Shut Up and Eat! Tales of chicken, children and chardonnay
Okay you had me at chardonnay…
I recently read Kathy Buckworth’s humour memoir on feeding children. Really, this is subject matter that can ONLY be made into a humour memoir or else a miserable tragedy, so am glad she chose the former.
As her bio indicates, Kathy has written several humour books on parenting including The Blackberry Diaries: Adventure in Modern Motherhood (which I have not read because, well, I don’t have a Blackberry), Journey to the Darkside: Supermom goes Home (which I haven’t read yet either because I am still reeling from The Family Guy’s version of Star Wars and can’t venture to read a supermom’s rendition – even if it has nothing to do with Star Wars) and The Secret Life of Supermom (which I am decidedly NOT, so that too stayed too on the shelf). She also appears regularly on CTV’s CanadaAm (though as a working mom, I never get to see this, and if I am home, my choice for TV is seldom if ever considered).
But chardonnay? On that I DO consider myself an expert – she’s a woman after my own heart. Talking about kids in the same book title gave me pause to think but since the author is a mother of four, I guess she had to throw them in too!
I am a lover of books and of reading but every now and then I feel the need for a light read, a quick laugh and some reassurance that I am not the worst mother in the world and that’s what this book gave me.
How can you argue against gems of advice like?
On groceries: Go grocery shopping on a Friday night – only you and all the other loser parents are there.
On weekend kitchen rules: It should take one bowl, one measuring cup and one frying pan to make pancakes. Just sayin’.
On dinner: Most days I am absolutely thrilled if we can get through dinner without an explosive bodily function, head slap, or conversation that ends with one of my daughters stomping away and slamming a door”
Note: I finished the book and I don’t think she has quite accomplished that!
As an added bonus to her humour, she’s included actual recipes in this book! Well, okay, sort of, and no photos so don’t hold your breath. But coming from someone has spent $50 on a cookbook only to flip through the pages like a toddler looking at the pictures, if I use but one recipe from this book and had a few laughs, then it was worth the purchase (see Pork Tenderloin, p. 98, Creamy Pizza Fondue, p 99 and Crockpot Peanut Chicken, p. 106).
Kathy extols the virtue of dessert as a bribe, which I shamefully admit to having done as well, though my Clean Plate Ranger treats no longer make a appearance as often given my kids are now 11, 14, and 15 (they wish, though).
Because she’s funny, I shall forgive her potshots at American State Fair cuisine for we cannot no longer take pride in our country’s health statistics given that almost a quarter of Canadians are now considered obese [Stats Can] – not far off the similar percentage of 33.8% of Americans [CDC]. Alas, I only protest that she forgot to mention Deep Fried Mars Bars and poutine. Sigh.
Where I sometimes long for a book in which to wrap myself around lyrical prose and linguistic magic, in this light-hearted book, I found solace in Kathy’s attitude toward feeding kids, her commitment to eating regularly as a family, and knowing I could probably entertain her well at my home confident she wouldn’t stress over the errant dog hair on her plate – providing I had plied her well with chardonnay beforehand, of course!
So if you happen to be in the mood for a quick, funny read just Shut Up and Eat! No, I mean shut up and read, and pick up a copy of Shut Up and Eat! And pass the chardonnay, while you’re at it!
What is your favourite food at the Fair?