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Midlife Mayhem: Embracing the Greys + Chunks of Sunshine, Fruit Skewers with a Stone Fruit Dip #FoodieReads

Not sure if it's because the first of my close friends just turned fifty, or what, but Excuse Me While I Disappear: Tales of Midlife Mayhem by Laurie Notaro landed on my reading list and I happily indulged. I'll admit that, despite her being a New York Times bestselling author, I was completely unfamiliar with her. Now I have avidly lined up her entire collection, including: There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble, The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life, Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood, and It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy.

On the Page

Notaro's commentary is biting, irreverent, and hilarious. Just read a few clips: "Aren’t you proud that you know how to use a dial phone? That you lived a whole, full life without a digital device in your pocket? You remember who Gilligan is! You watched Fonzie jump the shark! You remember when coming in second place was still awesome. You know how to use a phone book and roll down a window manually. You probably drove a stick shift. As a kid, you played outside all day until dinner. You lived in a time when you could walk your loved ones all the way to the gate in an airport. The guy who sang your favorite song on the radio wasn’t also a model."

Also, "'Our mothers went shopping and left us in the car in the summer with the windows rolled up and the doors locked, but we lived. We are badasses. Own it!' I reiterate, we are badasses. We are the generation who didn’t give a shit, remember? We invented punk rock, then grunge. None of the Kardashians belong in our group, not even the mother. That alone makes us the fairest generation of them all. We didn’t invent the internet, but we had the first email addresses, and we remember Netscape and Ask Jeeves. We were the last people to make smoking cool."

I haven't fallen prey to menopausal insomnia, but I loved this passage nonetheless. "None of us could sleep, but at least we were getting stuff done. We were baking cakes! Painting our toenails! Learning how to survive on a homestead! It took me until middle age to learn how to properly chop a tree down, how to build a bear-proof chicken coop, and how to build an outhouse thirty feet in the air. My neighbor Sarah reads an entire book a night. You can tell if a young mother or father has been up all night with their kids—actually, you don’t even have to be a detective, because they’ll tell you the first time you see them that day. 'Two kids sick and another kicked me all night,' they mumble. 'Need more coffee.' Yet, the entire population of middle-aged women are showing up to work on three hours of sleep."

Regardless of where you are in your midlife mayhem, Notaro is a breath of fresh air and truth. And, I happily embrace my greys. I call it 'glitter' and know that I have earned each and every grey hair.


On the Plate

It was this passage that inspired me into the kitchen to whip up some fruit skewers. "'I love fruit bouquets,' he said. 'Things on skewers are awesome. It’s such a cheery way to say, 'I’m sorry you have a tumor, but here’s a chunk of sunshine'.'" I skewered some chunks of sunshine and made a roasted peach dip to go alongside.

  • 2 to 3 organic ripe peaches, pitted and sliced into wedges
  • 2 cups organic sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoon raw local honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • mini watermelon
Fruit Skewers
  • organic berries, rinsed and dried (I used blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries)
  • organic grapes, rinsed and dried
  • also needed: bamboo skewers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place peaches in a rimmed baking dish. Place them in them in the oven until they begin to caramelize and lose their shape, approximately 35 minutes. While the peaches roast, assemble the skewers.

Alternate fruits, pushing them on to the skewers carefully. Slice off the bottom of the watermelon so it sits flat; slice off the top of the watermelon and scoop out the flesh. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together sour cream, vanilla extract, honey, and cinnamon. Spoon in the roasted peaches and stir to combine.

Just before serving, spoon the dip into the watermelon bowl. Serve alongside your skewers.

I am adding this post to the Foodie Reads group.
Click to see what everyone else read in November 2022: here.


  1. Sounds like a fun read. I will have to look for it. First to finish the two that I'm currently reading LOL.....

  2. I think I owned a Notaro book at some point but I haven't read her. I am very familiar with the whole lack of sleep thing but I never connected it to the menopause thing. Maybe because my sleep has been terrible for years.


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