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KERF recaps: Kathy’s Thanks Logged More Pedometer Steps and Had Fewer Calories Than Yours

The week of Thanksgiving on Kath Eats Real Food was a stellar, five-part miniseries on doing the holidays better than anyone could ever even imagine.

Monday’s regularly scheduled description of the previous two days imparts the following information about Our Heroine, a social butterfly with a steam mop in one hand and a fitness shackle on the other:

• The weekend before Thanksgiving is “calm before the storm!!” but Our Heroine is not about to buckle under the pressure, and accomplishes “household stuff” and two gym classes, and she deems the two-day period “nice” with another exclamation point.

• She and mother-in-law Karen went to the Greek Festival for

good food – and amazing pastries! …. On then [sic] menu: Greek salad, pastichio, spanakopita, Greek-style green beans, and a roll. Glass of wine was extra!


I’m not sure what she means by “extra,” but at least she didn’t spell the dish “pistachio” and try to describe it like she did in 2012, when she called it “INSANE!” and a “lasagna-looking stack …. The top layer was something that I couldn’t decide on – either mashed potatoes or a custard – plus ground lamb (I think?) and noodles.”

Or, as Kathy would say, I’ll decide on later.

Instead, Dainty Kathy, who has the tiniest, sugar-nibblingest appetite ever and makes sure to note that the pastries were “shared,” turned her adorable confusion about ethnic food to the dessert tray:

My favorite are the “nests” as I call them, but their real name is kataifi.


• On Saturday, Kathy fought back against an evening of Greek pastry by being at the gym at 8 a.m. for a class that

….kicked my butt. Literally – I felt like someone had!

and then eating a pre-packaged plastic thing of “overnight oats” the gym serves at their food place. Inquisitive Kathy was full of questions she couldn’t be arsed to actually ask anyone:

This one was all chia and flax!! I’m not sure if there was actually apple in it – maybe apple sauce? But I could taste plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg!

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• Kathy came home and “played …. trains, blocks and tea party” with her toddler until mother-in-law Karen finally relieved her, taking the child out for adventures and food, although why he would want to leave this shoved-in-a-corner immaculate table top mostly covered with sponsored plastic crap his mom earned for his sponsored birthday party is beyond me:

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• Freed of her awful resp-mom-sibility, Kathy turned bathroom closet-cleaning into a way to mention a sponsor, how much free shit she is given, and what an irritating amount of vacations she goes on:

….so many hotel shampoos and beauty samples! FYI, BirchBox boxes make great storage boxes!

She also tries to make some sort of tsk-tsk joke about why there’s a plastic spider in the shot:

I have no idea who put it in my make up!!

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Yes, Kathy, we’re all very proud of you for buying a perfume no one on Fragrantica or Basenotes has ever heard of that takes its name from the late sweater designer.

• Kathy, who is busy and totally in control of her hunger, ate lunch “really late”: a Whole Foods salmon puck inside a fakery roll, salad, fruit, and

Hot tea allthetime!

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Well, “allthetime” or at least when Celestial Seasonings (or Tazo or The Tea Spot or Lipton in the past) is paying her to do so.

• Speaking of sponsors, Solo Kathy then faffed off to Pottery Barn for “Thanksgiving supplies.”

• Upon her return, “we” made a quiche, which seems to mean Kathy had fuck-all to do with it, especially since it’s Bath Matt’s terrible recipe previously discussed on Smugnom here, the one “combining the rigor of baking with the craft of cooking satisfies both the scientist and artist within!”

I mean, as long as your idea of “rigor” means not using cold butter in the crust like you’re supposed to because, in Bath Matt’s words, “I’m lazy – nobody will notice.” Philosophical master Bath Matt is merely being coy — not noticing is what Heidegger might call a sublime demonstration of the quiche crust’s Zuhandenheit.

Kathy reports that the horrible crust was “extra thick” this time, and that the quiche was made in the first place because their inconsiderate, chicken-raising neighbors have been giving them too many free goddamn eggs:

We are getting eggs from our neighbor and had an overflow! 

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Thanks for the photo, Kathy, so that we all know your slice of quiche is just a scuffin’s breadth wider than the slice you serve to your toddler.

• Kathy’s Saturday night is as exciting as that of a depressed college sophomore beginning to come down with a cold and not feeling like the transfer to the new school is going too well:

Saturday night = We heart Portlandia – that is all!

• Sunday morning’s breakfast was an enforced group activity:

family French toast!

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Whoever cut the lemons that way is wielding a knife and selecting fruit all wrong.

• Productivity includes canceling out one’s intake of calories with exercise and chores, and thus, Kathy

hit the gym for athletic conditioning #2. All I have to say is that my legs are realllllly tired now!!

forced herself to gag down more poorly crusted surplus egg wedge

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finished up another season of “Survivor”

10 seasons down, ~16 to go!

as though she were plowing through Discworld instead of a game show where tan people behave like mopey cunts by the firelight.

babysat for a neighbor, and ate pasta with pesto — probably the wretched, undead stuff they made two summers ago.

Tuesday’s post is one of those roundups where Kathy lists six random gifts she’s been given, bought, or scrounged together recently, and two things she just has to give away:

1. A $16 Pumpkin Souffle-scented candle “from Anthro” that “a girlfriend” gave her for her birthday that smells

SO good!! Like everything pumpkin pie and not toooooo sweet.

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2. Two free necklaces from a collection of something Kathy calls “higher end design jewelry.”

Do you remember me writing about Bama + Ry when Jasmine sent me a cute Mazen necklace?

No, because you never wear it, Kathy. She goes on about how she’s come around to gold (ahem, free gold) and how she totes identifies with Maya Angelou now.

Kathy writes:

I remember when there was a time when I thought gold was for grandmothers, and now my taste is “all gold all the time!!” I just love these two pieces, and wear them all the time. Both are in the Maya Collection and were named for poems by Maya Angelou.

I hope Kathy’s wearing the pieces named after the poem that starts,

When I think about myself, 
I almost laugh myself to death, 
My life has been one great big joke, 
A dance that’s walked 
A song that’s spoke, 
I laugh so hard I almost choke 
When I think about myself.

3. Holiday cards a company called Pear Tree did for her “in exchange for a shout out.” Knowing what an admirable trait it is to brag about being ahead of everyone else in the marathon of superficial tasks during a time of year whose challenges can frequently come from focusing on such showoffy bullshit instead of the humility, gratitude, kindness, and warmth we see only in gold foil script on cheap Homegoods canvases and greeting cards, Kathy takes credit for being on top of Christmas:

My goal this holiday season was to have all the Christmas “chores” done before the season even started.

Wow, Kathy. You really tried hard and succeeded at Having Random Businesses Offer To Do Things For You. Is there a special subscription scouring pad for that?

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To make things worse, she included the photo of her child bawling from within the confines of his Halloween costume, which she calls “the famous dinosaur photo,” as though she were some sassy VJ counting down infamous MTV moments and she just got to the time Vanilla Ice trashed the set of “25 Lame.”

4. A $50 pair of made-in-China rain boots, perfect for any resident of a city that gets 219 days of sun per year — 14 more than the average American town. Kathy says these boots are “so comfortable” and seems to think she’ll be sporting them in the middle of a Virginia summer.

The rubber is really soft, so they bend easily and are easy to walk in. I also love that they don’t come up to my knees, so they are not so hot in warm weather and fit well over my calves. Bring on the rain!

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5. A Nespresso machine Kathy doesn’t get to even use — just give away on behalf of Gourmesso, a company that puts coffee in pods. Unlike bloggers Let Stalk Mommy and Steamy Kitchen (tagline: “Eat Real Food!”), Kathy couldn’t tell her flock how tasty the decaf pods were after being adulterated with cream and sugar, and the company wasn’t about to give her a machine:

Gourmesso asked if I’d like to review some, but I don’t have a Nespresso machine, so I asked if I could give some away to you guys! They offered to giveaway [sic] Nespresso Inissia machine and 10 boxes of our coffee (which equals 100 capsules)!!!

6. Branches from a bush in her yard and more branches she “found” at the farmer’s market stuffed in a hand-me-down 5-gallon glass jug from her mother.

This was the easiest fun table centerpiece …. I am loving the wild look!

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7. A $100 gift card to “a really cool business” that sells chains attached to lobster clasps for pregnant women “swelling out of their wedding rings.” The business is run by her “friend” Jamie, who

couldn’t fathom not being able to wear my ring, especially when I was expecting.

Jamie also sells a “line of charms that snap into [the necklaces] when they can have their ring on their finger!” You know, because you’ll want to keep wearing this when you don’t have to:

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The fact that someone’s selling awkward lobster clasps attached to $5/foot silver cable chain for hundreds of dollars isn’t the worst part, though. The worst part is the tackily clueless name. Guess we can expect Jamie Waller’s next ventures to be custom eyeshadow from the Blacken My Eye line? Seasonal corn gift delivery from Box My Ears? A plug-in home fragrance from Slap Some Scents Into You?

Awesome imagery, Jamie.

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I totally want to buy some jewelry now.

8. The last thing is free “holiday flavors” of whatever Talenti is. Ice cream, frozen yogurt — it’s some kind of frozen thing with sugar in it, and what Kathy cares about is that

….all I can say is YUM!!  The pumpkin pie is awesome – very spiced with real pie crust pieces – and the eggnog is like the real deal in ice cream form! Also in the limited edition group: peppermint bark! Caramel apple pie and fudge brownie are year round festive flavors.

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She also introduces a brand new thing she’s going to do: a newsletter, which I’m sure is going to go as well as her app did that one time.

Top secret news: I have another giveaway in my first ever KERF newsletter next week!!


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Wednesday’s post is one of the ones Kathy calls “Lately,” even though it’s just a list of food she ate a long time ago. To try and make it seem timely, she wedges in an intro paragraph about Thanksgiving, even though it doesn’t lead into any of the foods she ate forever ago, which include these abominations:

• “Pumpkin oat fun!”

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The “fun” comes from “orange sprinkles.”


• “Two little pancakes …. were on the menu the next day.” Simmer down, Hunca Munca. It’s flour and binder and stop trying to style your peanut butter.

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• A “bowl” that “was cottage cheese oatmeal with baked apples on top.” Which is weird, because it looks to me like a bowl that had that stuff in it, but I guess the very matter of the container was also constructed from foodstuff.

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• Pancakes at BFF Sarah’s house, except that Kathy calls them “cakes.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.33.43 PM• Leftovers she begins mentioning without ever giving the reader any context what they’re left over from, like the very sudden “Leftover chili mug.” There is also, allegedly, “jicama slaw” on top of that salad, which leads me to believe Kathy has no idea what either of those words mean.

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• Leftovers from something she says she made on the weekend, even though we’ve just read what she made over the weekend, and it doesn’t match. In any case, the leftovers are merely conveyances for what Kathy calls

A hidden puddle of ketchup in the middle : )

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• More leftovers of, or from, whatever or wherever Continental Divide is, with messy specks of beans and rice on the side.

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• A “tiny piece” of sweet fakery bread and a salad Kathy calls “efficient” because it mimics that gross McDonald’s Salad Shaker from George W. Bush’s first term:

She then orders:

add your dressing (or in my case, deconstructed dressing components) and shake! Plus leftover salmon, fresh veggies and goat cheese. 

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.37.31 PM• Grapes, double that amount of grape stems, and leftover pizza

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• Mushroom ravioli from the farmer’s market, broccoli, and leftover chili on top, because Kathy couldn’t be arsed to use her home-canned tomatoes or her homemade pesto.

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She insists:

It was actually really good!

• Grilled fish tacos. Since mother-in-law Karen came over for this dinner, one assumes she paid for and brought the mahi mahi and Kathy merely contributed the farmer’s market tortillas and the insistence that the tacos resemble a smoothie and contain “jicama apple slaw, avocado and crème fraîche.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.40.41 PM• A “marg,” nachos, and bean and cheese burritos at the long-awaited Continental Divide, which, we discover, is a Mexican place that pregnant BFF Sarah took Kathy to for her birthday. Which was in October.  Since it was Sarah’s treat, I guess she was okay posing with a virgin “marg” —

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— and letting Kathy order two extra days of food on her dime. Or, as Math Professor Kathy describes:

I only ate about 25% of this and had 2 meals more out of it!

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• Salmon, “half a roll,” leftover grits, chard (actual chard, not Chardonnay referred to in a stupid way), and “the Cook Smarts raisin marinade,” a reference I suspect we’re supposed to understand without explanation.

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Run away, little raisin hero! You can make it!

Kathy ends her “Lately” post with a photo from Toddler Carbz’s art class, which I hope doesn’t mean she’s been snacking on paste. Predictably, Kathy’s thoughts on her child’s art class are all about herself:

Toddler art class: just as fun for the adult as it is for the child. I loved getting my hands in that play dough – so soothing!

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I know, right, Robert Downey Jr.? Kathy’s commenters are on the same page as you:

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Kathy’s post on Thanksgiving was a tale about how she and her toddler popped up to Maryland to see sister “Larbs” and their mother’s mother — the one who creates those freaky (but kind of awesome) paintings and is always joyously knocking back Manhattans.

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Kathy writes:

We have so much to be thankful for this year.

What she shows, however, is

• A child she prevented from making terrible marker messes by limiting his activities to stickers on coloring books.

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• Her child looking away from her in three photos and her mother looking away from her in one.

• Kathy and Larbs, neck and neck in the competition for Laziest Attempt at Making Blonde Hair and Long Jewelry a Look.

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• Kathy hoping everyone else will take care of her child’s entertainment so she doesn’t have to do it, reducing the kid to playing with an antique dollhouse built by Kathy’s grandmother’s grandfather and wind-up mice Kathy’s grandmother purchased for him.

• Booze, because she doesn’t have to get its permission to photograph it. She writes:

Uncle Chris always makes a great Manhattan!

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Of course, there’s no explanation about why Chris himself — whose Memorial Day appearance was quickly yanked — doesn’t want to be photographed, making both sides of her family now completely anti-KERF photography at the closing of the year.

• Booze, because it’s easier to make

The ends of champagne + Chambord cocktails

look festive than it is to make Bath Matt, who met them for dinner one night, look like he’s not Had It Up To Here With This Food-Blogging Shit.

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Scuffing back to the Charlottesville-bound train with her inconvenient toddler, her rubber boots, and a memory card devoid of family photos, Kathy ends the post wishing her readers well:

I enjoyed reading all of your comments about your Thanksgiving plans on my giveaway post! Hope everyone has a lovely holiday, whether you are with family, traveling, caring for others at work or stuffed silly already.

Good on Kathy for the kind words, and for reminding them of the value of being thankful for family, generosity of spirit, and plentiful food. It would be nice if those values were the focus of her own post about Thanksgiving.

In reality, Friday’s post starts out with Kathy wishing her readers

Happy Black Friday!!

— as though a “lawless shitshow” known for shoppers basically winding razorblades in their hair like Pam Grier preparing for a fight in “Coffy” and camping in front of electronics stores for days for a shot at a discounted laptop is a proper holiday.

In other words, probably the most perfect greeting from a woman whose time with her family was sponsored by Birchbox, General Mills, Pottery Barn, Talenti, Gallo wines, and that vague, existential sense of ennui.

Kathy continues her Friday check-in by describing how virtuous she plans to be (her plans Friday, she says, “involve working out – and I’m excited about that!”) and has already been. First off, she won Thursday’s battle of not being a fatty fat fat-fat because she was careful not to eat all the pie.

Thanksgiving dinner was a big success, and we are all still digesting.

Really? You checked in with your husband’s mother, your parents, and your brother-in-law to see where in their intestinal tract your Whole Foods kale bake was lodged? Go on. Tell us more about what a “success” Thanksgiving was.

(Actually compared to years past I didn’t eat thaaaat much but it was still a lot!)

She also managed her time so perfectly that she could work out as well as prepare for the meal:

I took an hour off for a turkey trot on my own, but most of the effort was spent setting the table and cooking.

Really, Kathy — table-setting is about as involved an activity as preparing canned cranberry sauce, which is why you can usually get a child or a well trained cat to do it. Either way, her preparations paid off handsomely. No one could have noticed the chalkboard she couldn’t be bothered to wash, what with all the drunkenly margined promises of “But” salad, “ChipoHe” potatoes, and “Cranberry Sauce Rolls.”

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Despite having her parents, her child, Bath Matt’s mom, and his brother at the table, Karen is the only one who gets caught in a photo. It’s typical for photos of members of different generations to prompt observations of how similar the relatives look, but that’s not usually because they both look so utterly irritated by the photographer.

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Having chilled the porch, Kathy returns inside to take ten photos of the table with all her Pottery Barn crap on it, with no tempting, calorie-containing food or photo-avoiding family members to mess up her shots.

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Kathy describes the table-setting as “rustic” and “modern,” with hand-made place cards she apparently reuses every year, “red berries from our yard” in a “vintage jug” belonging to her mother, and a silver gravy boat (empty every time we see it because there was no goddamn gravy at this Thanksgiving). Overall, Kathy says, putting shit on her dining room table was

a dream come true because I partnered with Pottery Barn to make it extra special. We already had tons of Pottery Barn things since it’s one of my very favorite stores and was my favorite pick for our wedding registry.

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Jamming the post with affiliate links, Kathy links to the blanterns, featureless blandware, white blandkins, and, uh, cake bland she and Bath Matt received for their wedding, and some “so chic” flameless candles with “really cool looking ‘flames’” Kathy has bought since then:

I LOVE flameless candles! I let them burn all day and never worried about fires or dripping. Karen and Andrew were both totally fooled when I told them they weren’t real flames! They are great when you have small children at home too.

Wait, they were fooled when you told them the truth? For the love of empty silver gravy boats, Kathy, stop writing like a GPS that gives up two miles from the destination. Maybe then you’ll score a Pottery Barn sponsorship that pays for more than a $39 made-in-China table runner, some $12.50 “crystal” candle holders, and some 4-for-$20.50 napkin rings, about which she comments that she “loved the bling.”


Pottery Barn isn’t the only sponsor Kathy is thankful for this holiday season. At 2 p.m., with her guests starving, Kathy drags out the NatureBox snacks we haven’t seen since July, adds about 26 green beans, a bowl overflowing with a haphazard selection of carrot sticks, another bowl in which, like, two tablespoons of hummus are languishing at the bottom, a bowl of honey peanuts she bought at a neighbor’s school “funraiser” [sic], and a dozen chunks of “dairy cheese” (presumably meaning cheese from “Everona Dairy,” not that she can learn capitalization rules).

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The “snack platter,” she reports proudly, “was devoured.”

Oh! But who’s that at the door? Why, it’s another sponsor! This time, it’s a present from General Mills: a “special” beer made using the cereal of conscious foodies everywhere, Count Chocula.

Kathy writes:

I hear the rumor is that the brewery bought all the Count Chocula in Fort Collins in order to make it!

The “rumor”? Good grief, Kathy. You quoted from a media release written by a “social engagement specialist” at General Mills.

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Anyway, appetites whetted with free cereal-flavored beer and dry vegetables and nuts, Kathy breaks down how she, her husband, and his mother

split Thanksgiving dinner 3 ways – well, 4 of you count Great Harvest’s contributions!

One assumes she means the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner, as it’s a sad thought to imagine Bath Matt’s brother and Kathy’s parents and child fighting over pickled beans and “funraiser” peanuts.

Bath Matt was in charge of preparing “turkey,” which we see in a carved state —

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— as well as a “big hunk of meat” in “a special blend of herbs and spices from The Spice Diva” (Kathy describes the result as “perfect”) —

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— and “awesome!” sweet potatoes

smashed with a chopped chipotle (in adobo sauce) pepper and topped with goat cheese (plus the usual half and half and a little butter) …. The chipotle added such a nice kick.

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Karen made a mushroom bread pudding Kathy called “rich and tasty,”

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which I’m guessing is Squiggly Line Code for OMG 616 calories per serving and it has onions in it.

Karen also made a beet salad that Kathy somehow considered a personal victory, cheering tackily:

Plants represent!

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 3.16.12 PMKathy’s contributions were cranberry sauce (“a must for me!”) that her mother had to help her make (Really? I could fucking make cranberry sauce from memory, and I have less confidence in my ability to boil water without scorching a kettle), and a Whole Foods recipe for swiss chard gratin she changed by using kale instead:

….and it turned out great.

Doubtful. The recipe directs you to make a roux, and no one abhors a roux more than the author of Paella Mac & Cheese: The Sponsored Recipe That Was, the Queen of Fuck-It-Who-Needs-Cold-Butter-In-This-Crust-donia.

Still, the important thing is that it was 160 calories per serving, and, in Kathy’s estimation,

A delicious way to get a green vegetable on the table!

Oh, thank goodness for you, Kathy, you sneaky mummy, you! Sorry that Count Chocula beer has a welcome spot at the table but that Karen’s beet salad couldn’t contribute enough fucking folate to your bountiful table, Vitamin Asshole. Too bad your dish looks like pine shavings and wilted weeds.

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I hope you kept an extra stick of red berries from the bush in your yard, by the way, because the cranberry sauce you needed help with is drowning and might need help out of that bowl.

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Our Hostess, who has held actual employment in public relations requiring her to know how to capitalize proper names for businesses, also notes “Great Harvest’s contributions.” Those would be rolls, pies, and 

pumpkin oh

“pumpkin oh”

Finally, there was a “special” bottle of Benchmark she got as swag at William Hill Estate (part of Gallo winery, whose expertise in wine is so rarefied that it bought 18 million bottles of merlot and shiraz) gave her on her OMGSonoma trip, saving her the $95 us non-food-blog-having folks have to pay to drink it. Kathy declares it

Fancy enough to get decanted.

Thus thoroughly fancified, Kathy proudly boasts that she

didn’t go back for seconds on anything despite it all tasting amazing – crazy!

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She also mentions that she “proposed a trivia question” in which she made her family guess which pop song was identified quickest in a survey. If you follow the link, you learn that the song is the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” which people take an average of 2.29 seconds to guess, which I suppose makes Kathy’s dad a master of “trivia,” since, after 26 years of failed estimates, he finally guessed how many pickles were in a jar and won some free relish a few years ago.


Model dieter Kathy “waited a bit” for dessert, and then logged a few more steps on her Lime Green Fitness Cuff by putting out her uncapitalized “pumpkin oh” and those unsold fakery pies on her two cake stands, which, guys, you will NOT believe this, are from POTTERY BARN:

(see how perfect of a fit this challenge was!)

Kathy quaveringly puts the tiniest portions ever of pie and previously mentioned Talenti gelato on her Pottery Barn Great White plate —

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— saying the molecules of pies she allowed herself were “delicious!” and that her brilliant husband

made all 200+ pie crusts by hand last week.

I’m sure they were amazing and that no one minded whatsoever that Bath Matt doesn’t care about making the crusts properly at all, and I’m sure that laziness had nothing to do with the fact that there were leftover pies for the Younger-Smugsons to take home.

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Nothing says this is the best Thanksgiving ever and I’d be proud to appear on your diet blog like a man in a wrinkled T-shirt caught trying to fall asleep on his feet.

At some point, Kathy notices she never got any photos of her family, blames it on the fact that “we were so busy,” and posts three photos of her child smiling and laughing as her father — face cropped entirely out of the shot — rests his hands on the boy’s shoulders and snuggles him. She ends the post by saying she hopes her readers “leftovers are a’plenty” and — to fulfill the FTC’s disclosure requirements she hates ever so much — writing far more words about how tender her heart beats for Pottery Barn than she did about her family:

I partnered with Pottery Barn to celebrate Thanksgiving this year because I love them lots. The included links are affiliate links. Mwah!

Congratulations, Kathy. Your writing has reached level: Emoticon.

Despite all their hostess’s backbreaking work taking photos of napkin rings, candles, and twigs in bottles, Kathy’s commenters are not a wholly pleased bunch and, even on Thanksgiving, they dare to call out her lackluster efforts typing words about decorations, alcohol, food, and sponsor disclosure:

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You can almost sense the white-knuckled restraint of the Pottery Barn representative who must be checking in on the relatively disastrous results of Kathy’s sponsored post, wishing they could jump in and make everything better with a monogrammed channel-quilted velvet stocking or a quince and pepper berry wreath, knowing they can only sit there and watch a sliver of the company’s social media budget (retail price: $73 plus tax) burn instead.

foodsmug lifesmug recaps shillsmug

KERF Recaps: Katching Up With Kathy’s “Business Industry”

Hams, I’ve been working (like, at my day job) the last two weeks, including weekends, so this post is much more disgustingly late than usual. A turkey-induced tryptophan coma of lore would be nothing compared to the 10-hour sleep-mask coma of the following two-week recap.

Strength, my lovelies, as we journey back to the distant days of November 10.

Last Monday’s post is Kathy’s regular, exuberant retelling about what a great weekend she had. She surprised her neighbors by having them babysit her toddler so she and Bath Matt could have “a date night.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 7.06.59 PMFree from their child, Kathy and Bath Matt went to a store so Kathy and her flyaways could enjoy a free wine tasting —

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Her commentary? “Yum!” They then headed to Brookville, home of the infamous 2011 Groupon incident:

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For the second time in a month, Brookville was closed until early evening for another private event and Kathy thought it would be classier to just show up and figure that out rather than call, maybe because using the phone doesn’t earn any pedometer steps. They “killed some time” at an art gallery before returning.

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Not the face of an impatient and irritated man at all.

Seemingly intimidated as usual by the restaurant’s prices, they shared “small plates” — fried “shitake” [sic] mushrooms, beet and cheese salad (about which Kathy “loved the contrast of flavors”), a cheese biscuit (“PERFECTION!”), a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich (“epic”), “local sausages cooked in a maple sauce,” and a free (or possibly conjured by black magic) roast beef sandwich, which “appeared compliments of the chef!!!” — even though Kathy says that was just because she “love[s]” the place’s “Southern spin on tapas.” Finally, the gruesome twosome “couldn’t resist” ordering a “famous bacon chocolate chip” cookie that was “hot and gooey!”

Possibly the weirdest thing about this dinner is that both Kathy and Bath Matt took advantage of the cup of crayons at the table (Bath Matt appears to have written a burnt sienna manifesto on his side) but covered up almost all of their scrawls on the paper tablecloth except for this:

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Saturday was appropriately penitent to make up for Kathy’s having eaten part of a cookie. She went to a “rockin’” gym class “in the dark with strobe lights and all!” at 8 a.m., took “a how [sic] shower!” and had a pumpkin smoothie she modified herself

I asked about the smoothie ingredients and they normally make it with cider, so I subbed in milk instead for more protein. It was delish!

on a crumby, splattered-looking table at the gym’s eating place.

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She met mother-in-law Karen and “the boys” at the farmer’s market.

....and the trash gets picked up and goes away — like what happens when mommy learns things.

See? There are all kinds of trash cans, Carbz — even ones that don’t cost $200 and leave horrible marks on walls!

There, Karen entertained Toddler Carbz with a bus ride, which he “LOVES,” and Kathy “did some solo shopping” at that jewelry booth she likes and the ice cream place she likes even more, “nearly wip[ing] out” their stock of ice cream sandwiches. She bought a “crabcake sandwich” home “and paired it with…a pear!”

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Bath Matt stayed home (presumably) for Toddler Carbz’s naptime, so Kathy “snuck out” to go to the “holiday trunk show” of “a friend” and bought some earrings that, from her photography, look like plastic earring backs.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 5.33.53 PMAt home, she writes, “We” labored over something that ended up looking like watery sausage, zucchini, and rice.

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Kathy called the one meal they made at home that weekend “gumbo-y,” even though she might as well have compared it to a taco or a Negroni for all it resembled actual gumbo, like this one from Southern Living:

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She also called her evening “chill,” one of those meaningless adjectives she seems to think is interchangeable with “famous,” “amazing,” “fun,” and “fab.”

At least she's not using "chillax" anymore.

At least she’s not using “chillax” anymore. She and Bath Matt split an “amazing bottle” of Chardonnay they hauled home from Sonoma before she passed out watching “Portlandia.” (Really.)

On Sunday, the Healthiest Kathy Ever walked to a breakfast place and exerted herself oh-so-hard, eating scrambled eggs, decaf coffee, and “(3/4)” of a waffle for the sake of the terribly sad “final soccer game of the season,” even though there’s literally less than two months between seasons:

My goal was to eat a big enough breakfast to satisfy lunch as well because I had a 2pm soccer game….Mission accomplished!

Seemingly realizing she was neglecting her mission of ragging on the infuriatingly conflicting desires and needs of her 2-year-old, she posted a photo of Toddler Carbz on his dad’s shoulders, noting,

We have experimented with leaving the stroller at home because Mazen likes to walk, but he still gets tired and needs a ride sometimes!

and followed that with an explanation of how “We” finally changed his crib into a toddler bed because he “has started to want to sleep in his twin bed and climb out of his crib with more frequency.”

Kathy played at busily stocking away a week’s worth of ready-to-eat meals for her whole family by halving maybe 15 brussels sprouts—

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— and then went to play adult soccer, her favorite part of which seems to be having photos taken of herself wearing a pair of horrible sandals.

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Her team lost, 3-4, but was “winning most of the game!” and the important thing is that Kathy, I guess, burned a bunch of calories and has already signed up for the winter season:

I played 110 minutes straight of soccer and now I can barely hobble around!

She ends the post with a giveaway of a $28 necklace from that farmer’s market jewelry booth she likes.

Whitney’s avatar looks somewhat nauseated with regret over the decision.

Probably because leaving a comment is frequently a requirement in contests, this giveaway resulted in about 250 comments, including this oddity:

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Tuesday’s post has another giveaway, thanks to its sponsor, the monolithic SHRIMP COUNCIL.

“Less than a teaspoon full of raw onion in a ‘gazpatcho’ shut down Katherine Younger’s fun at BlogHer in 2008.”  — Fake Colin Powell at the Real UN Security Council

The Shrimp Council must have told her to make something festive, because Kathy seems to think she’s making something that will recreate the raucous romp of what she refers to as her “sushi and champagne fiesta” New Year’s Eve party of 2012, which seems like it was just an excuse to use commission-earning links to the rice cooker and plastic sushi-making kit she owns. Anyway, Kathy promises that her awesome appetizer will be one  “your guests will be talking about the day after.”

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I think she’s right, but only because it’s not sushi — it’s cooked shrimp, and grits, and “dipping sauce” made from yogurt and Old Bay. I guess it could have been worse, since she says she and Bath Matt were “brainstorming” about “a ‘meatloaf’ style dish.”

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Kathy is extra proud of herself because not only did she get money from lobbyists for this entry, she also gets to brag about how her and Bath Matt’s recipe “ranks pretty well” on a thing that exists in her head called “the healthy recipe spectrum.” In inspired language suitable for the finest Lean Cuisine packaging, she writes:

Low-fat shrimp, wholesome grits, nutritious bell pepper and nori, and a dipping sauce made mostly with yogurt means this sushi is good for your tastebuds and your waistline.

That’s delightful, Jiro. What do you think about the KERF take on sushi?

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Kathy and Bath Matt’s directions include “cooking your grits” and “put[ting] down your sheet of nori (found at most grocery stores in the Asian section).” Both of these are very helpful instructions, because the average person could very easily mess up and think you were supposed to use uncooked, dry grits and make the sushi while holding the sheet of nori, pinning it to the wall, or flinging it angrily at guests.

A few unnecessarily confusing orders follow:

Add your sliced bell peppers about 1/3 of the way in

Way to keep your preparation tidy.

A third of the way spatially? Temporally? Existentially?

Stretch [the shrimp] out a bit so they take up less space lengthwise.

By the time she’s advising to “roll ‘er up,” Kathy has given up on trying to educate anyone and is resorting to insults:

There are lots of You Tube videos on this if you need some some more visuals. It’s really not that hard to do!

Well, it’s not that hard to do poorly. It’s probably plenty hard if you want your shrimp and grits sushi to look like something that’s not going to fall apart the second you pick it up off your plate.


After not linking to the supposed plethora of tutorials, Kathy instructs cutting the roll into pieces with a sharp knife. This is a good idea.

This is what cutting a sushi roll with a sharp knife looks like.

This too.

But what she shows is a photo of hacking the roll into unevenly squeezed cartoon-flat-tire shapes with a dull, sponsored Guy Fieri knife.

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Kathy recommends making four such lumpen rolls, producing 32 pieces, “for a crowd.” She doesn’t say how much “dipping sauce” a crowd requires, but this part of the recipe

is key, as it gives another punch of Old Bay and is a wonderfully creamy balance to the shrimp.


One of two action shots of Bath Matt trying to keep this creation from falling apart long enough to dip it.

Kathy gets nearly 400 comments on this post thanks to another giveaway “to get you even more pumped for party season.” This one is for a cooking set Walmart had on sale for $28.97 in 2013, which she calls “a super-stylish excuse to eat, drink and be merry.” I guess they still haven’t gotten rid of them, because Kathy’s trying to unload one she promises “will help bring shrimptastic inspiration to the holiday season.”


Wednesday’s post is a guest post by Bath Matt himself, who shares his fascinating opinions on his wife’s favorite kind of alcohol, something he calls “pumpkin beer,” even though he means sweet, pumpkin pie-flavored beer.

Bath Matt’s piece is mostly a rambling theory-dump of self-aggrandizing nods to how “beer geeks” observe the market of seasonal beer, “how [the market] used to be,” articles that “we’ve all read” on the topic, and how putting shit on the shelves earlier and earlier every year is “a frequent topic in the craft brew industry.”

While he says he “want[s] to talk about pumpkin beer hate,” Bath Matt’s inquiries are, well, insincere:

There’s a stigma that “real craft beer lovers” shouldn’t like pumpkin beer, and that it’s just a gimmick to attract the people who defiantly say they don’t like beer. Is pumpkin beer the equivalent of cheap, sweet, white zinfandel in the wine world?

Spoiler alert: The guy who hosted a pumpkin beer tasting party thinks the haters are wrong because he’s smart.

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The post isn’t so much about pumpkin beer as it is about Bath Matt and how many ways he’s great (the answer is 7, but not really):

• He’s some kind of brilliantly cut diamond, whose facets are many:

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of positive things to say about pumpkin beer. Despite being a warm-weather, savory-food kinda person, eventually I admit to myself that summer is gone and fall is here. 

• He was hip to the craft brew scene when he was in middle school:

Dogfish Punkin’ has been around since 1994 and at the time it certainly embodied the company’s approach to off-centered ales. As a 7% ABV brown ale, it was one of the few examples of Imperial Pumpkin back when most pumpkin beers were simply light, refreshing amber-colored ales and lagers with a little bit of extra spice.

• He’s a furrowed-brow number-cruncher, describing how he

took the top 50 most-reviewed beers and then sorted them by their scores


looked at Beer Advocate’s ratings for the Pumpkin Ale category, starting by sorting the list for the most-reviewed beers

to learn the cold, hard facts about what people like. (It’s not like the site has already sorted the most-rated and the highest-rated pumpkin beers.)

• He’s a discerning man who knows how to pick a beer-drinking woman, claiming twice that his wife’s tastes run to “cult” favorites:

The beer with the most reviews was Southern Tier Pumking (one of Kath’s favorites) with over 5,000 reviews,

and Dogfish Head Punkin’ a close second. The third most reviewed was Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin with just over 2,000 reviews, and the list drops dramatically from there.

• He’s also a savvy navigator of social trends who found “revealing” information by searching Twitter for #pumpkinbeer:

The first tweet of the year was on June 30th from the beer news website, announcing (appropriately) the availability of Pumking. The next several are retail locations announcing the arrival of pumpkin beers, and then the customer comments begin. Many are positive, but there are plenty of “come on” and “too soon!” mixed in as well.

I’m not sure how he did his search, but if you search from the actual beginning of the year, there are “customer comments” from long before BeerPulse’s end-of-June announcement (engaging in some kind of competition to be either the person who is most fanatical about pumpkin pie spice in alcohol) and plenty after it, from people competing to have the narrowest definition of the season to drink it.

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• He is able to write down multiple sentence-length quotes from people with actual knowledge about things: a guy with a beer podcast, a Charlottesville beer store employee, and the president of Champion Brewing. (This is, actually, a change of pace from Kathy.) The first tells him that some brewers are too nutty in their experimenting, and try to stand out with more alcohol or stronger flavors than other pumpkin beers, which “may be what is making hardcore craft drinkers jaded.” The second says that might be true, but that it sells well: “Even our devoted hopheads will walk out with a few bottles of pumpkin every year when they roll out.”

• He is among that crowd of imperious hypocrites (really, dude who has previously written a guest post about the contents of your beer fridge?) saying that “probably half the beers I buy are hoppy, many of them are imperial, and I’m always looking for well-made examples of the classic beer styles. However, when the pumpkin beers come out there are a few that I cannot miss every year.”

Champion Brewing’s president is least interested in saying anything nice about pumpkin beer, calling it an overall  “rushed and played-out style,” but admitting that his opinion comes from him “being narrow in his view” about the topic. What seems to interest Bath Matt most in talking to someone from Champion, though, is how he can again prove how goddamned bright Bath Matt is, noting that it’s

one of the few breweries in the world producing the gose style (look it up!)

(Look, fucker. Would it have killed you to say it’s a tart beer made with salt and cilantro? Jeez. Plus, you’re publishing online. Throw a fucking link in there if you’re too busy to explain it well.)

Bath Matt ends the post by talking more about the internal struggle between his wistful heart and his pragmatic brain —

I have mixed emotions about seasonal slide. As a hot weather lover, I’m never ready to admit that summer is over. Pumpkin beers on the shelf just rub it in my face. But as a small business owner, I definitely understand the pressure that breweries must feel to get their beer out and available.

— reporting there’s still lots of pumpkin beer on the shelves of Charlottesville, (either because people are over it or because Charlottesvillians have “been such a high buyers in the past,” whatever that means), and concluding that,

In either case, with two kegs of homebrewed pumpkin beer on tap, I think we’re firmly pro-pumpkin in our house!

The only things we learn from this post come in the comments, where Bath Matt admits he can’t stand Pumking —

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— and that he sort of half-assed and never finished the post in August, which is why it kinda sucks:

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.49.07 PMSpeaking of kinda sucking, Thursday’s post is Kathy’s recipe of the week that answers the question Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? with a resounding Because it sounds disgusting:

Introducing….the deep dish pancake!

Eddie Murphy in RAW is not impressed.

So, the idea of this post is that Kathy has no time to do anything (See also: “The problem with the French press is that it takes a good 4 minutes of hands on activity from start to finish,” “Oatmeal and I are still in love, but I don’t make it as much because it takes just that much longer to make …. when I have a toddler saying EAT EAT EAT at my feet, time is of the essence!” “Lunch used to be a royal event, but now I just eat whatever’s in the fridge to knock my hunger out. #lifeofamom”). 

One morning,

a certain toddler who didn’t want to put on his outfit

was delaying her from getting out the door, and she didn’t have time to make herself pancakes on the stove top. Since it would have been impossible for her to take her child to preschool, return, and then eat, Kathy put her batter in a bowl and microwaved it, and says the result was “delicious.”

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Because Kathy’s mornings seem to open up when she’s all out of child complaints, she’s magically had all sorts of time at her disposal since then:

I’ve been playing around with this concept for a few weeks now and created several variations. It’s kind of a cross between a pancake and cake! (Mazen calls it “cake” : ) ) …. The next week I made a pumpkin version! Delicious topped with melted Barney Butter and chia sprinkles. I tried it a third time with my own DIY batter for those of you who don’t have access to the Great Harvest mix.

Time to learn how to slap on some nail stickers and make her own inane little gifs as well, it appears:


There are other qualities that recommend her new microwaveable wet flour: fewer dishes for her to put in the dishwasher, and microwaving it for a little less time, results in “a little batter left in the middle,” something Kathy loves.

She also thinks her recipe for rushed, undercooked batter “could” be baked, but isn’t sure how, so she provides the least helpful directions ever, complete with asterisk degree symbol, because I’m sure Toddler Carbz has made it so she doesn’t have time to press ALT and 0176 too:

….I’m not sure of cooking times. Just set the temp around 350* and watch for the middle to set.

Astoundingly, even with a child tearing about, Kathy is somehow able to multi-task and keep an eye on her microwaved dough for a full 60-90 seconds. How does she do it?

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At least she makes the effort to tell us what the nutrition is made from in her recipe. Wait…. what?

And lastly, it’s great with any and everything on top. 

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Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 6.04.59 AM’s Michael McCollor is in my brain.

Kathy concludes the week with her second sponsored post, even though she doesn’t disclose it until 127 words into what she claims is just a “great recipe to share with you today” that happens to involve coffee.

Describing herself as

hooked on afternoon decaf cappuccinos [since] last winter while taking Mazen out for walks downtown. ‘Tis the season.

Kathy asks what her readers think is the “best coffee,” and launches into a tall tale:

I remember hunting down Blue Bottle in the Ferry Building of San Francisco during my first visit and then waiting in a line for a realllly long time. The reward was amazing –>

Is that so? Because that’s not really how she described it in late 2009, when she submitted a recipe to Bertolli and the pasta sauce company paid for her to collect swag and drink free wine at the first FoodBuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco.


She trudged out on a field trip with a bunch of the other bloggers one day and her only comment was:

We waited in a long line for the infamous Blue Bottle Coffee. I got a Cafe au Lait.

In fact, when she headed out to Flying Goat Coffee two days later, she raved that her café au lait there

….was incredible. So rich and not too roasty. Way better than the cup of Blue Bottle coffee I had at the Ferry Building

Confidential to Perfect Coffee: five years after launching, that conference that awarded Kathy “Best Food Blogger” seems to have been acquired and euthanized, and Kathy hasn’t mentioned the company that footed her bill there since finishing her last free samples a few months after the trip.

Kathy discloses her sponsor and tries to describe what they do:

Perfect Coffee’s subscription service starts at $15 a month …. [or] $1.88 or less per cup, which would be a great way for coffee-lovers to save some money while discovering new types of coffee in a perfect cup made at home.

Since Kathy thinks $1.88 for a cup of coffee you make at home is thrifty (side note: I helped someone price grocery store coffee against a subscription service recently and  the supermarket stuff cost about 50 cents per 12-cup pot), I guess she saw no reason to mention that the cost goes down to $1.11 per cup if you get the 70-cup per month option•.

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Am I an idiot, or does this seem to be selling 28 servings that are each 28 ounces, 50 servings that are each 50 ounces, and 70 servings that are each 10 ounces short of 2 bottles of Olde English?

They send “small serving packets” from roasters including her hated Blue Bottle, which somehow got so much better as soon as she was being paid to drink it —

I savored the decafs (the Blue Bottle Decaf Noir was my fav!), and I had the regulars before my soccer games!

— as soon as she was free to add stuff to it —

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— and as soon as she was being paid to drink it out of a free AeroPress, a small, single-serving coffee-making device that costs $26 and comes in packaging that recalls rough-around-the-edges, bulk psyllium-selling, B-vitamin-scented health food stores of the 80s.

It’s all fun and games until the cats knock the filter under the stove and you have to wait for a $12 replacement from Canada.

This is how Kathy describes the device:

It makes a concentrate and then you either add water or milk. Adding frothed milk made an amazing latte!

It also goes contrary to everything Perfect Coffee seems to stand for, not that Kathy indicates she gives much of a shit about that. On the company’s web site, founder Neil Day says in a video intro:

The solution, for most people, for bad coffee, is loading it up with condiments. Cream and sugar, vanilla flavoring or hazelnut flavoring are always to mask either stale, or badly prepared coffee. One of the things that’s really fun for me is the look on people’s face[s] when they taste well prepared coffee and realize they don’t need any sugar — they don’t need any cream.

My sincere apologies to the Beastie Boys for insinuating you are, at all, similar to Kathy.

Sorry, Mr. Day. That’s not a look Kathy’s ever likely to have on her face.

This look, on the other hand?

One of the only things Kathy likes unadulterated.

Need more proof? Later in the post, she gets around to the recipe the post was supposedly about, saying she was “Inspired by all of [her] delicious coffee” to add half a cup to baked oatmeal — sort of like how her blogger conference recipe no one liked in 2009 was “inspired” by a sauce she never uses anymore?

Sort of like how her recipe no one liked was "inspired" by a sauce she never uses anymore?

I suppose there’s one thing to be thankful for in her new recipe: she’s finally willing to use butter in her cooking dish:

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Her original recipe, which is still up, still advises lining the dish with flammable-but-calorie-free parchment paper before you put it in the 375-degree oven for 26 minutes.

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Still, even though she came up with the “super easy” recipe, she thought it could have been better:

You know what would take it over the top? Chocolate chips and coconut! I added a dollop of chocolate peanut butter “frosting” (Buddy’s brand!) to make up for my lapse in judgment not adding any chocolate chips to the recipe : ) What is it about chocolate and coffee together…

What is it about them? It’s that you’re not interested in coffee, Kathy. You’re interested in sugar. And if coffee and whole grains, or a fritter-topped salad, or greens cooked in maple syrup a can be a sugar-conveyance, you like that.

Kathy’s stellar review of the coffee service is evident in the post’s comments, where she talks about what an enormous amount of effort she puts into her writing—

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 6.17.17 AM— even though, at the end of it all, her readers can’t quite figure out what she’s writing about:

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We returned Monday to hear all about Kathy’s weekend, in which she opens with small talk about the OMG cold weather —

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Kathy, spend some of that coffee money on a lint brush and a new pair of gloves that didn’t come from a $4.99 stocking stuffer bin. You can see the holes in those.

— as a way to segue ickily into gym talk:

I know some of you have seen snow already this year, and I have one thing to say: I’m sorry!

Our weekend started off somewhat hot and steamy – in a Friday night workout class at the gym!

The gross “evening happy hour” at her gym forced Kathy to sweat (ew, thanks for letting us know) while she “used 20 and 25lb kettlebells.” For what, she doesn’t say, except that it seems she was allowed wine, fakery sandwiches, and cookies as reward at the end.

On Saturday, she ate a pancake, peanut butter, and eggs, and no fruit, “unfortunately,” before going to the farmer’s market and letting Toddler Carbz play behind the wheel of the hardly seen fakery truck while Bath Matt sold bread or something. Kathy was sure to let everyone know how much it put her out to let her child mess around in the vehicle:

I promise you that sitting in the truck for 20 minutes was not the highlight of my day : )

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Once her husband was finished with the morning shift, they took their child to the child-aimed Virginia Discovery Museum, where Kathy insisted her child played “bakery”:

Although he definitely thought the cash register was a toaster oven (also appropriate!)

Please, Kathy. In the grand scheme of misconceptions, putting a piece of bread on a cash register barely ranks next to putting on a dust mask and spray painting two pieces of furniture while pregnant

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Her best salvo in the Valspar Sparring of 2012: “Lets stop the mommy war judgment please”

or being puzzled over why African women don’t shove as many ice cream sandwiches in their faces as she does:


Back at home, Kathy was “pumped up” about a broccoli soup she was thinking about:

I put garlic, carrots, peppers and broccoli in a pot with some broth, let is [sic] simmer a bit, added some half and half and then 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese.

And then something went terribly wrong. One of my dairy components curdled – I think it was the cheese given the timing. It also could have been the crème fraîche I used for a garnish, but I’ll never know. The soup tasted great, but the recipe was not blog worthy.

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She’ll never know — except that her commenters are willing to explain exactly what went wrong.

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How the fuck was she in a hurry? She made the soup and took a NAP.

Anyway, after waking up from the most urgent nap ever, the family drove to someone’s house to eat chili from paper plates and s’mores and drink beer and wine.

Must have had onions, judging by the size of her portion.

Must have had onions, judging by the size of her portion.

On Sunday, Kathy ate breakfast, went to the gym, then met Bath Matt’s mom to go grocery-shopping and eat brunch at Brookville:

I ordered a sandwich made with pancakes (OMG!) with egg, bacon and gouda. TOP NOTCH, I tell ya!! I brought some home for tomorrow.

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But the real kicker was MBF Pancake (aka my big fat pancake) that was literally the size of my head!! It must have been made in a cast iron skillet – that’s a dinner plate folks! Chef sent it out to us gratis, and I’m so glad he did because I’m ready to go back next weekend : )

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Kathy avoided further cooking responsibilities by traipsing off with “[her] soccer team for an end-of-season party at South Street Brewery” and coming home to eat

curdled broccoli soup for dinner  It tasted good – I promise!

With that appetizing picture in her readers’ minds, Kathy barrels into Tuesday’s post, which is a Celestial Seasonings-sponsored variation on Kathy’s now annual rehash of every pre-holiday women’s magazine article about how, if you own a vagina, getting through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s is akin to explosive ordnance disposal, and don’t you dare think about indulging, because you’ll gain 500 pounds, but don’t you dare unhealthily restrict, because your seasonal joy is mandatory lest you fuck up the holidays for everyone, you jerk.

Kathy spices things up this year by writing the exact opposite of what she wrote last year.

In 2013, Kathy bragged that she’d actually lost weight over the holidays, and that she had an innate ability to “sense that more eating is coming …. [and built] up hunger in between the holidays”:

Conventional diet advice means you’re missing out on the most wonderful time of the year …. Apparently the average meal is 7,000 calories? I’m not sure I believe that. One dinner will not make you fat. 365 dinners will …. So [don't spend mental energy] stressing out about how you’re going to say no to Aunt Erma’s triple chocolate cake on Christmas….


But this year, Kathy advises spending all your mental energy stressing out about that exact thing:

Make a mental plan for the night (or season!) Whether you balance your nights out with home cooked meals the next day or you simply map out a party plan in your head before you go, the more mindfulness you can practice the better. Think about the events ahead: you’ll have your mom’s famous pumpkin pie on Christmas and will save the eggnog for next week’s party.

In 2013, Kathy admitted that trying to satisfy her hunger before a party didn’t work, and that it was okay if she didn’t eat kale on Christmas:

When I eat before the holiday party I end up having two dinners, which is even more calories then if I’d just eaten at the party alone! I used to have a big salad before just to ensure that I got vegetables with my dinner in the event that the party had no crudités. But I have decided that having a salad for lunch and no vegetables for dinner is perfectly healthy a few times a year (or month…). Vegetables rule, but like I said above, we’re talking about very few days of the year.

But this year, Kathy decided salads were satiating, and that taking a day off from “your veggie quota” is out of the question:

Pre-Game For The Party

On healthy food – not booze! Have a salad or a hearty, nutritious snack before you head to a holiday party. You don’t want to have to rely on cheese and crackers to satisfy your hunger, and crudités alone do not a dinner make. A simple salad before you go will help fill you up. And once you’ve met your veggie quota, you can sample some of the very best hors d’oeuvres.

In 2013, Kathy encouraged cutting loose with eggnog instead of lower-calorie drinks:

Everyone knows eggnog is one of the most calorie dense drinks on the planet. But what would Christmas be without it? …. [E]njoy a little. Just make sure you keep your portion on the small side. Maybe a light beer is less calories than a White Russian, but if you have 5 of them because they taste like water you’re not saving very much! …. Anyways, my point is drink what you want most and what you will savor.

Not this year. This year, Kathy Kommands you Konsume tea, because “hydration” is more important than enjoying yourself, and because they will totally trick you into thinking you’ve had something sweet:

Drink more tea! Not only does a steamy mug of tea warm you up on cold afternoons, but tea counts toward your daily hydration needs. There are so many amazing holiday flavors …. and they have aromas that will satisfy your sweet tooth after lunch instead of reaching for the cookie tin. 

The one thing she’s consistent about in both years’ posts? Laziness. Laziness and wine:


My drink of choice – red wine divided into a few small pours. Some before and some with dinner.


My drink of choice – juicy red wine divided into a few small pours. I’m more likely to wash it down with dinner, so I prefer to have a little before and after and stick to water during the meal.

On Wednesday, Kathy pens another diary post about nine thoroughly random things: she ate something, she watched television, she watched her child on her baby monitor, she wore clothing she got in the mail from that company she has a subscription to, she window shopped online because she needs more shit with pictures of kale on it, she sucked at finding slow cooker recipes suitable for her Pinterest board (ironic, since she is replete with Crockpot Information), and she left the house to eat free food and drink free alcohol at a soft opening of a brewery and a “special press dinner” at a place that makes cider.

1. She starts out by saying she’s quoting “E.T.”:

What’s happpppening?! (Quote from E.T., if you didn’t realize!)

No. I did not realize. Partially because Drew Barrymore doesn’t Roger Rabbit the word like Kathy’s spelling, but mostly because nobody quotes this:

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Other famous Kwotes for Kathy:

"Gone With the Wind" (1939)

“Gone With the Wind” (1939)

"Citizen Kane" (1941)

“Citizen Kane” (1941)

"Casablanca" (1942)

“Casablanca” (1942)

2. There’s a photo of a breakfast she ate on an unspecified day. It’s leftover oatmeal

and a big glob of Barney Butter from the bottom of the jar. Yeah!

3. She talks about how she’s made it through eight old seasons of “Survivor,” is watching Season 18, has really enjoyed some kind of  Season 26 to the point where she says she

love[s] it more every day …. I am DEFINITELY going to apply and if I get picked I have to go

even though it won’t be “like this,” she says, posting a photo of the most miserable blogger on vacation ever.

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4. Now that Toddler Carbz’s bed is a toddler bed, Kathy’s likes looking at him on her tiny screen in another room:

It’s so sweet to see him on the monitor looking all grown up sleeping instead of bunched in a ball like a baby.

Well, some of the time she likes it and most of the time she wishes he would just stay cribbed up, she admits in the comments:

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5.  Kathy loves her subscription clothing service more and more every day too, saying it

has been killing it lately! I just love the comfortable, casual but slightly-more-stylish-than-anything-I’d-pick-out-for-myself pieces they have been sending.

Although she admits in the comments that it’$ not for ju$t everyone:

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6. She and Bath Matt went to the soft opening of South Street Brewery, which was bought out by “Blue Mountain.” I think she means the Virginia brewery, but I suppose she could be referring to the greeting card company. Kathy drinks some beer she thinks was on the old menu and eats her way through a “great” free dinner: “heirloom” popcorn, cheese curds in sriracha, salad with “cuc …. and a molasses-malt dressing,” bacon macaroni and cheese that was “AMAZING!”,  and lasagna that was “So fresh!!”

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7. There are these cards that cost $4 and have the nutritional information for kale printed on the back, you know, for all the times you want to send someone a card that conveys that you’re enthusiastic about the trendy superfoods and overused phrases of the last decade?

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Future card slogans surely include Much Cronut, Sriracha 2.0Keep Calm and Quinoa, and Gose Fuck Yourself, for the Bath Matts of the world.

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8. Kathy has only found 28 interesting things to stick on her “Slow Cooker Board” on Pinterest. Funny, she has no problem coming up with cookies and shit to put on the board she inexplicably calls “Soul Food.”

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9. Kathy and Bath Matt also went to the place that makes Bold Rock Hard Cider

to celebrate the opening of the brand new “Apple Chapel” 

and eat “delicious” barbecue, “so good” grilled oysters, and apple cobbler.

Kathy calls this sweater "hoodish."

Kathy calls this sweater “hoodish.”

Kathy calls the place “great,” its interior “gorgeous,” and patio “big” and “perfect for outdoor concerts,” which is rare, because most patios are stupidly built for indoor concerts. After being “mesmeriz[ed]” by watching cider being bottled, Kathy “enjoyed lots of cider tastes” and listened to the state agriculture secretary talk about how cider with booze is really fucking popular.

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Thursday’s post is one of those dreadful lists of food she’s eaten recently, which I’d hoped she might have given up after skipping it the week before. Kathy doesn’t seem to keen on writing these posts either, since — on November 20 — she’s posting about what she ate on October 31: “Halloween oatmeal with festive sprinkles” and that Noosa yogurt that has as much sugar in it — 28 grams — as the average cup of ice cream.

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What else has she eaten?

• Leftover lentils, “roasted roots,” and leftover restaurant cornbread.

• Leftovers of that oatmeal she put coffee in. She had to put chocolate peanut butter on it to hork it down, and ended up giving the rest of it to “hungry friends.”

• Leftovers of that horrible grits sushi, which she insists was “sooooo good.”

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• French toast her husband made that she ate in bed.

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• Pepperoni pizza and salad at a restaurant with Bath Matt’s mom.

• Salad and more pizza that Bath Matt made. Kathy insists it “rules!”

• Leftover pizza when she “was starving for lunch.”

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• An oat bar her friend gave her at the gym, kale chips, ketchup, and cheese: “Great combo  ; )”

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• “A dreary morning of eggs, pear and toast with jam.”

• That not-quesadilla she makes and “homemade soup topped with parmesan.”

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• Vegetarian stuffing for a sponsored post and decidedly not dainty pork:

The pork was called “side meat” and was like giant bacon! A little too much fat for me, but still tasty.

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• Salmon and salad at a friend’s house during “a Matilda Jane party,” even though it takes until a commenter asks “who” Matilda Jane is before Kathy explains that it’s a clothing brand. One that totally seems like it has its shit together, in between “lovingly made in China” on their tags —

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— and having to post a cringe-worthy amount of apologies on their Facebook.

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And, you know, the rusty needle someone found in her 3-year-old’s dress:

"Found a 3.5" rusted sewing needle sewn into the inside back of a brand new dress for my little girl. It was poking her in the back. It had a hooked end and a little spur under the hook and was rusty towards the bottom. Could have been very dangerous if it was not spotted. Could have punctured my daughters back if she fell or poked her eye out putting it on or taking it off. She is 3 years old. This is a dress for a toddler. My baby. I am so glad that nothing serious happened. Not to mention the diseases that could have come from a foreign country on a nasty sewing needle."

“Found a 3.5″ rusted sewing needle sewn into the inside back of a brand new dress for my little girl. It was poking her in the back. It had a hooked end and a little spur under the hook and was rusty towards the bottom.” — Via the Consumer Product Safety Commission

• Salmon, rice, broccoli, and chimichurri from Whole Foods. I guess she’s resigned herself to never being sponsored by them, because she’s not shy about shitting on their sauce:

Not good – homemade is best! (Obviously…)

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 1.05.12 AMHer commenters aren’t too happy about seeing the return of the “Lately” posts, it seems:

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Four other commenters echo Elise’s remarks, but all Kathy has to say is the above — thanks, but no, but thanks.

On Friday, Kathy ends her week with a post sponsored by the Grain Foods Foundation in which she types up a recipe she calls “fresh,” modern,” and “classic”: vegetarian stuffing made with butternut squash, “shitake” [sic] mushrooms, and kale.

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As is the case with her son, Kathy is confused by her creation:

Stuffing?….Dressing?  …I think the official word is dressing because there was no turkey involved.

And by its preparation:

roast the squash and sauté the veggies…er, veggie and fungi!

And by its cooking container:

Way to make your wife look like an idiot, Bath Matt.

Way to make your wife look like an idiot, Bath Matt.

And by whether it’s a good thing that the resulting stuffing/dressing is healthy, saying “alas,” it is.

What she’s not confused about is how much she wants to sell that healthy fakery bread, which is “pumped with whole grains” and “packed with nutrition!”

When most of the dishes on your Thanksgiving table are loaded with butter and bacon (nothin’ wrong with that…just sayin’!) this dressing will bring both healthy and delicious to the table.

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But instead of universally responding to her angelically healthy pot of bread or the comment-bait asking what their favorite stuffing is, Kathy’s commenters finally attempt to talk to their host about why 40 percent of her posts have been sponsored for two weeks:

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Yeah. Settle down, readers. Kathy knows about the BUSINESS INDUSTRY.

And Kathy has coffee.

Kathy knows that, even if she doesn’t sell things, even if readers aren’t charged a monetary amount to read her posts, even if people are complaining that they don’t like her product, not that the non-existent price is too high, that she would only be doing something wrong if people weren’t complaining.

She knows this September New York Times article about her heroes, the Petersiks, on hiatus from their blog “Young House Love,” is wrong.

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She knows that Pam Kueber, of the Retro Renovation blog, quoted in the New York Times article, is wrong. She knows that even companies in the business of sponsored blog posts, like Contently, a self-described “company that works with publishers and brands that create sponsored content,” were wrong when they surveyed 542 people in July and found

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And she knows that Fortune magazine was wrong when they reported on the findings and warned that, sponsored content can work as well as ads,

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Either that, or she’s just digging in her heels, ears plugged with a free-shrimp sushi roll on one side and an Aeropress plunger on the other, because she has a compliment document that’s 35 pages long —

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March 6, 2008

— and she knows best.