Columnist: Debbie Matthews

Nov. 05, 2013 @ 08:13 AM

Continuing education

I recently received a master’s degree at Duke. 
It’s not really that impressive. It was obtained at the medical center, and the degree was in survival of the long-term hospital visitor.
Petey’s been a patient for a while at Duke. Every day he’s getting a little better, but for now, this is his home.


Oct. 29, 2013 @ 09:39 AM

Pass the cheese, please

We’ve had dogs, hermit crabs and even a pet rock or two.  But there is a standing rule -- no rodents allowed.
That’s because two giant, voracious mice already live here — Petey and The Kid.  They can never, ever, get enough cheese.


Oct. 22, 2013 @ 09:42 AM

Creature feature

Maybe it’s the dump truck-sized dog, or maybe it’s the two weird looking old people that live here, but in all the years we’ve owned our house we’ve had a cumulative total of about six kids come to our door, trick-or-treating.


Oct. 15, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

This spud’s for you

  I’ve got ’em all snowed.
     When my mom is planning a special dinner, she asks me to prepare it.  When I make it for Petey, he thinks he must have been a very good boy.
     The thing is, my twice-baked potatoes might impress, but couldn’t be easier to produce.


Oct. 08, 2013 @ 11:51 AM

Hamburger, please!

I’m not a fan of Hemingway. 
Growing up, I was something of a tomboy, and I still enjoy climbing the occasional tree.  But Papa’s work is so testosterone-drenched that by the time I finished reading one of his short stories I’d have a 5 o’clock shadow, and need to get my prostate checked.


Oct. 01, 2013 @ 08:16 AM

My mom, she's wacky


Sep. 24, 2013 @ 09:59 AM

Pasta, pasta, pasta

From start to finish it was a complete exercise in too darn much.  Kroger had 10 boxes of Barilla whole wheat pasta on sale for $10. So I bought 10 boxes. Then I made dinner for Petey and me, using an entire 1 pound box. I don’t know what I was thinking.


Sep. 17, 2013 @ 02:01 PM

Crazy little things I love

As a kid when I was sick, my mom did the coolest thing. When we went to a drugstore to fill a prescription, my mom would buy me a small treat. Usually I would pick colored construction paper.
As an adult, I keep this tradition alive. If anyone in the family is sick, a small token for the patient is added to any medicine purchase.      


Sep. 10, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

Rushing the season

It’s a fashion term.  If in early September you’re sweltering in suede boots, turtlenecks and sweaters, you might be rushing the season.
As much as I love our Bull City, summer here is a Dante’s circle. I’m over it and yearning for fall by the day after Memorial Day. Summer is hot and sweaty, but the fall’s a smorgasbord of delights.


Aug. 27, 2013 @ 08:03 AM

The first pasta toss

Orecchiette is a small, round, cup-shaped pasta.  It means “little ears” in Italian.  I don’t see it.  I think it looks more like a stocking cap for Hipster Barbie.


Aug. 20, 2013 @ 10:01 AM

Joy of sammiches

It doesn’t matter what kind of childhood you had. It might be eating ice cream for supper or watching TV in your boxers, but every kid has something that they vow they will do differently once they get their own home. My best girlfriend Bo absolutely refuses to flip the top sheet upside down when making her bed, so when folded over the blanket it’s right side up.


Aug. 13, 2013 @ 04:13 PM

The 30-year cookie

Like many other little boys, this one likes action movies, amusement parks and peanut butter cookies.  He always wears baseball caps, and you can divine what he had for lunch by interpreting spots on his T-shirt.  He’s a charming, typical little boy.  Except this little boy is Petey, my 54-year-old husband.


Aug. 06, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

The healthy column

Don’t ever go shopping on an empty stomach.


Jul. 30, 2013 @ 08:07 AM

Eastern Durham pasta

When The Kid was home, I made a big batch of pink sauce studded with Italian sausage.  I like Gunnoe’s, but haven’t seen it in stores for years.  Now I buy sausage at Costco.  The sauce calls for about twelve links, but because it came from Costco, I have enough left in my freezer to open my own sandwich stand at the next state fair.


Jul. 29, 2013 @ 08:16 AM

Slow-cooked justice

I was going to be a judge at Duke Homestead for its Pork, Pickles, and Peanuts festival, but I had some concerns.