We are HERE. 
We're HERE and it's 13 and I'm worried. 
I'm really worried. 
I'm worried because I don't know what's coming next and if 12 taught me anything it was that predicting things is impossible impossible impossible. 

 I'm scared about the future, because it is big. 

But it's okay. 

It's okay, because I've got a lot of hopes: 

I hope you're doing OK. 
I hope you've got dreams up your sleeves and plans drawn in blue pencil, and datebooks that are full of important events, and I hope there are people you want to meet and talk to and laugh with and kiss and sleep with, and I hope there are clean socks, and nice showers. I hope the soap smells mighty fine, and that your siblings win at life. 
I hope you get the girl, love the boy, live the dream. 
I hope you learn how to pray, wear the false eyelashes, and don your party hats of newspaper and flowers.
 I hope you go out, and I hope you get drunk.
 I hope you get wasted. 
I hope you write something nice, and I hope you make the right/wrong decision. And I hope you preserve your sense of self in this mad world, where everyone 
pushes you and pulls you and pushes you and pulls you. 
I hope you sleep well. 
Read more. 
Dance more. 
I hope you stay up until 3 am, talking under twinkle lights. 
I hope you wear a pair of killer shoes, and help someone unexpected, and I hope you tell everyone how much you love them. 
Because life is too short. 
I hope you eat more breakfast tacos, and drink the right amount of coffee so that you're not anxious, just jazzed. 
I hope you don't hurt too much. 
I hope you're not lonely. 
I hope you sing a lot. 
I hope you figure it out. 
I hope you are under the right disco ball in the right room in the right bar in the right city at the right time.

I hope 13 is lucky. 
Oh Beloveds. 
I hope it's a year to remember. 


Catherine Newman's Donut Cake

The recipe promised that if I made this cake, my house would smell like donuts. 

That was reason enough. 

So I made the cake. I beat the butter and sugar together, I was careful. I even sifted the flour. I put the cake in the oven. 

And I waited for my house to smell like donuts. 

It didn't. 

I wondered if it was because my nose had somehow gotten accustomed to the smell, so I stepped outside and crumpled sage and rosemary between my fingers, and smelled it, to try and freshen things up. And I came back inside, and for the briefest hint of a second, I could smell the donut smell-- like yeast and sugary glaze, which quickly faded into the background scent of my house and the eggs my father made for breakfast. 


Nothing is ever quite the way you think it will be. I don't know what I've expected for this summer, but it is different than I thought it would be. I don't know if I'm disappointed exactly, no disappointment can ever quite match the sadness of your house not smelling like donuts when it's supposed to, but there's a vague sense of something missing right now. And I'm not quite sure what it is. 

I wasn't quite sure what this cake would be like. 
It ends up that this is a very, very simple cake. 
A plain cake. There is no frosting, no extraneous steps. Just. Cake. It does not have the consistency of a donut. It does not waft donut smells, it's very name promises to be something that it's not. 

But you know what?

This cake is about as close to perfection as a truly simple cake can be. 

I think there is a moral or story here. 

I think I need to learn it good. 


Catharine Newman's Donut Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake
Darling, I am not kidding. This cake really is just beautiful. It would be especially lovely with some blueberries or strawberries, either mixed into the batter or served with a tall glass of cold whole milk or whipped cream. 
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, and set it aside.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then add in the vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Make sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next, but don't over-beat it at the end. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top.
4. Bake until the top is puffed and golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving warm or room temperature.


                                        my sweet city


I am writing you because I can't sleep. That's a lie. I don't even have my pajamas on. I just have this intense fear of trying to fall asleep. Sleep itself is great. But trying to fall asleep? Don't even get me started. I hate hate hate trying to fall asleep. I spend a lot of time pregaming sleeping- I attempt to coax my brain into quiet, so I watch movies, read, stretch, listen to music, clean. But mostly I write. That's my explanation of what I'm doing here right now. 

I like it in movies when someone says, "HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM." Actually, the only movie anyone has ever said that in is Apollo 13 with Bill Murray, I think, which was actually a very traumatic film for me because being lost in space ranks among my greater fears. 

I was never meant to be an astronaut. 

Anyways, I'm telling you "HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM," because I have just not been feeling the food love lately. 
We call this Problem City. 
And I supposedly write a blog about food, which is ridiculous, because for the past year I have not talked about food at all, mostly I've written about MOI. 
We call this Oversharing. 

Anyways, I know it is summer (a fact I frequently repeat to myself) and I am trying to ease back into the life of being a normal person who goes to bed at normal times and eats regular foods. And I have been returning to the old things that gave and still give me joy, things such as cooking that I wasn't able to do very much this year. But my hunger to truly EAT has kind of died since coming home. Don't get me wrong, I eat all the time and enjoy it greatly. But the desire and excitement to try new recipes and to really spend time in the kitchen is kind of gone right now.

That said, here are some pleasantly summery things I plan to cook for you:

Doughnuts, pref. jelly filled or cake
Healthful smoothies that are green
Ice Cream
Something grilled
Homemade pasta

SO. That's all. Just so you know. I have to go to bed. I will sleep now.
I will tell you more about everything later. 



I keep trying to collect my thoughts.

I keep wanting to SUM IT UP.

To say,

here is what I have learned, and this is what I've felt, and this is what people are like sometimes, and goodness how time passes so so so quickslowquickly, and isn't the world so fucking confusing.


But there's just too much.

It's impossible to sum up.

I started working in a restaurant as a hostess, and so far, my favorite part of the job is drying the silver. I like that there is a big box of wet knives and forks and THREE different kinds of spoons, and all I have to do is wipe them dry. And once I have dried them I have accomplished something:


I like that. I like the tactile simplicity of it. It is not complicated. It does not require my brain. And I like that the restaurant hums around me, and I dry spoons and loose myself in just being.

I like that I can just be.

I don't have a recipe for you. I have not been cooking. How I miss it.

What I really wanted to say is: I'm still here.

I am 19 years old and 2 months today.
I do not know where I am going.
I don't know what I'm doing.
And I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow or the next day.
I know that I like to sing and I like to dance and I like to write and I like to talk and I like to be hugged and I like to be kissed and I like to be loved and I like to eat and I like people and I like you and I like being.

And I like drying spoons.