Allow me to show appreciation for the nursing mother — particularly the one at my house. Katie is the absolute best. Throughout every day and night, she makes sure McLain is happy and sated. She balances many delicate variables, and she invariably adapts as McLain’s needs change. When McLain isn’t happy, she takes it personally. Then she finds the solution.

Katie has only a couple more weeks at home before she goes back to work, and I know she is already preparing for her return to environmental engineering. Getting back into the world of DAF units, activated sludge, and flocculation will be easy for her. The hard part will be leaving that little guy at Ms. Rose’s house for his first day away from home.

McLain isn’t the only one eating well around here. We’ve all benefited from Katie’s time at home. During those scarce quiet hours of the day, when she isn’t nursing or otherwise engaged with McLain, she cooks. The kitchen here has been putting out five-star fare while Katie has been home.

I already covered Katie’s reasons for dreading her return to work, so now let me explain one of mine. I worry that the high culinary bar might be compromised when she is working 50+ hours a week, traveling on occasion, and spending all her other available time with her family.


Katie doing work with her deluxe shrimp and grits


Our family has had it really good lately. Here are some of the highlights from last week:

  • Grilled ribeyes, finished with truffle butter
  • Phanaeng curry chicken and potatoes (fresh cilantro and lime on the side)
  • Shrimp, pancetta, scallops and creamy grits
  • Roasted garlicky brussel sprouts and tomatoes
  • Grilled mushrooms, tossed in sherry vinegar
  • Spicy okra (one of Jackie’s favorites)
  • Banana-walnut-chocolate muffins
  • Cream cheese pound cake
  • Sweet potato pie