Earning less than minimum wages and eating our financial reserves might be reason for being pessimistic, you might say. The real reason is that I continue to care about what others do to me and people I care for.
And I kept trying to fight it, ultimately resulting in losing the uphill battle, my job and my career. It is slowly killing my creativity, it is swiftly killing my energy and in general is BAD for little ole me. Born of a black Jamaican mother and an elderly, white, British father, elder sister to two younger brothers and a child of divorce, Smith exists at the intersection of various cultural tensions, tensions that form the background (or backbone? I am a lover of poetry and prose, an aspiring writer and literary critic, and a secular humanist with a strong belief in the ideals of the Enlightenment.
I have been spending my Sunday afternoons batch cooking and it is changing my life.  I know that sounds pretty drastic but it is true.
The hamburgers and fries on the way home was really eating up into my husband personal funds (yes we both have personal money but that is another blog post).
I was  also still buying food for big meals like I use to when my husband was home at least 4 nights a week for dinner (he is now home just 2).
I spend my time in the kitchen with my  Jawbone jambox and my iPod and I listen to Podcasts about blogging. If I cook 3 big family sized meals for my husband  for the week I can usually freeze at least one serving of each casserole, chili, or stew .
I also have gained time  once spent weekdays making dinner which has allowed me to take a kick fit class 2 late afternoons a week during a time I would have spent cooking.
My children are currently 11, 13 and 18 and that means they are all old enough to learn how to cook. Each month  I pick a child to learn a different recipe and the child and I make it each week for a month so that by the end of the month they can do it all by themselves. I know it might seem like I am making myself be a short ordered cook, and in a way I guess I am, but please know that Sunday night the family all has to sample at least a bite or two of ALL the food I have made for my husband for the week and then pick their favorite and eat it that night for dinner. Also know this works for our family and our different dietary needs, which I will spare you the details of.


On my husband days off (except Sunday)  he cooks for the family so that I can work longer and he makes a family friendly meal like his yummy bread machine pizza. My favorite containers to divide up and store the casseroles and other dishes I make for my husband are these BPA free plastic containers by either Glad or Ziploc. My family is only 3 people, while most recipes make 4-6 servings, and even when we’re not cooking from a recipe we purposely make extra of a lot of things. I am slowly getting into freezer cooking; it’s a great blessing, however you have to remember that you need to eat what you cook!
I care about what people write about me on forums, about some nasty mails I get every once in awhile, about the success others have over the backs of others again.
I will do things MY WAY and will doggedly continue doing so without looking left or right or, worse, behind. Zadie Smith is the first living writer I have read with the unique combination of intelligence, talent, empathy and ambition capable of proving them wrong. I make no claims to special wisdom or insight; I offer merely the benefit, if benefit there be, of my reflections. He had this idea when he took his new position that he could come home at 7:30 and just eat our leftovers.
Since my children are older I often get them to make themselves a simple dinner while I do more blogging work, then I either eat what they made, or since I am trying to lose a few pounds I make a salad or low calorie soup and join them. When he is home I make things he likes because I know it makes him happy and I like seeing him enjoy it. When I cook all the week’s meals in one afternoon I completely eliminate dinner time pressure all week long.
By the time the two hours of cooking is done, I have enough food for my husband for the week, enough bake goods for the whole family for the week and I have gained knowledge of how to be better at blogging. Freezing just one portion of each meal allows me to take a week off a month and doing something else I enjoy. By having the more complicated dishes out of the way for the week, I have been able to teach them how to make basic simple food for themselves.
Meat, veggie and potatoes, more like what I grew up with, so I am happy to show them how to cook that way.


I want my children to leave our home knowing how to care for a home, themselves, their spouse, their children and others.
If my husband does happen to make it home by dinner hour I have a list of quick and simple meals that the WHOLE family likes made from ingredients we normally have on hand that I can whip up. My husband works late 2 nights a week and I am gone 1 night a week so this would really help. Mike, my husband, just bought me a big freezer so I could have room to store and I’ve been trying to think of a plan of attack to start filling it up.
Since I do so much food preservation here on the homestead I have been doing this for years. Basically my husband and I have added up what one or two hobbies cost us over the year (I run, he likes playing airsoft gun wars with a few buddies and our boys) then we add in a bit of a cushion for socializing with friends, and me time (we are both introverts so sometimes we go out by ourselves by the day) and then divide it by 12 and we get that amount monthly. And so it was that I passed quickly from unfair dismissal to unqualified admiration and, inevitably, jealousy.
She shares Wallace’s acute ear, but places greater emphasis on lyricism (more like the Wallace of The Pale King than of Infinite Jest), imbuing whole paragraphs with distinctively beautiful cadences and clever metaphors. Thus she presents us with the image of a precocious young girl rejecting her mother’s recommendation of Zora Neale Hurston for no other reason than that Hurston, like Smith, is a black female writer, grounding her relationship to Hurston in the greater conflicts of identity artificially imposed upon her.
This food  was siting unused in our cupboards and freezer and therefore wasting us more money. Of course what we would like to spend might not be what we can spend so we figure out ways to cut back and stretch money.
This same theme informs her popular article on Jay-Z, an excellent primer on what she can achieve in the essay form. I have blogging work I have put aside during homeschooling hours I want to get to.  The kids are in the kitchen trying to do their chores.
Forster is to share in her passions for these writers, but it was the collection’s more personal elements that proved most affecting.



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