Roasted Tomato Sauce to Make You Feel Things.

If you have a garden this year, you have a lot of tomatoes.  Tons of tomatoes.  Truckloads of tomatoes.  Tomatoes coming our of your EARS.

Or, maybe not.  Maybe you don’t have a garden.  In which case, I feel bad for you (son).

I’m sorry for your loss.

I started making this tomato sauce several years ago when we were living in our triple decker apartment in Somerville.  The walls had little insulation, so I would make this sauce on cold days to save on heat.  It takes time.  It’s a Sunday afternoon kind of sauce.  It’s a person-from-high-school-you-always-had-a-crush-on but-seemed-unavailable-in-some-way-so-you-let-it-go-and-reconnected-10-years-later-and-got-married kind of sauce.

It’s worth it.

It’s thick and creamy.  Naturally sweet from the caramelized sugars that seep from the tomatoes.  It’s savory and rich.  It will make you feel things in places your lover has never touched.  Yes.  Yes, right there.  Mmmm.

Let’s do this, you and me.

Roasted Tomato Sauce To Make You Feel Things

All The Tomatoes.  (Like, 10 pounds)

2+ BULBS of garlic. (Not cloves, bulbs.  Don’t make me come in there.)

Liberal Sprinkling of Salt (Think Bernie Sanders)

Generous Drizzle of Olive Oil

Light Dusting of Hot Pepper Flakes (if you care)


Here’s the deal.  This is a really fucking easy sauce to make.  It just takes time.

Cut all those tomatoes in half.  Don’t bother cutting out the tops or seeds, it’s all going to the same place.  Lay them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Peel the garlic and just plop it all in there with the tomatoes.  They are friends now.  Sprinkle on that Salt.  Drizzle on that Oil.  Yes. Just a bit more.  Good.  Time for those pepper flakes.  Excellent.

Put it in the oven at 250 degrees.

Ok, now go about your day.  For at least 4 hours.

I’m serious.

I said this will take time and I meant it.


A little longer.


When the tomatoes look shrunken and shriveled and glossy with oil, take it on out.  Put it in a food processor.  Make it look saucy.  Good.  It’s done.

Serve over pasta or “zoodles” or whatever it is that you eat.  Layer it into an Eggplant Parmesan.  Dollop it onto eggs.  Eat it from the container at 3am while you cry.  You do you.






On Grief and Gratitude

Gratitude is a gift.  Thankfulness is a buoyant yellow buoy to cling to in the dark and unpredictable ocean that is grief.  Grace shifts our perspectives and offers tiny fragments of light shining through the fog.

Grief affects each individual differently.  Through my process of grief, I have experienced anger.  Far more than any other time in my life.  Anger at the Universe.  Anger at a God I have never even believed to be there.  Anger at my situation.  Anger at the world.  Anger towards and strangers and loved ones.  This anger is not rational.  It is primal and illogical and fierce.  It seldom makes sense, nor does it serve a true purpose, but it is there and I acknowledge and accept it’s presence in my mind.

I learned quickly not to fight the thoughts and emotions that come with grief.  It is a frightening and confusing process.  It shifts our presence in the world.  Transitions us into altered patterns of thought and behavior.  It changes who we are on a molecular level.

I will not fight this change.

For a woman who tragically lost her soul-mate on a family vacation, I am a pretty lucky lady.  I have parents who love and support me.  I had a home to move my children into when our life in Madison shattered to pieces.  I have strong and loving circles of friends throughout the world that have kept me afloat through food, favors, labor, money, texts, physical presence.  I have the financial security that Tim set up even without the knowledge that he would die young.  I have house plants and warm blankets and comfortable clothing and hot water and sunlight and stars.

While I cannot control the events that have lead me to this place, I can control the choices I make moving forward.

So I choose healing.

I choose progress.

I choose to continue to care for myself and my children with gentleness and warmth and compassion.

I choose to move forward with love, focus, and gratitude.


Get Yourself Together Maple Pumpkin Pie

So today, we are going to make some pie.

When I first moved back to the Northeast Kingdom, I met a new friend who had also experienced profound grief.  A few years prior, she had lost her son when he died just a few weeks before his due date.  She told me, “Grief is like a soup.  Some people slurp it all down quickly and some people eat it bite by bite, but you have to eat it.”

I have carried that analogy with me…but instead, I think of grief as pie.

Because: Pie > Soup.

There are layers to it.  Different colors and textures and flavors as you go.  It’s a shitty pie.  The kind you buy in a sad, semi-dilapidated grocery store with no one working at the bakery and cracks in the floors.  It tastes bad.  It’s filled with stuff that is probably not good for you.  You have to eat it.

Well, this pie is not Sorrow Pie.  This pie is Get Yourself Together pie.  This is the pie I make with my kids to feel connected and happy and industrious.  This is the kind of pie you can proudly bring to neighborhood potlucks and finally impress your father with. This is the kind of pie you can eat in one sitting and only feel a little bit bad. Stop buying pie at sad grocery stores.  You’re an adult.  You probably do your own taxes and mow your lawn and push babies out of your lady bits.  You should know how to make pie.

You can do this.  Make this pie.


Get Yourself Together Maple Pumpkin Pie

1 Sugar/Pie Pumpkin

1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup

3 eggs

1.5 cups Whole Milk

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ginger

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Cloves

Butter Pie Crust

1.5 cups All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter

3-5 Tbsp Cold Water


Pie Crust: In a food processor, process the flour and salt.  Cube butter and pulse into dry ingredients until it forms a cornmeal like consistency.  Add water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together, soft and pliable, but not sticky.  Trust me, you can do this.  Roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap and press into pie pan.  Trim and crimp the edges.  Yes.  You’re being an adult.

Pumpkin Custard:  Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the guts.  Deal with it.  Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until soft (approx 45 min).  Let cool.

Scoop pumpkin into the food processor.  Add in the syrup, spices and eggs.  Puree until smooth.  Add in milk.  Puree.  (If you are doubling this recipe, only puree the pumpkin and mix the rest of the ingredients in in a large bowl. Don’t be like me and make a soupy mess because you’re impatient.). Pour custard mixture into butter pie shell.  Don’t you DARE use a store-bought crust, I didn’t raise you like that.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until set in the middle.  Cool.  Slice and enjoy.  You’re an adult.











Unexpected Second Life

I had my life planned.  It was a good plan.  It was an altruistic, fiscally responsible, family-friendly kind of plan.  It was a dependable and worthy plan.  My plan blew up.

I don’t have a plan anymore.

In May of 2017 I was a part time Music Therapist and full time Stay at Home Mom happily tending to the needs of my young children, cooking healthy dinners, doing mediocre housework and generally enjoying the life that comes from new babies and happy marriages in Madison Wisconsin.

In May of 2017 my husband and our two kids left for a three week East Coast Extravaganza!  A family adventure that would bring us to see most of our friends and family throughout the Northeast through a compact, kid-friendly and well thought out travel schedule.

In May of 2017, my husband died in a hospital room in New York City.

In May 2017, my life imploded in what continues to be the most profound, painful and mind-altering experience imaginable.  Welcome to my journey.  Welcome to the inner workings of my mind as I process, grieve, expand, continue.

Welcome to my unexpected second life.