I had the opportunity to write an article for Women Writers, Women’s Book. The site was launched in 2011 to be another platform for contemporary women writers and authors around the world writing in English. Its mission is to encourage and promote the visibility of women writers. We are particularly interested in the edges, the intersections between genres, nationalities, languages, arts, cultures.
Barbara Bos is the managing editor and owner of Women Writers, Women’s Books. With sections such as, writing, interviews, recommended reads, agent’s corner, submissions, library 2021, author genie, hybrid publishing, and ask BLIX, Barbara has lovingly and judiciously curated a site that both supports and encourages women writers.
Barbara was born in Holland. After finishing University she left for the UK. Since then she has uprooted herself twice more, currently living with her family in a small village in Galicia, North-West Spain.
Like many other women who are north of forty-five and fifty-plus, I rejoiced when I heard Sex and the City was coming back to television. I think many women identified with the characters as they pursued careers and other life goals as women in their thirties. The first Sex and The City movie took fans across the bridge to their forties and fifty with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. The second iteration, while fun, seemed to lose the thread of realism that drew fans like me to the television series. Now, you might wonder what was real about a fashion and designer shoe-obsessed freelance writer living in a posh apartment in Manhattan. Honestly, nothing. What mattered is Carrie was living in a way most of us could only dream of, and we were invested in her story.
And Just Like That represents the same hopes and dreams of Late Boomer, Gen-X, and Xennial women, who are in their late forties and fifties. The very fact that HBO is bringing the show back and they are not pandering to a younger demographic. Seeing Carrie and Miranda with grey in their hair was liberating on so many levels, and it flies in the face of our youth-driven culture. It’s also a beacon of hope a medium where one wouldn’t ageism applied, books.
Chick-lit was the now lambasted genre that brought us Sex and the City as a book. Chick lit was considered lighthearted fiction with a twenty-something or thirty-something heroine dealing with her professional, work, and emotional life. However, once the plot revolves around a character that is north of forty or fifty-plus, everything changes about publishing that book. A hot romance between fifty-somethings is deemed ‘seasoned romance’, which sounds more like a cookbook category. On the other end of the spectrum, is the idea that any book about a woman over forty has to be some kind of emotional journey. Both And Just Like That, and Sex and the City prove that stories centered around women as we age emotionally and chronologically aren’t an all-or-nothing deal. Aging happens gradually, and it’s about time that all media realizes it can be approached in a nuanced way. To bring this back to this not-so-flattering comparison being made with the Golden Girls, it would behoove us to note, that the show changed the way we looked at women in their fifties. No one ever thought of their grandmothers or mothers as vital, sexually progressive women like Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia. The characters helped to liberate generations of women, even if we didn’t know it at the time.
Tune in to listen and let us know what you think about all the fuss over Carrie and Miranda’s grey hair, and let us know think will happen for your favorite characters the fabulous ladies.
If you are like me, when you get up in the morning you feel like you did any other day when you were say thirty-three. In my mind that’s how old I am. Then I get up in three moves more like a faulty lawn chair, than a nimble thirty-something. However, there is a bright side for those of us who are north of forty and fifty plus. We are at an age when we can enjoy children as parents, or as dare I say Glam-parents. I have yet to find the appropriate word that doesn’t evoke visions of rocking chairs and knitting needles. Although, I have a few friends who have been creative when it comes to how their precious grandchildren refer to them. One of my favorites is Gigi.
That said, it’s the time of year when all the wonder of the world is in a child’s eyes. Granted, we are in the midst of some very trying times with the pandemic, but we can find ways to share the joy with our families, show our love, and face these challenges with resilience. One way to do that is in the kitchen. This recipe is for Sufganiyah. It is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel and around the world on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The doughnut is deep-fried in oil, filled with jam or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar. The doughnut recipe originated in Europe in the 1500s and by the 1800s was known as a Berliner in Germany.
The recipe for Sufganiyot is from The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen by J Nathan. It was released by Random House in 1995. I’ve adapted the recipe for other dietary needs like gluten-sensitivities, low or no sugar diets, vegetarians and vegans.
Sufganiyah or Sufganiyot recipe by J Nathan adapted by me
1 scant tablespoon (1 package) dry yeast 4 tablespoons sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, Golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed, ) 3/4 cup lukewarm milk or warm water* (dairy: whole, or 3/4 cup of 2% plus 2 tablespoons of half and half or light cream)(almond, soy, rice, or light coconut milk) 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, sorghum, brown or sweet rice flour, almond flour works when combined 1 1/2 cups almond flour plus 1/2 cup corn flour) Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 eggs, separated (for the yolks 1/2 cup silken tofu plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, or 2 tablespoons of soy lecithin) (whites 1/4 cup Aquafaba) 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter or pareve margarine, softened* (vegan butter or margarine) Apricot or strawberry preserves Sugar (Granulated or confectioner’s sugar, Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute) Vegetable oil for deep-frying
*Use butter and milk if serving at a milk meal, and water and pareve margarine for a meat meal
The reason for the use of the combination of almond flour and cornflour is so that the doughnuts will be light and airy. Almond flour is essentially ground almonds and nuts don’t lend easily to being fried. The addition of cornflour lightens it to make it easier to fry. You can also use arrowroot.
Child: Mix together the yeast, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the milk. Let sit to make sure it bubbles. Child: Sift the flour and mix it with the remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg yolks, and the yeast mixture. Adult with Child: Knead the dough until it forms a ball. Add the butter or margarine. Knead some more, until the butter is well absorbed. Cover with a towel and let rise overnight in the refrigerator. Adult: Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Child: Cut out the dough into 24 rounds with a juice glass, or any object about 2 inches in diameter. Take 1/2 teaspoon of preserves and place in the center of 12 rounds. Top with the other 12. Press down at edges, sealing with egg whites. Crimping with the thumb and second finger is best. Let rise for about 30 minutes. Adult: Heat 2 inches of oil to about 375°. Drop the doughnuts into the hot oil, about 5 at a time. Turn to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Child: Roll the doughnuts in sugar.