Catch Me Writing Nerdy: Four Books for the Fourth


You get a couple of glasses of wine in me and the conversation usually devolves into boobs, babies, and which former classmate I hid from at Target last week. That is closely followed by a healthy dose of shoving my fingers in my ears and singing “lalalala” so you don’t spoil my latest Netflix binge. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the awesome is blinding.

It is hard to imagine, but I recently discovered that there are better things to talk about when you’ve been doing alcohol. Apparently there are people who get sauced then hang out and talk about history. I saw this on a television show, and if it is on TV or the internet it is true.

Now that Drunk History has made my weekends taste a little less like a good Pinot and glitter, and a little more like Boone’s Farm and sadness, I have want to get everyone drunk and make them tell me stories. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, dammit. I wanna get drunk and talk about Elvis meeting Nixon or the invention of Coca Cola!

I’m going to wave my nerd banner a little higher and assign some of the my favorite recent history reads to you all. There will be a test because from here we have no where to go but a dive bar where you will tell me a story, right?

  1. 1493 by Christopher Mann – I have to admit, I picked this up because… food. It turned out to be pretty interesting and definitely featured baked goods prominently. Mann explores post-Columbus America in his book, so read it and let’s discuss.
  2. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell – She is flipping hilarious, and as such I am going on record that you must read everything she’s written and we’re probably BFF’s in a former life. She combines personal essay, history and a subdued humor that is unique and pulls you in to history and pop culture topics in a way you’ve never been before. (Unless, of course, you’ve read Assassination Vacation, The Wordy Shipmates etc.)
  3. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Lowen – I picked this one up when I was at Mount Rushmore. It seemed such mid-thirties flavored subversive act to pick it up at a National Monument, and I felt awfully punk-rock reading it. Interesting read and it made me want to get my hands dirty with source material.
  4. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. – This might not be fair to recommend because I haven’t finished it yet, so if you have don’t tell me how it ends.

Who’s ready for a round of shots?

Mrs SmartyPants

I Made This For You: Homemade Blueberry Pie Ice Cream


I am certain that The Sequel is one part ice cream and one part black bean burgers. My “push present,” in fact, was an ice cream cone charm for my charm bracelet when I delivered him, and a cupcake when I delivered Boogie. In other news, local woman complains about how hard it is to lose the baby weight after eating her way through the greater St. Louis area.

Ice cream isn’t often my go-to sweet – it is far too difficult to eat locked in the pantry while your children run feral. But yesterday I had a hankering, so I made this for you:

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream
(makes about 5 cups, or 10 1/2 cup servings)


You’ll Need This

1½ cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and inspected for stems
2/3 cup whole milk
1½ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pinch of table salt
3 full graham cracker sheets, crushed

You’ll Do This

  1. Place the blueberries in a food process or blender and pulse until chopped. Put in a bowl and set to the side.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine milk, sugar, and salt and use a hand mixer on low to blend until sugar is dissolved. Continue using the hand mixer and slowly add the heavy cream and vanilla, then add the blueberries and mix just until combined. (Be careful not to pulverize the blueberries, but you do want a little blue tint to the mixture.)
  3. Cover that boy and place it in the fridge for two hours, or even over night.
  4. Here’s the tricky part:
    1. If you have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture in and let it ride for ten minutes. Stop the machine, add the graham crackers, then let it mix for another five minutes.
    2. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, make sure you’ve left your mixture in the fridge overnight and then fold in the graham cracker bits.
  5. Put your ice cream in a covered container and put it in the freezer for 2-3 more hours before serving.



Bon Apetite,

Mrs SmartyPants