oil and vinegar

May 12, 1996 was a Sunday. Mother’s Day.

It was also the day that my husband and I eloped.

Today is our 25th anniversary. Our silver jubilee!

Last night at 10:40pm my husband of a quarter of a century said,” what do people do for their 25th anniversary? A party or something?”

He’s all mine ladies. Has been for multiple lifetimes according to some. Let me explain.

Because I like to throw money away, I go to a lot of psychics and readers. One of these readers told me that Joe and I have been married before. Many times. During many lives.

Really? Us? I loved hearing it and yet instantly doubted it.

“That’s so funny because really we are like oil and water” I said,” very different”

The reader took both my hands (this was way before Covid) and looked me dead in the eyes.

“Oil and water? No no, that’s not right. You are oil and vinegar. You emulsified. Transformed. You are perfect together” she said.

I cried ofcourse. And gave her a big tip. All these years I walked around thinking we were oil and water. Never mixing. Two different to combine. She turned it upside down. Or maybe she right sided it. She may have been a total hoax, I’ll never know. I didn’t go back to her again. I was afraid the magic moment would never happen twice.

So today, to celebrate this union of salad dressing, I thought I’d share some moments from our 25 years. These pictures doesn’t show the fights and pain and anger and sorrow – which are in between these happy moments.

It’s been good and bad and better and worse. It’s been everything you can probably imagine and everything you’ll never know. Thanks for letting me share.

How it started…

90s dorm room fashion! Denim on Denim
He went to an empty classroom and surprised me with this. I walked out of my class to go to the next one and he was there, waiting to show this to me. Creepy and cute
So many questions with this one. 1) Why did we feel the need to take a pic in front of Walmart? 2) We brought a camera to Walmart? 3) Who the heck took the pick?

We graduate and elope!

May 12, 1996, East Hampton NY
This is where our honeymoon pic should be. But because we eloped so quickly the first trip my new husband took was with his best friend to London and Amsterdam. Every new marriage should start with a trip apart. Not
This was a year later. Our honeymoon trip to Bermuda. I look at this pic and only see my healthy, shiny hair. I have issues.

This next set of pics is called – BABIES HAVING BABIES (on purpose)

Kera in my big belly, our NYC railroad apartment
Sure! Stand in the middle of Lexington Ave in NYC with a newborn in your hand. Totally safe. You’re in good hands baby girl!
Jack in my big belly, Fishkill, NY

Since it’s my Jubilee (said like Elaine says fiancé on Seinfeld), I’m going to be indulgent and keep sharing…

Joe told us he was taking us to tour Martha’s Vineyard. In reality we toured all the spots they filmed the movie Jaws. I was less than pleased.
Brussels for the day. We took the metro from Paris. Everyone spoke English.
Ugly sweater contest that I won but my neighbor stole the votes (I know what you did Jeff!)
I now like a beach thanks to this man. I also like an umbrella, a visor, and SPF 100.
One of my favorite pictures. Nothing makes him happier than a belly full of steak. I think I had creamed spinach that night. Thanks for nothing Peter Lugers.

The years, the months, the hours. I remember every minute of it, and yet it’s a blur! From the missteps we made, to the mountains we moved together, I’m so happy we went for it.

Love you Joseph.

RIP Small Talk

So the last post was about unwanted conversations and maybe this is part 2? Or a prequel? It’s connected for sure.

I don’t know what’s going on but I’m finding myself much less willing to chit chat.

I’ve never loved small talk but lately I have no use for it.

Last week I joined a call early and found myself alone with someone I barely know at work. She started the usual weather convo and I just couldn’t do it.

I asked her how she survived Covid. Did she get sick? Did she know anyone that did? Does she live alone?

Let’s just say she was surprised by the direction of the conversation. I think her response was,” yeah it’s ok” before someone else joined and she was put out of her misery.

Maybe it’s because last year brought me all the feels. Sadness. Anger. Stillness. Joy. How am I expected to come out of a Global Pandemic and a social justice juggernaut unaffected?

I can’t talk to you about weather! We were just in a fox hole making banana bread to avoid the news. Don’t you have PTSD when you look at puzzles like I do? We’ve changed together haven’t we?

I want to know more about you. And faster.

Did you spend last year alone? Or where you trapped with your family?

Did you think it was a hoax? Or did you wash delivered groceries in the garage with gloves on?

Did you get a pet or a therapist or both? I need to know.

Are you like me, feeling optimistic and ready to party? Or are you still cautious and taking it slow?

I sound like a lot. Maybe I’m the unwanted conversation now.

I don’t want to sound cheesy and say that I’m appreciating things more and enjoying things more – but I kinda am.

I still don’t want to hear an Uber driver tell me his deepest darkest racist thoughts. But I do want to get to know my people more.

And by my people I mean the ones in my life. For whatever reason. Work. Friendship. Family. I’m done with small talk. That’s PC to me. Pre-Covid.

Some of you won’t notice a change at all – because we’ve always gone deep. But others I admit I can do better with.

I have always been a pretty forthcoming person. I’m a bad liar so I avoid it most of the time, which is a good thing. But I’m also bad about bringing up tough stuff. I have a habit of keeping things “light”. I want to change that up a bit. I mean there will still be time for vapid, silly rabbit holes about Bravo shows and I’ll never let go of Tik Tok – but it’s time for balance, I think.

I hereby pledge to not ask surface, generic questions. I promise to listen – really listen – not just think of a response as you’re talking. I promise to ask more things about you and talk less about me. And I promise not to take you for granted. Not for a minute. I’ve missed our time together and if we get it back – I’m using it better.

Don’t be scared. It sounds intense but it won’t be. It’ll just be Big Talk. Deep Talk. Fun Talk. Sad Talk. Real Housewives Talk. Anything but Small Talk.

Are you in?

Unwanted conversations – a series

Are you the victim of unwanted conversations? Do you often become the ear for folks who have no one else to talk to or who’ve driven all their friends and family away? Do you have strangers coming up to you, acting like they’ve known you for years? If you answered yes to any of these questions, come sit by me. I have a ton of stories for you. Let me share 2 of my recent favs:

Conversation 1:

Some quick background on this one.

We traveled for the first time in over a year. On a plane! To a beach! It was glorious. We had so much fun. We went to Cocoa Beach. I had many judgements about it prior to landing. Florida isn’t my fav (except Miami, West Palm, Boca… and maybe Naples). Orlando lands at the very tippy bottom of places I’d like to go. But some good friends invited us and I loved it. I was completely wrong. We stayed right on the water and had a magical time (no mouse ears to be found).

I expected a lot of mask rule breakers down there – I was wrong about that too. People were, for the most part, masked when asked.

In general my philosophy about masks and vaccines is consistent. You do you. I’ll do me.

Once the people I cared for most were fully vaccinated, I forgot about everyone else. Which sounds… not nice, but it’s meant to be more…carefree.

I really don’t care if you don’t believe in masks. I don’t care if you believe Bill Gates is chipping me (jokes on you, it was Steve Jobs and he chipped me on June 29, 2007 when he got me hooked to this little appendage in my hand).

I am the mama to two kiddos. Those are the only people I owe a lesson in humanity and science to. The rest of you are on your own.

So when I see an unmasked person in a store, I go about my business. I have mine on. I’m good. This is also my philosophy for most things now. I have no desire or inclination to preach or lecture to you about legit anything. Unless you’re my aforementioned kids, who I’ll preach to all day and they contractually have to listen.

Back to the conversation.

On our way to the airport from the perfect stay – clean beaches, sweet people – we called an Uber.

BTW – we’d taken multiple Ubers while down there and each of the drivers was a….shall we say….”characters”. But in all good ways.

This guy was immediately different. He hopped out of his car and announced that he didn’t believe in masks and he was fine with us not wearing one. We smiled and thanked him and got in the car. My husband and I are both fully vaccinated and so were relieved to take our masks off inside.

Then he started talking. And didn’t stop for 45 minutes. He didn’t even need us, so maybe it was less of a conversation and more of speech. His biggest issue seemed to be with gender identity. Why and how did that topic come up? Who knows! Morons know how to weave all their hatred together in genius ways.

He was stuck on transgender. What are we supposed to call them? He? She? They? He went on and on.

I asked him if he has a lot of transgender people taking his ride. He said no. He’s never met any. Hmmmm. Ok. Me either, I said. “So when do you run into this problem?” I asked. He ignored the question and went on.

Was it my job to educate him? I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I am still learning. I just googled what Cisgender means yesterday for gods sake. This is what I should have done. I should have told him what I do when I don’t know something about a subject – I shut the F up. That’s my go-to response. That needs to be more people’s go-to response.

By this time my husband had put on earphones and was taking a nap. Bastard.

I almost felt like this driver was waiting for me to get all this out. Or was this speech just on demand and he started it as soon as a new passenger came in? I didn’t know how to stop it. I thought being stone cold silent would send the message that I don’t want to talk to you. I just want you to take me to the airport. It didn’t work.

I finally took my phone out and started pretending to type. It worked.

Steve Jobs saved me again. Or was it Bill Gates?

Conversation 2

Yesterday we had someone at the house who needed measurements from our bedroom window down to the patio. I told him the master bedroom was the first one off the stairs to the left.

He smiled and said a friend of his just told him you can’t say “master bedroom” anymore because it refers to language used during slavery.

It does? I hadn’t heard that. None of the 1,000 podcasts I listen to everyday to make me smarter talked about that.

I looked it up. Turns out that Sears invented the term in the 20s. The word itself goes back even further. It has many many meanings and ways of usage. Let’s assume the worst?

So someone at Sears, I’m guessing a dude invented the word, was a massive jerk who wanted to embed a racist term while trying to sell sheets? Maybe? Maybe not.

Last July, a real estate company in Houston announced they would stop using “master bedroom” in their marketing materials. Many others followed suite and claimed wokeness.

Remember last July? Most of us just learned about institutional racism a month or two before thanks to a 15 year old. Now we’re equipped to start erasing words from the English language??

And I love that the “fix” is in marketing. Genius. Don’t worry about red lining or the landlords that won’t sell to people of color. Please fix the marketing lingo! That’ll do it.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. I’m not black. I don’t know if words like master ring differently to different ears. I just think maybe we should talk about it a little more. Before dismissing it.

Most importantly, does this mean I can’t sing Master of House from Le Miz? Stop the madness!

Also – why do I have to talk about this with my construction guy? I just wanted to tell you where to go to measure the stupid window for our stupid reno. Come on!

This happens all the time. People need to share I guess (says the girl who writes the blog where she thinks people need her to share lol).

I can’t be the only one this happens to? I need a resting bitch face. Although I wear a mask outside so maybe I need resting bitch eyes.

Can anyone relate?

A Lovely Day

This past weekend my sister-in-law Colleen got married.

It was a picture perfect day. Not a cloud in the sky. Not too cold but not too warm either.

She got engaged almost 3 years ago and began planning the wedding of her dreams. Little did she know that all our plans and dreams would be put on hold last year. It was devastating. But we got through it.

This was her first wedding. And at our age you would have thought she’d be a bit more jaded, or “over it” by now. But not Colleen. She leaned in. Big time.

All the customs, all the touches were there. She thought through every detail and every experience. No small touch was forgotten.

I was so touched when she asked me to be her maid…errr….matron of honor. Not that she needed any help at all – this was her vision through and through and she did all the work.

She’s been through all the big moments of my life together and I was so happy to be there, by her side for her big day.

I wrote my speech to the newlyweds in about 10 minutes. It was so easy. Because knowing her is easy. Being loved by her is easy. And loving her is especially easy.

Here’s what I said:

For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Colleen’s sister-in-law Neha

I’ve known her since I was 19 years old

I met her when she came to visit her brother in college

And if you know Colleen, you know you only have to meet her once to become fast friends

She immediately takes you in, tells you she loves you and makes you feel like you’ve known her for a 100 years

No one is an acquaintance and everyone is lovely

Lovely is her favorite word. And it’s completely appropriate because Colleen is a romantic

She believes in love and romance and all the good things in the world

I’ve known her through really good times and really sad times, and one thing remains the same

To Colleen… the world is lovely

I remember when she told us she wanted to be a nurse, it kind of came out of nowhere but it made sense.

Nurses are kind, patient, caring and committed. Those words all describe Colleen

So, she put herself through school and earned more degrees than almost anyone in our family

She stood by me when I married her brother. And when my kids were born, she was the most loving and devoted aunt

Things haven’t always been easy for her; like all of us, she’s had her share of sadness

But it was one of those sad days that brings us to this happy night

Colleen was at our house going through a rough time. I heard her go out to the backyard to take a call

Through the kitchen I could hear her laughing and see her smiling – first smile in days

When she came back in, I asked who she was talking to and she said,” oh that’s an old friend Tim Brown”

Tim who? We’d never heard of him

But he made her so happy during a time she was so down, so I already liked him

That was a few years ago, and together they’ve built a beautiful home and life together

We were lucky enough to be there when Tim proposed and she said yes

And now he’ll become the lucky guy that gets be with the most kind, most generous and loving person you’ll ever meet

Welcome to Colleen’s lovely world Tim – we’re so happy to have you!

When we didn’t know what to do with our eyebrows yet
My shotgun wedding
Welcoming Jack into the world
Kera with her Godmother Colleen
The happy couple!

9 years older and none the wiser

I can’t believe this blog is 9 years old. I don’t feel a day over 2.

I highly recommend writing a blog. It’s super fun. You get to pretend people want to hear what’s on your mind. You get to spout off the nonsense that’s rattling in your head.

Most days I have nothing to write about. Other days there’s so much to say.

I have a dozen posts in drafts that never saw the light of day. Mostly because they were awful. You’re welcome.

So 9 years went by. I took breaks. Long ones. But I’ll still celebrate the milestone. Besides my kids I haven’t grown anything for 9 years.

What will the 10th year bring?? More cooking posts? More skincare posts? More deep, intelligent thoughts about Oprah and bread? Yes. All of it.

Why don’t you write a blog? I’m telling you it’s easy. You can do it. I’ll read it. I’ll be your first follower.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for all the texts and notes about the posts I’ve written. I love doing it.

Lookout for the WMEP Podcast coming soon… JK JK

Don’t try to buy milk at a hardware store

Isn’t that a great line? It’s not mine.

Heard it yesterday from a not-that-old wise woman in my life.

It fits so much of what I struggle with sometimes. All the time.

Why am I buying milk (or milk substitute in my case) from the hardware store?

It’s not the store’s fault. The store has told me very clearly what they sell. Hammers, nails, tools etc. Why do I keep walking in expecting other things?

I’m not really talking about milk. Or hardware stores. But you knew that.

I’m talking about people, I’m talking about jobs, about relationships, and situations. I’m talking about my day to day shock and awe when someone or something turns out exactly as advertised. No surprises.

I’m an optimist, I think. Actually I’m a wanna be optimist. I want to believe that everything has a best intention and that if it goes South, well, that is not the norm.

Back in 1991 I fell in love with a dude who is most certainly not an optimist. He’s suspicious. Of everything. And everyone. All the time. He expects things to go South…daily. Forget milk. This is the guy who thinks the hardware store isn’t even a hardware store. I believe it comes from his upbringing. I wonder if we surveyed all the people who grew up in New York City or any city, we’d find similar traits. Last week a can opener went missing and he was convinced it was “stolen”. By who? Why? Where? Can’t find a screwdriver? Probably stolen.

In the last few decades we’ve rubbed off on each other. He’s become surprisingly upbeat. He’s opened up to being very social and outgoing. The person who would dread dinners and plans with people, now loves them. He’s rubbed off on me too. I’m a bit more skeptical and cautious. Not a bad thing.

I grew up in a bubble. The bubble was made up of carbs and sitcoms. When I left that bubble I went to the movies. Not to see gritty dramas about life in the mean streets, no no no. I went to go see every cheesy teen flick that came out. This was before rotten tomatoes started ruining my good time. I saw tons of rotten movies. Loved every minute.

So the part of my brain that should have developed some hard lessons about life and people and reality basically played 80’s theme songs in a loop. Vapid but happy.

Junior and senior year of high school were different. Different people. Different experiences. Carbs and sitcoms replaced by… well… other things.

Those are the years I started my slow and steady stockpile of expectations. A long list of demands from the universe and everyone in it. I wanted. I deserved. I demanded.

Sometimes it worked. Most times it didn’t. But I kept it up.

Those lists of demands only grew when I had kids. Oh boy did they grow.

Once they came I couldn’t imagine anyone not being completely taken with them. Who wouldn’t want to spend all their time with my angels?? Turns out…lots of people. Not everyone is cut out to show the amount of love and attention you expect people to shower your kids with. Most are capable of the minimum. But I didn’t get that. I loved the people who loved my kids. End of story. It was a simple equation for me. If you didn’t make time for them, there was no time for you.

It was harsh. Too harsh. I didn’t know that those people, the ones who never checked in on my kids, the ones who treated them like side props, I didn’t know that that was the best they could do. They didn’t know they had to do more. No one ever told them. They had no milk. If that’s what I needed, I had to look elsewhere. Didn’t mean they were bad people. It just meant they had different things to offer me.

Oh the hours of mental torture I could have saved myself if I just let it go! I’m not saying be a pushover. It’s good to have expectations of people and situations- I have LOTS of expectations. And standards. I still have a very high level that I need people, places and things to meet. But not all people. Not all things. It’s freeing to realize that my level of demands and expectations has a wall. It cannot and will not always be met.

Maybe that job won’t ever realize your worth? Maybe you’ll have to leave. Maybe that partner you have will never want to travel to Africa, go with a friend instead. Maybe we can’t expect it all in one place or thing or person. It’s frustrating. I want the all-in-one model. The Target, the Wal-Mart model. But there are no all-in-one people. No all-in-one jobs. There is no all-in-one life.

This is not revolutionary thinking. You’ve heard this all before. But I always need a reminder when I find myself slipping, being angry.

I have to take a moment and think. I have to make sure. Make sure I’m walking down the right aisle. Make sure I’m in the right store. Sometimes I am. When I’m not – I leave. There are other options.

Thank you Kathy ❤️

Diet tips…Vol.1

First have a healthy, balanced dinner.

Then walk to the kitchen, pass a pizza pie your 17 year old with a metabolic rate of a cheetah ordered as a snack and keep walking.

Loop around, go back into the kitchen once he’s done and spy the box.

Because being wasteful is bad, decide to not throw out the leftover slice. But since you’re also literally trying to walk your ass off, only cut off a small piece. Go back to watching tv.

Loop around. And again.

And again.

Calories consumed in small pieces don’t count. It’s a law.

When finished delete your 17 year olds door dash account to show him who’s boss and project your anger and guilt.

Here’s the tale visually

Vol. 2 coming soon… how to eat a donut in 29 bites.

I had a dream

No. Not that kind of dream. I wish I was having important, philosophical dreams of social justice and reform.

My dream was that I cleaned the kitchen. That’s right. Even in my dreams I’m cleaning the kitchen. I emptied the dishwasher. I wiped the counters. I swept the floor.

It’s not enough that this is what I do a hundred times a day in real life. Now I’m cleaning the kitchen in my dreams.

What is going on? I don’t usually remember my dreams. I’m a pretty deep sleeper. Well.. obviously not deep. Heavy sleeper.

I need to think sexier thoughts going to bed. This is just sad. I even had my favorite all-purpose solution bottle. The homemade one my husband gave me that says, Neha’s allpurpose solution. That was in my dream. It’s Mr. Clean blue concentrate with water. Color should be light light blue. You’re welcome.

I have been spending a lot of time on my favorite Instagram page, gocleanco. Maybe that’s it. Do you follow them? You should you filthy animal.

No worries. I’ll just spend the day asking the internet why I’m dreaming about what I’ll be doing all day anyway. The internet will know why. Worse case I’ll go to TikTok.

Happy Sunday. Hope you dreamt about Brad Pitt or finding a cure for cancer. Don’t worry about me. Maybe tonight I’ll clean the toilet in my dreams. I’m fine. Send help.

Oprah, Meghan&Harry, and things that are bothering me

You know what I thought you’d enjoy on this sunny, warm day? A list of crap that annoyed me in the last few days. You’re welcome!

  • Ok Oprah isn’t bothering me. What’s bothering me is all the posts I’m reading about how great of an interviewer she is, how good she was at getting info, how masterful she is, blah blah blah. Who is just figuring this out?? I guess everyone born in the 2ks? Well I’m here to tell you that this is no surprise to any Gen Xer. What you fools got for 2 hours last Sunday, we got EVERY DAY. Every day. 4pm. Oprah’s on! Where’s everybody gone? Oprah’s on! Who remembers that jingle? Every day we got Oprah. She covered all the topics. It could be a hard hitting abuse story, a celebrity interview, or it could be her rolling out a cart of fat talking about her weight loss. You never knew what you were going to get. It was awesome. Sure, now you have Ellen and Hoda and Dr. Phil (he bothers me) – but they don’t compare to the big O. Is she a wacko? Ofcourse she is. But she loves bread. She’s been on Weight Watchers for 100 years and still looks exactly the same. We know more about her BFF Gail then her man Stedman, but who cares, he seems like a bore anyway. If you’re coming out of fog with some new respect for the queen O, welcome. Join the many who have followed her every wig-wearing move since we rushed home, cracked open a Diet Coke and ate a “fat free” loaf of bread while we watched her show.
  • Meghan & Harry…where to begin. First and foremost – the racist attacks that Meghan dealt with in the UK were absolutely horrible and absolutely not surprising – UK media is the WORST. Remember how they killed Diana by chasing her into a tunnel wall? Why are we shocked they are bad people? It was also sad to hear that Meghan got to the brink of suicide while pregnant with Archie, heartbreaking. No one deserves that. I thought she was really credible and calm and intelligent. I bought into a lot of what she was talking about. I don’t think she’s lying or making anything up. THAT SAID, there were things that were bothersome about that conversation. The first time she lost me a little was when she said she didn’t know that you’d have to curtsy to meet the Queen, and that she didn’t know how to do it. Someone had to run out and show her. Really? You didn’t google “royal etiquette” or “what should I do when I meet the queen”? I’ve googled those things. Seriously. The second time I rolled my eyes during the interview was Harry saying they lost security and felt totally unsafe in Canada. You guys don’t have money for security? Ummmm… what? Then you left Canada and moved to Malibu. You wanted to feel safe from the media so you went to the most paparazzo ridden part of the US? I don’t know dog…I’m not feelin’ it. And then the bombshell! Someone in the family was worried about Archie’s skin tone. This is bad. What kind of turd brings that up? Who could it be? Who? Could it be…the diabolical man that drove Harry’s mother crazy?? The dude that married his mom while having a full-blown, public affair the entire time? It’s Charles! It has to be. I’m convinced it’s Charles. Do I think he’s a racist? Who knows. Probably. But what we DO know for sure is that he is the villain. Always has been. It’s Charles. Just watch The Crown. Last bothersome thing about the conversation was when Oprah asked if they were getting paid for this interview and Meghan said no. No? Is that your final answer? Wanna phone a friend? Come on. I’m feeling like they should have known that WE knew. We knew. We know. They may not be getting paid, but they are making a profit. Somehow. I know nothing is for free. Oprah taught me that.
  • Moving away from Oprah and the Royals…anyone else not going nutty trying to get a vaccine? I know there’s issues with the rollout etc. but I’m just not going crazy about hunting it down. I’m hoping the people that need it are getting it – first responders, teachers, retail workers, etc. I’m also hoping that people that are a little….let’s say….more cautious than I am about Covid get it before me too. Anyone who is in a panic or has anxiety about Covid, go first. I’m ok with it. Having people go before me in line has never caused me anxiety. Please, go first. I’m fine. I’m following rules. I’m following guidelines. But I’m totally not upset by people getting it before me. I only feel safer the more people I hear have it. Not bothered by this at all.
  • Last one. Let me set the scene. I’m coming back from running an errand. I pull up to a light. I’m in the right lane. To my left is a big, fat black SVU, SUV. Whatever. I am listening to a podcast (about murder) and absent-mindedly turn and look at the driver. Nice looking middle-aged dude drinking a big iced coffee. Light turns green and he floors it. Like….this huge-ass car makes a bunch of roaring noises and he floors it. Needless to say, he won. He won the imaginary speedway race he was having with my Subaru. My very safe, very boring, very opposite-of-threatening Subaru. I was so busy turning the volume down on my podcast that he totally got ahead of me. Not that I was even trying. I didn’t even think of it. What is wrong with men? And yes, I think I can generalize here and say men are the ones doing these pretend races. Congrats dude. You beat me. You are now king of the 1/4 mile between lights when you were ahead of me. When I literally pulled up next to him at the very next light, I had visions of turning to him and smiling or gloating or whatever. Or even better, maybe even flooring it myself when the light turned green. But I didn’t. I didn’t do any of that. I let him drive away, small penis problems and all. But it did bother me.

TikTok’d

Every night, I leave my husband downstairs to watch the news and head upstairs to bed. But I’m not really going to sleep. I’m going upstairs to be alone and dive deep into my TikTok hole. And I love it.

Have you done it? Isn’t it great? Synchronized dancing? Quick cooking recipes? This is the place for me. I’m sure my algorithm is totally different than yours – sometimes people tell me about some crazy video they saw, not me. My TikTok videos are a mash up of what they think a 10 year girl and her grandmother would like to see. It’s all cleaning hacks and babies dancing.

No matter what your algorithm- the one thing on everyone’s channel is the famous TikTok Feta Pasta! It’s all the rage. It all started in 2018 when a Finnish blogger posted this recipe. It didn’t catch on until this year when another Finnish blogger reposted – and all of Finland went mad over it. They ran out of feta cheese! They ran out. I mean, aren’t you glad we live in America? We may run out of toilet paper, but not cheese. Never cheese. Or wine.

Anyway – back to it.

Soon the recipe was all over TikTok. Every other video was someone making it. And because I’m easily influenced, I had to make it too.

The premise is so simple: Toss a block of feta, tomatoes and a bunch of olive oil together in a pan and throw it in the oven until softened, before mixing it all together with pasta and fresh basil (I subbed dried oregano because I didn’t have basil). I also added in garlic… well because garlic.

In the oven it goes – 375 degrees for 45 min or so. Couldn’t be easier.

Once out you mash it all together and combine with your pasta.

And… drum roll please…

It was ok. It was meh.

It was fine. I ate it. Mine came out a bit dry, so I ended up adding a dash of heavy cream. That helped. I also added a good bit of salt and pepper. That helped. And then crushed red pepper. Again it helped.

I’m really glad I added the garlic. Maybe I used the wrong feta? Maybe the Finnish feta is creamier?

Or maybe these TikTokers have never had good pasta. Or they’ve never combined pasta with cheese. Even Snoop Dog’s Mac and Cheese is better than this – I’ve tried it!

Whatever the case, I didn’t feel the euphoric high they seem to get from this dish.

I really wanted to love it. I wanted to be a cool kid. As always – not so much.

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