A dear friend, and former colleague from our Martha Stewart days (where she was the food director for years), Lucinda is one of our most favorite people. She’s a mom of three grown boys (Calder, Miles and Luca), and the author of several great cookbooks, the most recent, Mad Hungry Family: 120 Recipes to Feed the Whole Crew. We’re excited for you to meet her, and for her to share some of her words of wisdom with you guys…
Give us a little background on yourself/what you do/how you came to it… I’m a professional chef masquerading as a home cook. Ever since being a miserable teenager, (whose parents moved her across country thereby wrenching her from her first boyfriend) became intolerable, I’ve been been paid to practice the art and craft of cooking. Before, during, and after parenting a family.
How much did becoming a parent shape what your business is? It became my business.
Do you work in a home office, and if you do, how do you deal with working from home (while parenting)? After two decades in an office (with nice test kitchens and creative colleagues) I love my home-office-kitchen. Still have a couple living at home, which is good for my work, tough on my productivity.
What would you say is your “mom uniform”? Jeans, proper shoes, nice socks (height, fabric, design, thickness), comfy bra, tank top, cotton shirt, (cashmere sweater and or leather jacket).
What’s your weeknight family dinner routine? Cook every day or night after work. Gather the crew, drink copious amounts of water and wine. Laugh, chat, and chill.
Best kid purchase/bang for your buck? An important (for whatever reason) book.
Any rules about phones/screens? Thankfully, my boys’ young years were formed pre-screen obsession. Teach the skills of smart self-curation early.
Favorite/most used app? Instagram (PS follow Lucinda on @madhungrylsq)
Instagram accounts that inspire you? This question made me realize that I’m not getting real inspiration here anymore.
Favorite online read, podcast, etc? Honestly, those links that get sent to me from my husband and sons. They are all awesome editors, and I appreciate a filter from the noise.
What’s a typical weekend like? Number one rule now that I don’t have little kids. Never plan a thing. Improvise. Free associate the whole weekend. Let the wind take you as it will.
Cook, cook, bake, cook.
Party tips/tricks? From child’s birthday to cocktail party? Welcome everyone (like when that first invitee asks if they can bring Johnny’s brothers) Keep it simple. Refuse to inhabit anxiety. People just want to be together. Have music, food (any food) and booze, And plenty of each one. The rest will fall into place.
What’s the thing that always stays on your to-do list and never gets crossed off and nags at you? Virtually and absolutely everything that needs to be done in my house. Which is a lot.
Do you have a fail-safe beauty product or routine? Yana’s Herbal Beauty Products, royal jelly propolis honey. Has been for 22 years.
Best family trip? Boys age 4, 6, 10. Fly to Vegas: Do Vegas, Rent a van and drive to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Great Bear Lake, ending in Jackson Hole. While driving we made them listen to the both the Odyssey, and the Iliad on tape, as read by Ian Mclellan. When they finally stopped whining about it, they acquired a to-this-day love of audio stories.
Any small business advice–like what is something you wish someone had told you when you started your business? Nothing can replace personal relationships in business. Face to face, word to word personal interaction is the single greatest tool that will benefit your business, and your personal well being.
Any personal/parenting “a-ha” tips? The greatest gift you can give your kids is to model who you really are, not to live as though your whole identity is dependent on them.
You feel your best when? All my kids and my husband are sleeping in the same house as me.
Favorite drink/food recipe? Rye Manhattan, Spaghetti and simple homemade tomato sauce
Guiltiest pleasure? Weed, then ice cream.
Something that frustrates/stresses you? Not being in the moment. Daily meditation. For twenty minutes every day, it’s the first thing I do upon waking in the morning.
How do you relax? Walk my dog, swim in the sea, ride a horse, read a book, cook a meal.
Proudest moment in parenting? All three boys gifting my with their time, love and generosity by working the Mad Hungry Family Book party in October as hosts/servers/bartenders/planners/cooks/drivers/thinkers/brothers.
Best parenting advice you ever got? One time, just when I had finally saved enough money to renovate the crumbling bathroom in our small NYC apartment, I received a call from my firstborn son away at college. He asked if he could join a trip abroad to India with a program of eastern studies. It only cost the exact amount I’d saved for the bathroom. So I called my mom, a great mom, who also has a perfect house. When I shared my conundrum with her, she responded, “honey, when your son grows up, he’s not going to say, ‘thank god mom painted the bathroom.’ He’s gonna say that ‘Kathmandu blew my mind.'” She taught me that memories trump things.