knows a mama who had sex last night.
Is feeling the estrogen drop and the testosterone rise. Would give up alcohol and sugar if her son would stay small forever. Wonders if her exhaustion is life threatening. Still doesn’t floss.
I know a mama who stares at the asses of young women and thinks why didn't I love my young body when I had one?
Judges herself by her kids’ daily intake of decent food. Likes things tidy down there. Loves watching her husband sleep. Is trying not to turn into her mother.
I know a mama who wonders why she is staying home instead of flexing her brain in the world.
Falls asleep during sex. Hopes her son is gay so she doesn't have to battle a daughter-in-law. Cannot get over her envy of mamas who don't have to work. Can breathe through anything.
I know a mama who loves her work so much that she sometimes feels like she shouldn’t be a mama.
Had an affair in order to remember that she likes sex. Wonders just how much iPad use will cause her kids’ brains to melt. Can’t stop eating granola when it's in her house. Is getting divorced. Finally feels free.
I know a mama who doesn't believe her husband when he says she is hot.
Still gets zits. Can’t believe she still gets zits. Loves her son so much it makes her skin tingle. Said to the bully next door if you touch my kid again, I'll cut your fingers off.
Spends work meetings assessing the fuckability of all men in the room. Braises meat for comfort. Pees a little every time she coughs, sneezes, or laughs. Drinks her second glass of wine in a mug.
Feels high when she doesn't eat lunch. Is one snippy comment away from throwing anything in reach at her husband. Does handstands in the shower. Swears in front of her children. Wants another baby.
I know a mama who doesn’t know how to help her daughter feel smart, beautiful, feminine, strong, brave.
I know a mama who hugged her son close when his father walked out the door without saying goodbye.
Backed out of the driveway with the car door open. Almost drove away from the gas pump with the nozzle in the car. Gives her 12-year-old daughter coffee to help make hard mornings smoother. Cannot get her kids to school on time. Looks like she has it all together.
I know a mama who feels nothing down there.
Is afraid she will hit one of her children. Is hoping menopause will come soon because the monthly cramps are unbearable. Feels wrinkly and gray, but when she talks at work, people fucking listen. Tries not to look in the mirror.
Likes things bushy down there. Loves giving blow jobs. Fakes orgasms. Has an ulcer. Helps everyone breathe.
I know a mama who knows that sometime in the next 15 years her husband is going to fall in love with another woman and she will have to decide whether or not to forgive him.
I know a mama who feels so dark on her dark days she can’t fathom that she’s only halfway through this slog.
Sleeps underneath an ever-growing pile of clean laundry. Fantasizes about women. Wonders why no one told her when she was young that sex was so complicated. Wishes she had experimented when she had the chance. Is fooling everyone.
I know a mama who woke up with cream cheese icing in her hair, cupcake crumbs between her breasts, red wine staining her lips and teeth and sheets.
Gets Brazilians for her husband. Just discovered a whole new crop of spider veins. Has a lover who lives across the country. Likes her ass for the first time in her life. Has never felt stronger.
I know a mama who feels duped.
Tried to sext with her husband and was rejected. Gets deeply depressed when she masturbates. Sexts with strangers. Needs gin. Has never felt braver.
I know a mama who loves her kids more than her husband.
Needs to feed people. Used to turn heads when she walked into a room. Called her son a little shit to his face. Is still truly madly deeply in love with her husband.
I know a mama who learned how to be a good mama from her own mama.
I know a mama who is stunned by the capacity of her heart.
Ten women (myself included) contributed to this post. We wrote back and forth for several weeks. The thread included over 100 emails. I've streamlined our words a bit for overall cohesiveness within the post. I've removed some specifics so that our stories are less recognizable and more universal. But most of what you read above is what came flying into my inbox.
A few days into this very moving exchange, one woman wrote that she couldn't make granola anymore because she would eat it all in one sitting. Granola recipes were exchanged. And then the magic happened. Bags and Mason jars of granola were delivered all over Berkeley and Oakland: placed on front stoops, shoved into mailboxes, tucked behind pots of herbs. Granola was sent to Los Angeles and Long Island. We handed it off at parties and play dates. We called it crack. We called it dinner. We ate so much we got tummy aches.
I had a little contest over on Instagram and Facebook in which I asked people to help me name my granola (winner receives a big batch of granola in the mail). Here's how I described it: Sweet and salty clumps of oats, hemp, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and sliced almonds are held together by brown butter, olive oil, coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Out of over 150 entries, here are some of my favorites:
Nama-Stay Away From My Granola
Salted Seedy Granola Crunch
Not Your Mama's Granola
Seedy Brown Butter Crunch
Dash and Bella Crunch
It's Berkeley, Bitches Granola
Hemp Hemp Hurray
Hemp and Awe
Nutty Maple Brown Butter Crunch
Cluster's Last Stand
The winner is Jen Bilik from Venice, California. She came up with Grantola. My last name. My granola. Merged into one. Simple. Kick ass. Perfect.
Grantola (or Brown Butter Hemp Maple Honey Brown Sugar Oat Sesame Sunflower Seed Nut Crunch)makes enough to fill two 17 x 20-inch baking sheets.
serves 1 to 20
Thank you to my friend, Samin Nosrat, who told me about using an egg white for clumpier granola. Works brilliantly! It you like looser granola, add 1/2 cup flour to your dry mixture and skip the egg white.
Use this as a template. Make it your own. Delete the nuts. Add less brown sugar. Skip the fucking hemp. Please play. There are no rules.
If you choose to add dried fruit, do so after the granola has baked or your teeth will be hella bummed.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark or light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cup long-cooking oats
1 cup sesame seeds (black or white or a combination)
2 cup nuts (any combination of chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, slivered almonds)
1 cup hemp seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once it's melted, don't walk away. Swirl it around a few times. It will foam and spatter. After 3 of 4 minutes, it will start to smell nutty. Then is will quiet down and brown bits will drop to the bottom of the pan. At this point, remove it from the heat. Add brown sugar, coconut oil, olive oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and set aside. It won't come together. That's okay.
Place the following in the largest bowl (or pot) you have: oats, sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, salt. Toss together with your hands.
Pour the sweet buttery mixture over the dry contents in the big bowl. Toss together with your hands or a large spoon. Whisk the egg white until frothy and then mix it into the sweet and buttery granola mixture (again, with your hands if you wish).
Divide mixture in half and spread out to about 1/2-inch thickness on the two prepared baking sheets. Press down with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. Nestle in any stray chunks so they don't overcook.
You will want to cook it between 30 and 40 minutes. Start by baking for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss well. Press back down. Again, tuck in any stray chunks. Bake another 10 minutes. Repeat tossing. Press down. Bake another 10 minutes. At this point, you're at 30 minutes which results in a nicely baked granola. If you like your granola darker, cook up to 10 more minutes more, 40 minutes total.
Remove from the oven. Cool completely on the baking sheets. It should be like a sheet pan-sized fragile granola bar. Break it apart into bite-sized chunks (or bigger if you like). To prevent sogginess, store at room temperature in an airtight container or bag for up to three weeks. Or freeze for up to six months.