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When I published Boys Themselves in 1996, I was discombobulated from all the unfamiliar stuff of interviews and the weird business of promotion, and I told my wonderful agent this, who said, “Of course you are, you’re publishing a book!” It hadn’t occurred to me that publishing a books was like … well, what is it like? You’re walking along a calm shady street, all’s right with the world, and then someone you kind of know pulls you into a carnival funhouse. And it is fun, a lot of fun, you meet new folks and interesting people ask you good questions about things that are really important to you. But it’s also disorienting and you come out the back door looking kind of like a tattered Gilligan. Or so it seems. Today, in support of Read On »

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If you don’t already know Joshua Weissman of Houston, he is the young author of The Slim Palate (also the name of his blog). It’s also a Paleo cookbook, but that’s beside the point (as far as I’m concerned). And yes, it’s a lovely book with intriguing recipes and photographs that floored Donna, especially given that Josh was 17 when he took most of them, and is only 18 now. When I got an email request to blurb the book, I thought little more than “Ugh, OK, send me a PDF, I’ll try to have a look.” And I did, and it was good, and I did a little more poking around on his site. My turn to be floored. Watch this excellent video to meet Josh and hear his uncommon story—he’s an inspiration. This is more Read On »

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  I awoke to a morning so deathly gray I felt I’d awakened in a cave. It wasn’t early, 7:30, not school-time early as spring break is still in effect. So the sun had surely risen but had there been no clock, it would have been anybody’s guess. Deep Cleveland winter drags on. Donna, light-sensitive and not used to such long sun withdrawals, is particularly affected by that light disorder thing, whose acronym I don’t even like to write, and wants to hibernate like a bear till May. Skip the cruelest month altogether. The grayness not only deepens the hay-hue of dull dead grass, freed from the snow at last, the brown tree branches, it dulls the senses as well. The wind outside my window, and inside my chest, blows with a kind of Last Read On »

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  “Mindfulness.” Being “mindful.” I wish I liked the word because the meaning behind this new-agey, woolly notion is important. What does it mean? If I were cranky, as I happen to be now, I’d tell you that it means, “Not being a dumbass.” Seriously, that’s my translation of being mindful. Is that mean-spirited? Well, sometimes that’s what it takes. How would I describe “mindfulness” to my 14-year-old-son (who is not a dumbass, he’s just 14)? I would say, “James, it means, Paying Attention. If that didn’t get through? PAY ATTENTION! THINK! (Thinking is an underrated activity, especially in America. Thinking is probably the most important cooking technique I know—why I devoted the first chapter of Ruhlman’s Twenty, a techniques cookbook, to it.) What got me started on this was watching the below TED Talk by Read On »

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Key Lime Daiquiri. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

  On annual vacay visiting Mom and trying, trying to take it easy before Egg promotional travels begin in April, thus this repost and old photo by my beloved (who’s currently lounging poolside). I’m posting the daiquiri because that’s what I love to drink when in Palm Beach, the place where I met Donna. Always a kind of anniversary for us when we’re here. This is a fabulous, simple elixir. One sip should make you want to strangle the person who invented the “frozen daiquiri.” What a travesty those slushy drinks are, further emblems of American idiocy. Hoping you’ll try this genuine cocktail (lime juice is perfect if you don’t have access to Key limes). Happy Friday all! Originally Posted February 1, 2013  This blast of arctic air and wind and snow and gray has Read On »

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