elizabeth kirby

life in the plumper: chronicles of lard and laughter


Thousand Oaks, California, USA
May 06


Elizabethkirby's Links

MARCH 31, 2014 11:00PM

Yaya's House

I don’t need to raise the flag or build a ballfield. They come anyway with their built-in homing devices, cranked up to extra crispy, sort of GPS with benefits. So there’s no way to hide because they always find me. With cranky kids and unidentified growths,/… Read full post »
MARCH 21, 2014 6:14PM

Obummercare: The Tin Can Plan


The Tin Can Plan

Watching the hoards of gimpy grandparents schlepping to Fiore Fields in California to see our little ballers pitch, slide and scratch, I realized I have a responsibility to report more than just the joys of Little League.

First, a little setup before the pitch.… Read full post »



My hormones come in a bottle.


Not always. In the days of Copernicus, my hormones were original equipment and only came to life when roused by martinis, a pound of chocolate or Benito Mussolini. Kind of like my ‘56 TV whichRead full post »

MAY 9, 2013 5:29PM

A Letter to Mom

Dear Mom,

I miss you and your roadside potatoes.


Jean Hanson2


Though you slipped the surly bonds of suburbia 28 years ago, your frothy memory remains front and center. If you were here, you’d tell me to worry about other things, like my messy closets, but I can’t.Read full post »

JANUARY 26, 2012 6:55PM

Frat House Chili


        When Dad gimped out of Walter Reed Hospital in 1945, he knew he’d rather make a living playing stride piano than return to engineering school in the tundra. He also knew that his stern Swedish mother didn’t raise her son to hang out i… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 17, 2012 7:41PM

When I Die: Two Things My Kids Want to Know


      When I kick the bucket, my kids will ask two questions: 1) how much cash is left in the mattress for them and 2) who’s going to make artichoke soup when the old broad is pushing up geraniums?


      &nRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 10, 2012 4:21PM

Sans Office

My feet are firmly planted in midair. Unresponsive to a desk, my continuous flight of fancy is fueled by Ravel waltzes and chocolate. When inspiration drags me from ennui to the easel, this is the view from my corner of the world. 


When I need a n… Read full post »



The melody’s in the right hand, not the left!”

I was practicing, or as my mother would say, “annihilating,” a Mozart sonata before school, before breakfast, and before I was capable of anything other than brushing my teeth. With theRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 26, 2011 8:18PM

Creme Brulee French Toast: A Kiss from My Kitchen

For those of  you hosting Easter Brunch or any brunch for that matter, here's a dish that will make you more loved than the damn bunny or the peeps. Cheers! 

Jean Hanson2

My mother was kicked out of college after having an affair with a married professor and sent toRead full post »

DECEMBER 19, 2011 2:08PM

Ye Ode to Vodka - Boozy Tuesday


Oh little town of Belvedere

How valuable thou art!

Your juice from ripe potatoes

Warms the heart of this old fart.


Mixed with tonic, ice and lemons

Feigns a camphor, oh so bright

With help from thee I do believe


Read full post »
DECEMBER 12, 2011 4:00PM

Tackling Toffee: Chocolate Almond


Mom used a vodka bottle to roll out pie crust. When frustrated, she heaved the gloop against the wall, banked it into the trash and called Svens Danish Bakery. She taught me everything I know. And…I learned how to use four letter words, not how to… Read full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2011 5:45PM

Carnitas for Dummies


My hormones might come in a bottle but I’ve found that I can still learn new tricks. 

When it comes to entertaining, two challenges torment me: what can I make that everyone will enjoy and how much can I prepare in advance?

To my utterRead full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2011 12:23AM

The Plumper's Apple Pie


I live in the plumper and I love apple pie. It’s dad’s fault. Nothing delighted him more than the sight of two things: Nana’s perfect pomme de pie or my mother in a slinky black dress, both carefully archived in our home movies.


With… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 28, 2011 1:50PM

Turkey Pot Pie: Beyond Beige

 57 pot pieThings were pretty basic at Camino de Chaos on Thanksgiving. My guests brought their limited palates, expressing gratitude for the simple fact that on this sacred day, a plate can be filled to capacity with absolutely nothing green.

It was the annual feast of the fussy. A celebrationRead full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2011 7:36PM

Epiphany Chili

option 3


 I’ve changed costumes more than RuPaul. By the time my hormones arrived in a bottle and the last train to Clarksville long left the station, I’ve written more game plans than Vince Lombardi. Just when I thought I had all the answers, they flipped the questions. Such isRead full post »

I haven’t purchased a bathing suit for 17 years. Buying one ranks right up there with the joy of root canals, mammograms and cleaning Thanksgiving turkey grit off the bottom of your oven.

 polka dot bikini  

You smell what I’m cookin’, I know you do.


Nothing is as much… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 7, 2010 12:21AM

The Legacy of a Brewmeister: How I Ended Up With Potatoes

In 1876, a fellow named Carl Conrad from a little hamlet in Bavaria developed the pasteurization of beer. That is, he figured out how to put beer in bottles. Terribly clever for his time. 

das wunderbar potato salad  


Because he was my great-great grandfather, his patent hangs in my kitchen next… Read full post »

MAY 21, 2010 7:47PM

A Strong Back and a Weak Mind


A Strong Back and a Weak Mind 

It’s Father’s Day in just a few weeks. Although my Dad has been in that great piano bar in the sky for almost 30 years, keeping time with his left foot while playing “Someone to Watch Over Me,” I’m the lucky one… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2010 10:45PM

Blue Danube Bean Soup

Blue Danube Bean Soup 

Blue Danube Bean Soup 

The square corners of his handkerchiefs stood at allegiance from a bucket of starch. A man of propriety who “bowed” in respect, my father’s noble and elegant dignity matched his crisp attire.  

Yet his greatest personalRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 30, 2010 9:08PM

The Oh-So-Merry Margarita



The Oh-So-Merry Margarita


If getting juiced was good enough for Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire, just think about what the essence of carrot-raisin-beet-rutabaga-dirt clod could do for this old broad who is getting closer to the last tango?


On a slow Sunday morning when… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 25, 2010 12:48AM

Making a Badass Pudding


I’m the result of too many Mai Tais and Nat King Cole. Or so I heard. My kooky, irreverent mother who danced the Times step on our linoleum floor and pounded out Chopin etudes more easily than round steak would casually tell her friends about the conditions surrounding my concepti… Read full post »