Moms Without Blogs has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A smörgåsbord of wit and wisdom from Nava Atlas.

Written by Em

On the eve of my wedding, my domestic, post-war goddess of a grandmother bequeathed to me two pearls of marital wisdom:

1. Always put on lipstick when you hear your husband's car in the driveway - make him think you've been waiting for him all day.

2. Always put a pot on the stove, even if it's just water boiling - make him think supper is almost ready.

If I had really paid attention to what she was saying, I would have heard her speak the keys to a happy marriage - mastering the art of illusion, offering a whole lot of kind gestures, and lying, a lot - sometimes even to yourself.

But I didn't hear that, because let's be honest, very few people want to cut to the chase and tell a bride-to-be that there will be days when she will want to witness the love of her life choking on a chicken bone. Preferably one that she lovingly serves to him.

And that is why I wish Nava Atlas had written "Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife" back in 1996. This naive bride could have used a steaming cup of realistic expectations topped off with a swirl of yummy fluff and rainbow sprinkles. Lord knows the Bridal magazines didn't/don't serve it; neither was my mother.

Presented in a cookbook format, circa 1950's middle America (comical vintage photos and all), this collection of dishes will keep you giggling, all while realizing that thankfully, you are not alone in the kitchen - metaphorically of course - because I, for one, am usually cooking by myself, unless you count the 3-year-old entwined around my ankles.

From "Sweethearts' Engagement Buffet" to "Happily-Ever-After Ambrosia," you are given step-by-step hilarious guidelines to understanding that even when served a lumberjack's helping of "Completely Fried Wife with Toast of Total Exhaustion," you too are just plowing through the typical milestones of a healthy marriage.

Nothing takes the sting out of a slap from reality like reading that it's all just a part of the marital marinating process.

I cannot recommend "Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife" enough. Maybe it's because I speak sarcasm and snark quite fluently, but I thoroughly enjoyed this foray into the culinary arts, because for me, no recipe for a successful marriage is complete without a healthy pinch of laughter.

The only disappointment - that my local Barnes & Noble did not have Atlas's vegetarian cookbooks in stock. Amazon, here I come!


From Lee:

Oh it's a happy Thursday my MWOB chicas!! Nava Atlas, the talented artistic author of this book has been so kind to offer up a copy of her book to one of our readers.

I've been thinking of all of the torture I want to put you through to get a chance to win this little delight, but as the clock is almost striking midnight for me, I am going to go easy on you.

You want this cool ditty of a book?

All you have to do is leave a comment. That's it. Nothing more.

And if your comment makes me laugh? I'll throw in an extra entry for you.

So leave a comment and your email address if your profile won't take me to you 'cause you're being all secret, and pretty soon you might have this book headed your way from the author herself.

I'll pick a winner using highly confidential picking methods on Sunday mid-day around 4 PM (BST-Blogging Standard Time) so any comment before that time is valid.

Until then, I will be gobbling up some gender role casserole over here in my domicile. Yuuuummmmmmmy.


  1. good lord, em... aren't you the show off with the diacriticals! revenge will be mine!

    okay, first of all, great review. well written (like you need to hear this from me!) and actually interesting. it makes me sad that there has been such a review backlash/stigma, because this is the type of review that makes me see how effective and fun a review/giveaway can be.

    i remember early on wanting to make a point about "equal rights and expectations" in my marriage. i would have thought the advice passed down from your grandma was bunk and an insult to all of us liberated, hard working women. if hubs wanted dinner when he got home, well, he could dig around in the fridge and get it himself.

    i've since learned to employ some of the "sleight of hand" tricks of the marriage trade that really do make my whole little world rotate a little smoother.

  2. That book sounds great. And you did an awesome review. Makes me want to run out and buy it! But I will wait to see if I win one first :-)

  3. too much pressure to be funny in a comment; usually i am quite hysterical. in a funny way, not in a psychotic way. well, that's not true either. see, i told you. also way too much pressure to use capitalization.

    make sure I win with your quote unquote highly confidential picking method, okay?

  4. Yea,...totally in Lee! I may not be as "snarky" as you and Em...but I could use this book...with a husband that doesnt understand a lick of anything, and being violently thrown up on last night by peanut, add a lil 8 chapters of reading to do in one day..I could use a constant laugh! I am telling you if I would have known what I know now about adulthood I would have tried to stay 16 forever! lol :)

  5. Any book that helps my husband think I do something other than ignore the kids and laundry would be greatly appreciated!

  6. Hey even Mr. Mom can play at this game ladies. I turn the dryer on 5 min prior to my wife coming home with a bounce sheet in it and as I her the truck pull in the drive I que the microwave for good effect that I have been hard at work. I bet this book is a very interesting read fro all. Thanks for sharing Em.

  7. OMg....I don't cook...I suck...mommy never taught me! but you know what, i don't even want to learn! but i do want to win this book! it sounds delightful! i do bake, does that count!??!! hahah....and im married. that HAS to count. lmfao

  8. Good advice from your grandma, I have been putting on the lipstick and the pot cooking for years. I learned a lot from my mom, my aunt's, and my grandma's. The women in my family knew exactly what they were doing!!!!!! Thanks Em.

  9. I've been married 18 years. 23 if you add the 5 I was married to the Practice Husband. I need to know what the heck I'm doing here....


  10. I could have used that 17 years ago...although, I guess I could use it now...

  11. Thanks for the AMAZING review, Em and the chance for this book, Lee! Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for me. LAUGHTER. (with a dash of red wine and a celexa pill for good measure)...

  12. I am not feeling funny so please just enter me one time for this book. I think that I may need it.

  13. Oh, I really, really want this book! Click over to my blog and you'll see why, lol!

  14. I hope Em's grandma's recipe for this delicacy she calls "boiling water" is in this book! I think I will try to make it for dinner tonight. Do you know the nutritional content of that?

  15. This sounds great! I would love this book. Especially if it has other options for killing my spouse with my cooking. Besides the obvious arsenic that is, they have tests that can find that nowadays. Or so I've heard.

    Guess what I'm making for dinner? The husband cook. I'm over it.

  16. This book sounds awesome. Does it have a cocktails section? You know, for when the lipstick and the pot on the stove trick don't work?

    Cocktail recipes could include:
    Who Cares The Pot Roast Burned Martini (Double strength)
    I Know You've Had a Long Day At the Office Long Island Iced Tea
    Honey I'm Going To Have A Headache Jaeger Bomb

  17. During my teen years, my mum gave me the most wonderful advice ever. Forget the pot of boiling water. Cut an onion and fry it. Not only does it "look" like you are cooking, the aroma from the frying onions is heavenly and he will think he is going to actually get a nice tasting meal as well. I have never forgotten that advice.

    Of course by now my husband knows not to get too excited when I cook. It's a good thing his mother was just as bad at cooking.

    I suggest All Day Pyjama Pie (it usually smells pretty bad by the end of the day) - For those early children years.

  18. Yeah, I'm not funny either, but count me in! =)

  19. I've been sauteing onions on my stove for 17 years. My husband still thinks dinner is "almost ready".

  20. Count me in! I could use some levity!!

  21. Ditto! Great review! I'm a fan of Nava's cookbooks, and can't wait to read this book!

  22. As we speak, my husband is making himself a tuna sandwich. He's grumbling about it. And I'm smiling here at the computer, feeling quite proud of myself for not making dinner. Is that bad? :)

  23. I don't need the book. I'm a legendary wife.

  24. grandma's advice to me was, "Make sure you send the postman out the back door when you hear your husband pull in the front."

    Okay, maybe not. Maybe that was my MOM'S advice to me.

    Probably not, either.

    I digress.

    Great review! I'm excited to take a peek at the book!

  25. Thanks ladies!! One thing I forgot to mention about the book, that I just loved, each "recipe" is one page - made it so easy to enjoy, have an excellent laugh, change a diaper, fill a sippy cup, and then get back to reading without feeling like I just lost a major plot point.

    Good luck! Em

  26. I'm up for some laughs! Count me in...

  27. Great post Em!

    I loved the "imagining your loved one choking on a chicken bone" line. Absolutely hilarious!

    Sounds like a great book (and a great gift for future brides)! I'll have to remember that.

  28. This would be a fabulous addition to it cook book collection-/ I'd love to shaw it with my 11 year old daughter.... ;)

  29. Nava's books are amazing! (Pick me, pick me!)

  30. It is way too early in the morning to be funny! But, as a broke, starving college student who just lost her financial aid, I reckon that this book would help cheer me up on those cold nights by the fire.

    Wait, I don't have a fire. I'll figure something out.

  31. That book sounds great. And you did an awesome review. Makes me want to run out and buy it! But I will wait to see if I win one first :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blog Designed by : NW Designs