five fun things

For awhile now, I’ve been on the lookout for an extra-large mug for hot tea. Ordinary mugs are too small — if I go to the trouble of making tea, I want it to last for a good while — and I didn’t want the bowl-like ones (two wide) or skinny tall ones that taper at the bottom (too wobbly) And then just this week I found these at the thrift store.

There was a whole selection, but I limited myself to just three. Even at thrift-store prices, they weren’t cheap (7 dollars per mug), and I didn’t know if I’d actually like drinking out of them. Plus, since they’re so big (each mug holds an ample pint), I knew I wouldn’t use them for company — I only needed one or two for myself. 

Turns out, they’re fantastic and now that I see that one mug goes for 26 dollars, I’m kinda wishing I got the rest (even though I don’t actually need them).  


I’m thoroughly enjoying Suleika Jaouad’s memoir about being diagnosed with cancer as a young adult, making it through, and then figuring out how to live without the cancer. Somehow she manages to write her story in such a way that it’s moving without being depressing. (The last book I read, though, was super depressing [and so good I bought it]. I think I’m due a comedy, or at least something uplifting. Suggestions?)


Currently, my husband and I are binging Succession. Something about the show — probably the excessive wealth — reminds me of Downton Abbey, but with cell phones and prolific cursing. (Shh, don’t tell my husband; he hates that show.) The characters are horrible, yet so human. In spite of myself, I find myself caring about them. My husband and I will sit around in the evening discussing their motives and foibles as though they’re real. (We both agree, though, that if one of them doesn’t begin to show signs of positive growth soon, we might have to give it up.) My biggest takeaway? I love my ordinary life.


Regarding my problem with rough feet: remember that foot scraper that my mom bought for me? Well, I finally busted it out and WOW. After using it just two times, I started sleeping without socks (flannel sheets and rough feet do not a happy sleeper make), and I haven’t slept without socks for months

I hate the feel of rasping a grater over my skin as much as the next person, but I made myself do it and it doesn’t bother me much anymore. About twice a week, right before jumping in the shower, I give my feet a good going-over. (After experimenting with using it on both wet feet and dry, I’ve decided that using the rasper on dry feet is more effective.) It only takes a few seconds and my feet feel amazingIt’s a game changer, I tell you.


I’m still undecided about this YouTube experiment. It’s a lot of fun, and I love this medium for teaching — I enjoy sharing what I’m learning, and I like how taking videos of myself helps me shrug off my perfectionist tendencies — but it takes a lot of time, and I’m not sure who my audience is, or how much I should attempt to blend the two platforms. (I’ve read that blog readers tend to be different from YouTube viewers, so I don’t expect there to be much overlap.) For now, I’ve decided to stick with the plan: I’ll post a new video every Tuesday and Friday, and I may start sharing the videos here on the weekend — Saturday morning Murch TV, anyone? — and after a few months I’ll reevaluate.


It’s Friday and I’m looking forward to making a massive cup of spiked hot chocolate this evening and then settling in for a couple episodes of Succession (in quick succession). Have a great weekend, friends!

This same time, years previous: berry crostata, the quotidian (3.2.20), the quotidian (3.4.19), classic German gingerbread, creamy Costco-esque cake filling, kids and money: how we’re doing it, tradition!, girl party, grocery shopping, air, print, internet, a monument to childhood.


  • Becky

    We’ve been watching Succession too. Such horrid people, but we can’t look away. Almost done with season 3 and then we’re hoping to find something a little easier to watch.

  • Judith Lehman

    I think your blog posts and YouTube videos are similar and I read and watch both from various bakers. Your channel seems like a natural extension to me. They definitely don’t conflict or seem like too much. I’m enjoying it all. Wiping the flour goo off the table is brilliant!

  • Becky R.

    I enjoy both your blog and your videos so much, Jennifer. I have gotten behind on videos, and I need to catch up. You do what you want to do, that’s the best answer to your quandary. Your audience will follow you wherever you go. Haven’t you figured that out yet? Succession, NO, I don’t want to be reminded of people like Rupert Murdoch. I just can’t seem to get past the selfishness and narcissism.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Thanks, Becky. I think the difference (for me) is that I refer to the blog frequently for recipes and personal records, but the videos are more for other people so it’s harder for me to gauge their value.

  • Mountaineer

    Succession is one of those shows of which humans are capable of creating, but should not create–much worse than developing hernia transplant procedure.

  • Sherry

    I’m a long time reader of your blog and am enjoying your new adventure in video making. Keep up the good work, Jennifer. You always amaze me!

  • Elaine

    I really enjoyed watching your latest YouTube on making cinnamon bread. It helps so much to see how others knead the dough (what you are going for) and the process from beginning to end. I’ve been following your blog for years and would love to see more YouTube tutorials on making pies, cakes, etc. You make the most interesting recipes!

  • Coleen Crisanti

    Hello! I’m really enjoying your YouTube videos. I especially liked the one about all the food you fixed and ate for the week.

  • Elva

    I just finished listening to Between Two Kingdoms as an audio book. I greatly admired the courage this young woman displayed, but I was horrified at what she had to go through. I admit that as soon as I finished the book, I quickly looked her up on Google to make sure she was still alive and well! Phew!

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