortunate weakness had built a premier sleepover destination.
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