Next recipe in the series of MAKE THIS NOW's. I'm thinking about those of you who have just gotten the bad news. I know how you feel, stomach is in your throat, how to eat? How to even cook? In The New Now, we find ways around the nausea to put dishes on the table. Small smile, go to the store and get just this, in a basket. Easy.


You'll need:

3 leeks, 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, a can of cannelini beans, a clove of sliced garlic, a handful of fresh marjoram or oregano, a small glassful of white wine, 5 oz cream, s+p

You'll do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Using tin foil (the wide size if you have it), make a bag by placing 2 pieces of foil on top of each other, about as big as 2 shoe boxes. Fold 3 sides in tightly, leave 4th side open and place on a cookie sheet. (Tin foil bags can be bought in the supermarket.)

Wash the leeks really well after cutting them into 1/2" disks (up to the tough green part). Boil them for 2 minutes or so to soften.

Drain the beans and rinse them. Put beans, cooked leeks and everything but the chicken in a bowl. Use your hands to mash up the beans a bit. Add the chicken breast, mix it all up, dish it into your foil bag, close up 4th edge and make sure the others are tight.

Bake 28 minutes.

Mixing baby spinach into the bag gives you an even bigger vitamin hit.

* Inspired by adorable Jamie Oliver who never develops a complicated recipe.


You wake up the next morning and confirm with yourself that yes, it's all real, we're in it. It's not a bad dream. Not a bad mood or a hormonal dip.

Don't be scared, I'm with you. People are panicking - still - even when we're told the worst is over. We may have bounced off the bottom in the Dow's plunge, but that doesn't mean we won't keep hitting the sea floor at home. Whether it's the bills which just keep on coming. Or the tax man knocking with claims of underpayment in 2 thousand bloody 6. Or the roof leaking, the plates breaking, the children growing. And we can't pay. It's limbo, scary limbo, and we don't like it.

In this mornings New York Times, an unfamiliar Op Ed contributor, Daniel Gilbert, wrote a piece you just have to read, called "What You Don't Know Makes You Nervous". Gilbert's saying that those of us who are busy predicting the fall are less able to operate these days than those who've already received the news. How many of you expect your job to go, your business to plummet, your health to tank? And aren't you TERRIFIED? But the truth is, once it happens, as Gilbert says, you weep and moan, but then you clap your hands and get on with it.

So what does that mean? That you have it all: your job, your house, your health - and you're so worried about losing it that you're miserable before you need to be?

Limbo is one Hell of a state, indeed. We are going on 2 years of limbo. Not one single day since August 2007 have we felt at home, situated, comfortable or sure that we'll be living in this house, in this zip code, in even a month's time. But a secure place will be reached again, it's guaranteed. And when that time comes we'll ask ourselves why we were so worried in the interim.

Time to create the New Now in Limbo. The collected songs and memories you'll associate with this time. Poems or articles we read when we couldn't get ourselves out of the house. It may not be all wine 'n roses, but it'll be a chapter of our book. As we see Time waft in the door and out the window, don't we want to make sure that this time is accounted for?

My Songs for the Limbo:
Ben Folds and Regina Spektor singing "You Don't Know Me"
Crosby and Nash singing "Lay Me Down"

My Writings for the Limbo:
David Sedaris' "When You are Engulfed in Flames"
Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies: Some Notes on Faith"

My Sustenance for the Limbo:
Trader Joe's HUGE dark chocolate bar with hazlenuts
Starbucks' Venti Caffe Misto ($2.49 compared to the latte at triple the price - note that)

My Memories for the Limbo:
Fires in the living room at 5:30 on a weeknight, mid-winter
Driving up Limekiln Road for the 4th or 5th time that day, watching Winter turn to Spring

"Even though it's hard to know just how the story ends
the road is long and it takes its time, on that you can depend..."
- C+N



Mom wrote me an email 15 minutes ago when I was typing on about who knows what - she told me of yet another loved one of a loved one who lost his job - she asked me, could I please remind her what my blog was?

First of all, I didn't know my blog was on her radar. She tried to post a comment once and couldn't figure it out - I agree, it's not easy, but all you have to do is click the highlighted "comments" below each post and write... anonymously... I invite you to write! Second of all, and here's what stopped me in my tracks. The layoffs just keep on coming. There and then, I saved what I was writing to tap this out quick. With all the people I hear about, you must be hearing of even more. Send them here, let us lick our wounds together. There's lots to learn from eachother.

Welcome to The New Now, you, who've just entered the space! It's frightfully heavy, it's not what you signed up for. And it isn't unique. The space is full.

When you read Bob Herbert's OpEd entitled "Far From Over" (New York Times, 5/9/09) saying to us: People, April's 544,000 job losses may have been better than March, but that staggering number is a flashing indicator that we are a long way from improving.

What makes it better? What you'll realize as your nausea recedes and the communication skills you've long taken for granted, specifically those between yourself and your loved ones, are put to the test and they come through for you - you realize that TIMES ARE NEW. You're here and you're hurting, even when "everyone else" seems fine. This may have happened "to you", but here you are. Embrace it, it's real and it's NOW.

Go get this week's TIME Magazine, which has a great cover: "The Future of Work". It lays it out, 10 ways your job will change, and they include flexibility, collaboration, freelance and creativity. The New Now. Start as soon as you can. Go for walks with your partner and talk it through. Be brave, this may be happening to you, but you need to work it to your advantage. Stay tuned, we're talking about REINVENTION!




State of things, of our Country, of our Ecomony. Of our homes and relationships.

"The Cyclone roller coaster became the most famous roller coaster in the world. It had steep drops and savage banked turns that offered patrons an exciting ride."

Coney Island in 1949. People were awed, thrilled. Freedom from insidious ideas abroad was just an infant. Victory in Europe was declared a mere 4 years before; only the lucky few got to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Families were rent asunder, the world was in shambles and yet, people welcomed entertainment like The Cyclone. Terrifying, nauseating and survive-able.

The Cyclone is a symbol of reinvention. A tremendous feat of architecture, defying the odds of fun and physical safety. An unthinkable idea, yet built, and beautiful.

50 years later, what will be our monuments to survivability?

I'm thinking now about reinvention.