Let's Get Smashed

Someone posted a comment to Beets and Bratwurst recently citing that my new hashtag should read #howtobeimmature. Mikey, yikes! Perhaps my post about when and what we eat was dull. Or maybe I am going on too much about being a newlywed. I waited five years for this title and so milk it I shall! Do I reference my family too much? Is my penchant for food over the top? Is my taste in music abominable? I have heard this before. From more than one person. I go for what I can run to. Who knows! Betwixt and between about what I did to spur such creativity. I thought and digested and was quite frankly, dumbfounded as to how to respond. I called my brother. He, a 31 year old man of the world who has seen it all, was confused about such a message. He thought I was pulling a prank. Was this for real, he asked. Insert an exuberant expletive or two in there. And so, I have opted not to respond. This has further fueled the flames and the choice words. Oy vey as we say.

Perhaps my optimism in others is ambitious. We live in a wonderful albeit scary, crazy world. I was horrified to see the carnage in Paris. I used to travel there twice a year on business. My family went on a holiday there once. My mother spent a week there last Fall. CNN covered streets and corners all too familiar to me. Between school shootings around the world, the looming terror brought by ISIS, terrorist warnings, international relations, refugees, the horrendous plights of others, looming war and the likes, do we as people, in our day to day, have to add to the ugliness? Perhaps I am living in another stratosphere but I simply, don't get it. In a nod to my mother, she raised her children to be kind, aware, mindful and to engage with others how we would like to be treated. In fact, as youngsters she said, "if your mouth is full of sh*t, just don't open it". Are we perfect? Absolutely not. But, I am so very proud of the three of us. I think nine times out of ten, the parents would agree.

As a blogger, I know that what I put forth in the world can and will be fodder for any as well as everything. Hey, back to my digital detox blurb, we put ourselves up for commentary every day. Some of us have filters and others don't. Love it or hate it, what it is as my Matthew likes to say. I do like to think though that feedback should be constructive. With practical commentary, one can learn a thing or two. Verbal drivel on the other hand, not so much.  My brother tells a lovely story of a skit whereby an opthamolgist tells a patient that his one eye sits half an inch lower than the other. Great, he responded, am I a monster? Do I have horns? What in the heck will I do with such information except for be self-conscious for the rest of my life? Thanks for nothing you &^%$#! If your mouth is full of you-know-what, you aren't a hero and you most definitely aren't smart. Keep it to yourself. Anyway, enough about that and onto greener pastures. 

My sister is my biggest blogging champion. She works an 80 plus hour work week. She manages a home and a husband and a robust life in New York City. She is uber pregnant yet despite it all, she still makes time to read. My father occasionally calls asking why he was mentioned. In fact, during our rehearsal dinner toast he nodded to the fact that I "put it all out there" (within reason). Everyone laughed. We know how our generation rolls these days. Unconcerned, he is proud.  I think. Sometimes my mom rings up asking as to the epistle I posted or she just erupts in laughter. The story about pouring fat down the sink and it causing a pipe rupture is her favorite to date. Did I not teach you to never do this, she asked. I am sure she did. I'll blame the ADHD. My baby brother Keith is loud, enthusiastic and proud. He sends me articles, recipes and ideas to cover. I always appreciate the inspiration he throws at me. 

The evening that Matthew and I married, our photographer expertly snapped shots, the sounds of crystal clung and I furiously tried to absorb it all. I took deep breaths and stared, wishing it would all become a part of me. I took a quick timeout to a post  "it's official, #howtojohnson". I have to give my brother credit for the "howto". Some time ago on a family holiday taking the Jewish Riviera, he gave birth to the hashtag #howtobreyer. I think this was in an effort to capture the eight pounds of sausage, lamb chops, new york strips, filet mignons and whatever else my father was grilling for supper that night. We were all supremely proud, gave one another high fives and abused the hashtag the entire weekend long. Sometime later, the hashtag was used to commemorate any moments we deemed as noteworthy. Note, I am sure Keith will disagree here. 

There was a prized photograph of Keith enjoying a glass of Barolo alongside a spoon in a tub of Blue Bell ice cream. His line stated quite simply, #howtobreyer. He also has a penchant for first fisting the family turkey. Other tagged include a seafood bar with the most magnificent crab claws, oysters and giant shrimp known to man. A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge followed by an intimate tour of Chinatown's fish markets. There are a lot of photographs of empty bottles, marking a hell of a good time the night before. Our entire wedding weekend, before we anointed a new hashtag. We even have some pics of us as youngsters bike riding across Hilton Head. A Breyer family tradition that I cannot wait to pass onto the next generation. We Breyer's are clearly a proud (and growing) clan.

Those who navigate the great social network know that hashtags are king. Some command a greater audience than others while those others are fun to christen. Hashtags have become commonplace these days. Bumper stickers, in daily lexicon and even at events. While my family cruised Europe last summer, we had a hasthag, #breyerstakethebaltic. People began to reference it in commentary and let me tell you how greatly this simplified the photograph procurement process. Our celebration of marriage party come March will come with a hashtag familiar to most. Anyway, in this day in age and now more than ever, we have the scope and range to really speak our minds. All I suggest, and again, this is just a suggestion and nothing more. Put out greatness in the world and save the garbage for the trash.

To many, anything mushy or mashed is suggestive of baby food or worse. Well, it is not all bad. We can thank the smashed avocado on toast movement for this. The rest however, is understandably questionable. I am here to tell you that mushy peas are different. This is the easiest, loveliest, most elegant and different little side dish you might ever prepare. Deliciously fresh and all that good stuff, its beautiful color and hints of this and that make it truly great. My South African cousin Paul, an amazingly creative as well as talented cook, inspired me to prepare mushy peas. He served his alongside spiced meatballs, roasted potatoes and a fragrant Thai curry coconut cream sauce. I did the same and the peas were  gorgeous. All you need is a frozen bag of beas, a dab of butter, one lemon and any fresh herbs. This goes great with just about everything from, as the Brits serve it with fish and chips to salmon, steak, chicken or even, meatballs. Go to town and bon appetit.

Mushy Peas


1 lb bag of frozen peas
2 TBS butter
Juice of one lemon
Kosher salt
Cracked pepper
*optional enhancement - one TBS (or more, I like more) chopped mint

Get Cracking

1. In a sauce pan, add your peas and water to cover the peas. Cook on medium high heat for 15 minutes. Drain the water and put the peas back in the sauce pan.

2. Now add your butter and stir until melted. Also add the juice of the lemon. A pinch of kosher salt and a few cracks of pepper. Now is the time for your fresh mint.

3. Transfer your pea mixture to a Vitamix or food processor and pulse until creamy. Serve and voila.


  1. That is a nice way to give a start to a new recipe. We love all your recipes and intend to get some tips and learn something from them. Hopefully this will also go well and keep posting more.