Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sadly, Disappointed.

*the following is a letter I sent to L.L.Bean regarding their new Signature Line, which can be viewed here. I've said some of this before, but I guess I have to keep shouting into the darkness on this issue.

Dear L.L. Bean,

I've been a loyal customer since I was old enough to look through the catalogues that came to my parents. I've skied on, snowshoed in, lounged in, toted with, even had your sheets on my bed. I love your products and your stores: your customer service is like no other.

I've loved the modern updates to your women's clothing lines over the years, and your choice to sell in extended sizes. My only complaint was that some of your best designs you never offered for those of us who might not conform to the frankly arbitrary size and shape restrictions of the fashion industry.

Imagine my delight when the LL Bean SIgnature catalogue arrived on my doorstep. Updated classics, clean lines, gorgeous fabrics, modern cuts! I very nearly cried when I discovered that not one item was available larger than a size 18.

But wait! The internet! That's where the other size options will be, right? No luck.

Does the clothing industry assume that because some women (men, too, but this is about women's clothing this time) have large frames/food issues/baby weight or whatever other reasons/excuses for their apparently nonconforming bodies, that they do not want, appreciate, or need attractive clothing, nor would they be willing to pay for quality pieces from a company they trust?

Perhaps, but I would have thought better of L.L. Bean.
More sincerely than you can imagine,


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Can anyone think of a clever name for Oatmeal Milk Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Blondies?

I started with Martha Stewart. A very good place to start. (Oh, dear lord. I've invoked Julie Andrews and Martha Stewart in the first two sentences.) The recipe of origin was Chewy Oatmeal Blondies. Good sounding jumping off point, no?

I jumped off last week, and whipped up a bag of Everyday Baking Mix (why not? It's like having Bisquick in the house. No harm. No foul.). Felix and I made up the Blondies, and we all enjoyed them. Toothsome, not too sweet, a little nutty from the oats - and simply begging for a MoMP tweak!

Yesterday, when the urge to bake came over me, I asked myself, "What have I in the pantry?"
Turns out, I had a few of my favorite things, as it were. Dried cherries, toasted chopped hazelnuts, and milk chocolate chips.

Hullo, yum!

I proceeded exactly as the blondies recipe directs. In addition, I chopped the dried cherries and the hazelnuts quite finely. Felix, being two, doesn't like Unidentified Bits in his food. Chocolate chips, on the other hand, are an accepted food group.

I measured 1/2 cup each of the three mix-ins. I folded them in by hand at the end of the mixing. The batter is quite stiff, and needed more nudging into place than the original. I baked them in the same pan, for the same length of time as the original. A Pyrex 8" square pan for 33 minutes, in my case.

They are delish!

And I think you could successfully swap out the type of nuts, chips, or fruit and come up with your own variation. Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious! (Sorry, Dame Julie is in my head today.)