What beavery is this?

I’m in a group called the Crafty Beavers.

Beaver—a large, amphibious rodent of the genus Castor, having sharp incisors, webbed hind feet, and a flattened tail, noted for its ability to dam streams with trees, branches, etc.

How can I describe these beavers who craft? This has proven difficult for me in the past few days. So many halted starts and I can’t do the beavers justice.

How do I love the beavers? Let me count the ways.

A beaver by any other name would smell as . . wait, no. Dammit.

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Eating out, or, The lazy hostess

For the past two weeks, I have had houseguests. Dad and sister and my boyfriend, Charlie, all needing to be fed, even if they’re not expecting anything gourmet. They know me, after all. I have aunts who act surprised when I tell them I make homemade tortilla soup. And that only requires adding corn, chicken, and salsa to chicken broth, heating and stirring. My aunt and her wife are ridiculously good cooks; they will often whip up a “quick” dinner of hand-breaded chicken parmesan with homemade tomato sauce, and fondue for dessert. No big deal.

So I had big plans for my dad and sister and boyfriend last week—lemon chicken parmesan (which is my go-to fancy-sounding food), pad Thai, and for breakfast, they’d wake up to warm blueberry cobbler. Both the pad Thai and blueberry cobbler I’d only attempted once before and both had failed. The first time I made pad Thai, I ended up with an inch of noodles and peanuts and other detritus stuck to the bottom of the pan, so I just called it “smoke-infused” and choked it down. I hadn’t made the blueberry cobbler since high school, when I forgot to thaw the blueberries first and ended up with a blueberry juice, sugar, and raw dough stew. I can’t imagine why I thought making them again was a good idea.

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