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.

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