July 2008


When Chris and Melissa were married they moved into Melissa’s house, and after the dust settled from combining two households of stuff into one, Chris noticed that there was an inordinate amount of oatmeal in the house, enough to feed a small army or possibly two.  And so began the oatmeal abatement program, where we would try to consume the excess until it was reduced to a manageable level.  To do so, we found recipes that used as much oatmeal as possible.  Chris found a cookie recipe that required 5 ½ cups, doubled it, and made a batch about every other week.  This, combined with other oatmeal rich meals, went on unabated, so to speak, for the better part of a year until we achieved our goal.

We are moving to Milwaukee in about two weeks and have started a much broader abatement program, namely how to creatively use all of the ingredients in the house so we don’t have to move them or throw them out.  Think of it as the Iron Chef competition of Cleveland Heights.  We are now seeking your help and suggestions for recipes that heavily use the following ingredients, which we have large quantities of:

V-8 juice, corn starch, olives (green and black), cocoa powder (vast amounts), walnuts and Peeps (yellow bunnies).  Extra points are awarded for recipes that use multiple ingredients.  Those who provide the best recipes will receive complimentary servings of the dish, as well as the notoriety that comes with being mentioned on our blog.


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Since Everett’s birth we have experienced an outpouring of well wishes and generosity from friends and family, and for this we are very thankful.  This has taken the form of visits, gifts and lots of food for Dad and Mom, which in the latter case was nourishment for Everett as well.  All of this support has made our transition to parenthood much easier.

Melissa and Chris have different styles in how they express thanks.  Melissa believes that thank you notes are a form of social currency, and that by sending them women keep the fabric of society intact.  For his part, Chris was unaware that the fabric of society was in peril, and isn’t completely sure how personalized stationery could fix it if it were.  He prefers a heartfelt phone call or e-mail, if it can’t be done in person, and without generalizing too much this seems to work well among his male friends and relatives.  This may be because men are simply disinclined to send notes, and also because stationery seems designed exclusively for women.  One timely example is Father’s Day cards: it is difficult to find ones appropriate for men to give other men.  Most of them seem designed for women to buy for men to give to other men, who then show them to their significant others.

Having said that, you can be assured that we will still be sending thank you notes for the foreseeable future, and that our thanks is sincere in whatever form it comes.


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