The Power of Food Memories

CATEGORIES: Lifestyle

So almost exactly 10 years ago, I shared this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. To be completely honest, I don’t think I had made it or read that post in the 10 years since I had posted it, I just remembered that a) it was a lot of work, b) I really, really liked it, and c) it reminded me of a time of life that was somehow more simple and more complicated than now. Reading through the post was strange, because it felt so close and so long ago at the same time. My original intention was to post new pictures, clean up irrelevant text, take out some of the more personal stuff that didn’t feel as relevant anymore, and repost it.

Because I know that food bloggers wax poetic and it’s not really in fashion anymore and I think we can all relate to this:

But I stumbled into that post and was taken back to another place and time and I couldn’t change anything. It reminded me of one of my most favorite scenes ever from Mad Men:


For better or worse, this blog has become a journal for Sara and me, little pockets of memories, things I had forgotten, most of them centered around food, which seems to have a strong hold on so many of my memories. Food, recipes, all of it takes me right back to a moment that happened years ago, but feels like moments.

that time when I was a better parent…

One of the things that has struck me as I’ve gone through old posts is my snobbery or judgmental attitudes toward a lot of things–parenting strategies, life choices, prepackaged foods. And then life happened. Kids got older, easier in some ways and harder in others. I did a lot of things I swore I would never do and stopped doing things I always swore I would (like that time I read a 60+ page Dr. Seuss book to my 5-day-old baby when we came home from the hospital. I hadn’t eaten or slept in 5 days, but by golly, my child was going to be a genius.)

Last December, as my dear friend sat in the hospital with her unborn baby’s life hanging in the balance, we had a talk about how the world spends first 20-25 years of your life telling you that the world is your oyster and if you dream it, you can be it/have it/whatever it, and then it starts to wear you down (I actually think the actual terminology I used was “kick you in the crotch.” 🤷🏼‍♀️😂😬) Student loans for your arts degree come due, miscarriages happen, infertility strikes, kids rebel, young and healthy spouses get sick or pass away, marriages fall apart, your heart gets broken in a lot of different ways. And those hard edges start to soften and you realize life isn’t one size fits all and for heavens sake, if I want to use canned soup or my kid wants to play a game on my phone while we wait for our food in a restaurant, sometimes that’s gonna happen.

what’s worth it

In the Chicken Pot Pie post, I shared a recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup instead of using canned soup, which I prided myself in never using. I touted the virtues of using homemade pie crust and I even roasted my own “fauxtisserie” chicken instead of grabbing an already-roasted chicken for the same price from the grocery store deli. All done in the name of somehow loving my family more, or something. I can tell you exactly why I haven’t made this recipe in 10 years–because I’m NOT DOING ALL THAT. I can remember how much work it was and it wasn’t worth it. But here’s what was worth it.

  • When I was pulling the chicken meat from my (store-bought) rotisserie chicken, I remembered a sunny Sunday afternoon when my friend Kami and I sat in my kitchen, pulling chicken from rotisserie chickens for a well-intentioned but short-lived bout of meal prepping.
  • My blue pie plate reminded me of Sara and her love of this color and how our lives have intertwined over years of shared recipes, phone calls, text messages, book launches, speaking engagements, hotel stays, laughing, crying, our kids picking right up where they left off every time, and some of the darkest, hardest moments of both of our lives. I don’t know if God is involved in every friendship or detail of my life, but I truly believe that Sara has always been part of my “life plan.”
  • Rolling out the top pie crust for the pot pie, I wondered how I should vent it; my go-to has always been a lattice crust, but on a whim, I cut out a heart. My freshman year of college, my roommate taught me how to make apple pie, the BEST apple pie, and her signature was the heart in the center of the crust. 3 years ago, she passed away from breast cancer, but this pie was a little  bit of her (not in a Game of Thrones kind of way, just that I had a fleeting, love-filled memory of someone gone, but not completely.

She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie

I don’t normally ruminate quite so much food. Sometimes dinner is just dinner and food is just food. But sometimes it’s more. Apparently Chicken Pot Pie is one of those times.

A couple of years ago, I heard a stunning performance of “She Used to be Mine” from the musical Waitress and it set me down a path I never thought I’d be on.

Some you have picked up on the fact that I’ve been going through some stuff over the last couple of years. I haven’t gone into details or a whole lot of specifics because it’s not entirely my story to tell and it’s also hard to be vulnerable and not feel like a failure. My husband and I separated a couple of years ago. We’re not divorced, and it’s kind of a complicated situation, and I’ve learned a lot. A lot. The word that kept coming into my head was “crucible,” and I didn’t even completely know what it meant other than that it a famous play/the “Crucible Cast Party” SNL skit with Lin-Manuel Miranda. So I looked up the word “crucible” and it means, “a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.” Feels about right. Sometimes I wish it never happened, that I never saw things for what they were, that I never opened my mouth, but, in the infinite wisdom of The Avett Brothers,

There’s no fortune at the end of the road
That has no end
There’s no returning to the spoils
Once you’ve spoiled the thought of them
There’s no falling back asleep
Once you’ve wakened from the dream
Now I’m rested and I’m ready and I’m ready to begin.

“February Seven”

There’s no going back to how things were. I couldn’t go back. That was a loss in and of itself.

ready to begin

I didn’t make chicken pot pie, a recipe I loved, for 10 years because there was an easy way and a hard way and I chose the hard way because I had this silly notion that if I spent 72 hours in the kitchen, I loved my family more or something. One thing I’ve learned in all of this is there are a million ways to do the right thing. You know how many people have asked my kids if they were c-section babies and then told them they were loved less because they we’re surgically extracted rather than born to a mother who didn’t get an epidural and listened to Enya and had her feet rubbed with essential oils? Absolutely zero people have told them that. Same thing goes for breast feeding vs. bottle feeding, cloth diapering vs. disposable diapers, preschool vs. Joy School, daycare vs. stay at home moms. As my kids have gotten older, the situations have gotten more complicated…sometimes I have to make decisions that break their hearts and it kills me. But I hope they remember at the end of the day, I love them more than anything and that I made Chicken Pot Pie for dinner and they have no idea that I used Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup and a couple of store-bought pie crusts.

the crucible

If I’ve ever made you feel “less-than” for anything, whether it’s in life or in the kitchen, I’m sorry. I’ve changed. I’m changing. That crucible thing is real, yo. “Life kicking you in the crotch” (sorry, y’all) has some transformative properties. Let me be the first to tell you that if you are feeding your kids, you’re doing a good job. If you’re getting them to school, you’re doing a good job. On those days when you literally pay your kids money to go to bed, you’re doing a good job. They are more resilient than we give them credit for. You have intrinsic worth that has absolutely ZERO correlation to your success or your family’s success or to the choices that other people make. You are stronger and more resilient than you think. You have not failed. Even (or especially) if you fed your family cereal for dinner when all you wanted to do was crawl in bed.

Love you all.

212 comments

  1. I gotta be real. You are one of the only bloggers/instagram peeps I follow that DOESN’T make me feel like that. I value your honesty and vulnerability. <3 Appreciate you so much and sending lots of love and positive energy.

    1. I made my kids a hot breakfast from scratch every single day (I had a mother who never got up with us and cold cereal was the only option. I swore I would never do that). And guess what? My fourth child just left for college and they do things that make me cry at least three times a week and I wonder how it all went wrong and why the heck did I bust my chops so much? I still have two kids at home and at this point I’m like, “you’re on your own getting dinner” because I’m not about to keep knocking myself out when I’m beginning to realize that you can do all the fancy things for your kids and NONE OF IT MATTERS!!!!

      1. Your grown up kids may be still giving you a hard time, but I don’t believe that the hot breakfasts and all that you did for them was of no consequence. It might take some time and maturity before they realize the love and care that was in those breakfasts, but eventually they’ll hold onto those memories with fondness and appreciation for the awesome mother you are. 💜

  2. Just want to say thanks for sharing so much of yourself with me and my family over the years. I don’t know you personally but I truly love you!

    1. I’m a long time follower of yours and never did I feel less than! I always thought, “What a cute couple of friends with cute ideas and wonderful tips!” In those years that I’ve followed you, I’ve had my own “life kicked me in the crotch” moments but making food, simple or complicated melted my worries away. I’ve used many of your recipes over the years and I don’t intend to stop.

  3. I’ve been following this blog for at least a decade. I can only imagine how difficult it was to share this, but it’s beautiful. Thank you for your bravery. I do however ensure that every child in my community has the opportunity and access to swimming lessons regardless of the ability to pay because of you being vulnerable and sharing your stories.

  4. I’ve followed Our Best Bites since before it was Our Best Bites. I don’t know you or Sara in person, but I feel like I do. Thanks for keepin it real.

  5. I’ve been thinking back on my judgement back in my early twenties too. And cringe at some of the things I thought or said. Now I’m expecting my 5th and my oldest is 11. Life sure teaches you lessons along the way. Sure is humbling and I still have the teenage years ahead, oh boy. One thing I’ve for sure learned is I never want to be the mean lady casting judgement at the store or doctors office, I want to be the one stepping in to help or smile in support.

  6. ❤️ thanks for this. Sorry you’ve been going through some &%*#. I know you can handle the real word, maybe some other readers wouldn’t love it so much. As I’ve gotten older I also realize that the little things that used to matter don’t and we’ve gotta give ourselves, family, friends, church friends more grace and breathing room and a smile and hand out to help, and I think most people are learning that, so thanks for the reminder on all of that today.

    1. Thanks for being real. For being vulnerable. I have followed you and Sarah for a long long time! When I saw you both at TOFW in Harrisburg, PA, I knew that we’d be real life friends…if we knew each other in real life. So I’m sending a hug! From your friend.

    2. Today’s my 39th birthday. 3 of my 5 kids where late to school this morning, I haven’t showered and I’ve got at least 2 hours of deep cleaning before my house could be considered anything but gross. My 20 year old self would be appalled. I relate so much to your experience, and still struggle often with feelings of inadequacy. My oldest child has now left home and my regrets have nothing to do with whether I did, or did not, use cream of something soup (you were not alone in that, I have definitely been guilty of being a canned soup snob, I’m trying to do better). Thank you for sharing yourself with us, especially the hard stuff, and reminding me today of what’s most important. I have loved following your blog, making your recipes and sharing your journey. Praying for good things for you and yours! ♥️

  7. Love this! And even though my situation is different (rebellious teen), I can so relate to your words. Life has a way of humbling us and I’m learning how to be humbled, but not broken.
    Thanks for being vulnerable with us!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing. It is beautiful and gives a sense of solidarity to know that everyone is going through something, and just doing what you can, is good enough. Have followed you for as long as I can remember. Love your posts and recipes. Stay strong! Sending love and hope.

  9. I laughed and cried reading this. You always have a way to connect with me through your words and yummy recipes. Thanks for being vulnerable and lovely and real.

  10. You are AMAZING and I completely needed this today. I live with the divorced mom guilt every single day, feeling like I’ve completely screwed up my kids putting them through hell when all I was trying to do was get them out of a bad situation and give them a better life. Your post gave me so much hope and encouragement. Thank you for being real!

  11. The truest understanding of safety is the knowledge that vulnerability isn’t going to shake the reality of who you are. Your words here aren’t wasted. Cheering you on! Growing up is freaking hard but God bless the moms we once were and the ones we are becoming.

  12. Oh my goodness… I love this! I’m so grateful for you and Sara and how real you both keep things! You have an amazing friendship! Thank you for sharing everything that you have with us. Don’t worry about having past judgments… it’s part of our maturing process! Thank goodness we get over ourselves and learn to accept others for their station in life! I’m looking forward to trying this chicken pot pie… once we move and get settled! Take care Kate! <3

  13. Thank you for everything. Everyone has some kind of battle, no one gets a free pass. At the end of the day, week, month and year we are all just trying our best. Thanks for keeping things real. Your words were beautiful.

  14. Thank you so much for this!! As I read it, I kept thinking ‘why aren’t we more real more of the time in our lives?!’. Because we all definitely need it, and I think we’d all feel a whole lot better. Your words are so powerful in such a good way, and I have tears in my eyes as I thank you for this today. ❤️

  15. You are going to get 5 million responses to this beautiful post. But it reminds me of a dear friend and mentor who told me that I don’t love my family less if I buy Costco lasagna and it was truly life-changing. But today I needed a reminder of that same truth. God bless you and thank you for sharing His truth that we are not valuable because of what we do but because we are. ❤️

  16. I don’t know you but I have always loved following you and your posts. You keep it real in the best way and have the ability to relate in such a fun and personal way to everyone. Thanks for all your work and delicious recipes. Hugs to you and I wish you all the best! ❤️

  17. I have NEVER felt judged or wrong from your posts. In fact I have felt the opposite. I have loved your attitude and love when you tell the audience you don’t want to hear their judgment for things like Crisco! I feel like you are my kindred spirit and so relatable. Thank you for all you and Sara have poured into this blog over the years. I have never wanted to say, “just get to the recipe already” like I have with other blogs.

    Hugs to you and your family!

  18. Over the years we feel like we know you, rawness is hard once you put it out there (and there are always haters) but sometimes it’s helps a lot more people to see authenticity than perfection. I think that’s a hard thing for a lot of people in this generation because it’s so easy to paint a picture of near- perfection when that’s not how life is right?! Beautiful thoughts today (Ps I always used the canned stuff even when everyone was on board with hating it 😂)

  19. The other day you posted a pic on Instagram of your youngest son and I thought, wow, I remember when he was born. Your words and recipes have made their way into my home in permanent and wonderful ways. Thanks for baring your souls and your food out there, to share with strangers who love y’all.

  20. Thank you for your honesty. I’m 64 now, I’m kinder and gentler , I judge less and live more. Now with your permission I too will make a chicken pot pie with Campbell’s soup and frozen pie crust. I will love every bite. Thank you.

  21. Kate, I don’t know you, but I sure do love you! You feel like a sister to me–a fellow sarcastic, witty, hanging-on-for-dear-life-but-getting-it-done sister. I’m sorry life is being a jerk. I think we’ve all been there (sometimes I feel like I just live there, in the JerkLife compound). Keep holding on and know you are loved and appreciated! Thanks for sharing…❤️

  22. Bless you for being so vulnerable! It was needed today for me. I am not going through anything that is as difficult as your situation but definitely felt for the past couple days that worthless feeling. This resonated with me, “You have intrinsic worth that has absolutely ZERO correlation to your success or your family’s success or to the choices that other people make.” Thank you. Please know my thoughts are with you and your family.

  23. I relate to you so much, and have always loved your posts ❤️ Also, we have identical taste in tv shows, so we’re basically friends in real life. Thank you for sharing. Hugs to you and your beautiful family ❤️❤️❤️

  24. I was holding it together until you quoted Waitress. Now I’m crying at work. I don’t know you but we are definitely friends in my imagination. Thanks for keeping private what needs to be private and sharing what you feel comfortable sharing. You are not alone. You can do hard things. You are enough. Thanks for reminding me that I am too. (And you have excellent taste in movies/musicals/music/TV) 🙂

  25. I don’t ever comment on blogs anymore (though I do comment on insta/FB posts), but this was so perfect for me today, I can’t NOT comment. Thank you for being real and vulnerable and reminding me not to stress so much about the things that don’t matter.

  26. I’ve been following for years and years and this is so much more than Nancy telling us a really boring story we scroll through to find the recipe. Thanks for sharing and I hope sunnier days are ahead. ☀️

  27. I feel like I’ve been going through a crucible phase in my life as well, and I’ve been realizing how LITTLE some things matter. I’ve had to simplify, and we are better off for it. I’ve been trying to prioritize relationships over how many or how well things I can accomplish. It’s been a hard learning experience for me, but hopefully in the end I will be a better person because of it. Thank you for such a vulnerable post. I have always, always admired how both you and Sara keep things real and honest on this blog.

  28. I must have needed to read this. I’m crying like a baby on the stands while my little one does gymnastics. Thank you for these words and for you vulnerability in sharing them.

  29. We, as women need to lift each other up. Stop comparing when your kid does a, b and c. Stop comparing ourselves to this or that “celebrity .” In the grand scheme of things, who truly gives a damn? It’s not a contest to be won. You only get one shot at this life. There are no do-overs.
    I’m sorry life has dealt you a crappy hand here lately. You are a strong, brave woman and you will come out on the other side a better person for having gone through it. Let the haters hate. Do not give in to them. We are all better than that. Thank you for your honesty . Those of us that have loved you and Sara for years will stick by you. The rest can take their balls and go find a new playpen!

  30. Thank you for sharing. So sorry for the trials you have had to endure. So many of us walk around with heads held high and carry that burden so well no one knows. It’s helps to read others are working through things and no one alone. I love Our Best Bites. A few years ago I started a private blog just for my kids with family recipes and all my memories behind them. Now my oldest is on a mission and my second graduates this year. They love having a place to look up all the food they grew up with and reading my memories. Thanks for all you share with us.

  31. Thank you for sharing a part of your heart and soul with your readers. Your words were so touching and beautiful. I wish you and your children the best as you navigate the future. Because of this post, I think I will remember you every time I make chicken pot pie!

  32. This is real life for sure mama!! Life is amazing and heartbreaking and gorgeous and devastating and harder than anything that any of us ever expected! THANK YOU for making it a little bit easier and a lot more beautiful!

  33. Amen, sister. Life has a way of helping you unlearn your earlier judgments and positions on the best way to live life. Your edges soften – I love that.
    Thank you for being so vulnerable! It’s your down to earth humor and realism that has kept me following over the years, and your commitment to awesome food (no matter how you get there) that’s made you a household name! ❤️❤️

  34. Oh, Kate ❤️ I can see why your fingers were shaking. Hugs to you. Big hugs and a good ugly cry from me. I’ve been threatening to make chicken pot pie. It is a lovely comfort food for me. Today is a great day to do so. Loved and appreciated your sweet thoughts.

  35. This is so strange. I popped into my Instagram after putting laundry in the wash, having a particularly blue day from feeling inadequate. Well, inadequate years, but you know…. Anyway, this post has made me feel much better. Life isn’t the same for any person, but we can come together at the end of the day and say “That was hard times, wasn’t it?” So what do we get to do next? How do we get to grow as human beings? What helps us get through these times? I guess no one has the answer, ya know? But f*&#ing Kate from Our Best Bites made me smile today, and that’s pretty spectacular

  36. This is beautiful. I’ve loved your blog for years now because you are both so real. I never have felt like you were being fake and just showing the idealized version of things like has become so common anymore.

  37. Hello! I read your blog for a long time and then kind of fell away because of life. Recently I reconnected and caught up a bit with you on Instagram and I could tell there was a change in you but didn’t really know what it was other than I still loved your content and your heart for what you do. This post was right on time for me as someone who is going through a bit of a crucible of my own. Thank you and I pray for all the fullness God has for you and your family .

  38. What a lovely read. I wish you much happiness… and please know this has touched my heart and sole dearly today. Life is funny that way, others words can heal or make you think. That’s what you did for me today. With much gratitude-❤️ Thank you!

  39. It’s beautiful what time does to us. It doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us stronger and wiser. Love this post, the the Avett Brothers, love Mad Men, and love chicken pot pie. Thanks for sharing your view.

  40. This is so, so beautiful. Thank you, thank you with a pie crust heart on top. I needed this. Thank you for being vulnerable and validating others in the process. Thank you.

  41. Nothing against Sara, but I am always excited when you post or share more substantial thoughts because I feel like we’re more alike – in that my kid ate a Cheeto out of the couch cushions and I’m wearing yesterday’s clothes kind of way. 😂 This was vulnerable and wonderful and made me love you even more. I felt all the feels along the way. ❤️

  42. This post is beautiful! Thanks for your insights, your recipes and your vulnerability! I’m grateful to be able to connect with you in the small thing of reading your blog. You are amazing! Hugs!

  43. Tears running as I read this. Wow. Thank you for sharing! I’ve been following this blog since I got married 9 years ago. You and Sara literally taught me how to cook. Your post was something I needed to read today. Thank you for being real, and for being you. 💜💜💜💜💜

  44. I cringe to think of the things I used to think about other parents and the way they raised their kids as well as the expectations I had for my own kids. I knew how they would dress and what activities they would like what their GPA’s would be. Not one of them is the child I imagined and that image has been hard to get over. BUT each one of them is their own person and so perfectly amazing that I’m so glad they didn’t turn out to be the people I was imagining!

  45. I made this recipe last week and was reminded how much I love it. I am also going through an incredibly difficult part of my life right now and it is hard and painful. Hopefully we all come out of these times stronger and more compassionate towards others. ♥️

  46. I too have been a loyal follower and cookbook purchaser for years. Thanks for keepin it real and putting stuff out there. Yeah sometimes it is complicated, health insurance, benefits, things your kids need sometimes cause you to hang in situations you might not want to. I had a cancer scare last year where for about a month we thought I was dying. Turns out I have 15 benign tumors in my liver (weird but not currently life threatening.) We have totally completely changed our lives. We sold our house, we are closing our business, moving to another state. Just trying to grab life by the horns and enjoy it. Believe it or not “spending less time in the kitchen” and more time enjoying stuff has been a priority for me. (I’ve always been pretty OCD in the kitchen) anyways rambling but thank you for the well written post. Bloggers are real people too.

  47. I’ll never forget watching that episode of mad men and bawling my eyes out. I’ve still never seen the last episode because I can’t bring myself to finish the show. I know that’s not what this post has to do with, but I always relate to you on so many ways and I love that about you. You are beautiful and wonderful and never made me feel less than. I never had a problem with the store rotisserie chicken. 😉 You’re exactly right that life begins to kick you in the crotch and you start offering yourself and others a lot more grace. You’re wonderful. 💙

    1. BAWLING. MY. EYES. OUT. It was such an amazing scene. If you do ever feel up to it, you need to watch the last episode because it’s a really beautiful redemption arc for Don.

  48. Bless you for letting us see your fragile, vulnerable side. We all have one (I think), and we somehow believe – that we’re supposed to keep it hidden. So, so hard – and not necessary, because we’re here to help hold you up, if you need some extra strength. Most of us eventually pass through really hard places. We come out scarred, but somehow smarter. Thank you for sharing your crucible with us. (and the pie looks awesome)

  49. I have followed you and sara for about 7-8 years and love your recipes! Thank you for doing what you do. Now I have to say THANK YOU for this post! THIS is what life is about. THIS is what mercy and compassion and true charity and humility is about! We are all here to struggle and go through “crucible” type trials and by you being an advocate for sharing and giving each other a break it allows others to do the same! Thank you for sharing and for your words. I know they have touched so many-and dare i day ALL of us moms going through mom moments?! It broke my heart to read the struggles you are going through-and to know so many are in this exact situation. Thank you for your courage and strength-you are doing such an exceptional job! 🙏🏻♥️

  50. I’m not sure I’ve ever commented on a blog post, but I want you to know that I appreciate your vulnerability and realness. You beautifully articulated thoughts that have been bouncing around my head for the last year as I’ve been going through a life-altering crucible. I’m guessing that all of us who feel like we are alone in our worry and pain are surrounded by others who feel the same. Yes to everything you said. Yes to learning and perspective. Yes to priorities. And yes to cutting each other slack and cutting ourselves slack. Best wishes from Washington!

  51. This post is so beautiful and now I am crying. I’ve been following you since my first baby was born, ten years ago. I feel like you are a friend. I am so sorry for the hurt and hard times you are going through. And to have a friend tell me that what I’m doing is enough is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I will refer back to this post over and over again. Thank you for being vulnerable and for sharing this with us all ❤️❤️❤️

  52. I never post comments but after reading this I just wanted to tell you how often I read your posts and think to myself, “wow I love how real she is and how she doesn’t feel a need to be perfect to the world. “. Thank you— so many people need to see the real, the hard, and the struggles. I have a friend who can’t look at Facebook and Instagram because it makes her feel bad about herself because her life hadn’t turned out perfect. I know reading this would do her good. Thank you for sharing the real you.

  53. Being real and vulnerable is so healing, but sometimes when I’m not in a place to be real and vulnerable myself, reading real and vulnerable words of others is healing for me as well. Thank you so much for this post. Cheering you on today. 💛

  54. Sending so much love back. I’ve loved this site since I found it, years ago, and some of the recipes you and Sara put out are still and always will be go-tos in my house. Thank you for doing what you do, for growing and changing and sharing and having a great sense of humor, too. xoxo

  55. I don’t know you or Sara but I love your blog and ALL of your recipes. I have been divorced for about 2 years now and it is just me and my 16 year old daughter at home now. Once or twice a month we pick an OBB recipe to make together. Sometimes its a new recipe, sometimes its an old favorite. Tomorrow night we are making your Broccoli Beef – it’s one of our very faves. Thank you to both of you for sharing your lives – the good and the bad – and your recipes with us. This mama and her daughter have enjoyed our time together making them and have sure enjoyed eating them!

  56. Kate, I have been following you and Sara since those original chicken pot pie days and remembered thinking, “oh man! I didn’t even know you could make your own cream of chicken!” It was a learning moment for me. And then occasionally as I would grab a can of cream of chicken I would smile about it. I am grateful for all of your phases, and this post is so spot on in every way. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for opening up. Thanks for being such a huge part of our lives, even when you don’t know you are. I know you’ve had your share of challenges and awakenings and you have learned the valuable lesson of how to NGAF, and I am so proud of you. Thanks for being the laugh in those random moments when I needed one, and for sharing parts of your life.

  57. Love this post. You guys have been around for many of my family’s memories and I thank you for that. Thank you for being real and helping us all feel lifted up.

  58. This post brought tears to my eyes. For your loss and trials, and for mine. Thank you for keeping it real and for being brave enough to share these thoughts. There’s comfort in knowing that we are all navigating this crazy life together.

  59. I have been on your site for so long I cannot remember. I’m not someone who comments often but I love telling the world about your amazing food! You guys have been filling OUR home with wonderful food and laughter from your great sense of humor! We have so enjoyed hearing your journey along the way. I will be praying for your family and the turmoil I know this portion of your journey must be bringing. Will pray that you find Peace that surpasses all understanding! We are with you! HE will always be with you, no matter what! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  60. I’m sorry things have been rough but thank you for letting it make you more sympathetic to the pain everyone is feeling in some way or another! Even though I only know you through a food blog…all the prayers m’dear

  61. I love this! I have been a fan since your days on BBC and The Daily Bite. I’ve also had some challenges and big life changes, so I really relate to all you said about what really matters. We are all doing our best, and our kids are loved!

  62. Oh, honey. I don’t know you, but I just want to give you a big hug. The older I get, the more I realize we’re all just doing the best we can. Thank you for your honesty and the reminder to extend a little more kindness to each other, and to ourselves.

  63. Thank you. Especially for that last paragraph, which made me tear up in a good way. We moms always need more encouragement, and this real life encouragement is just what I needed today.

  64. You are amazing. It is rough to go through a separation/divorce/whatever…I think I went into hiding for about 3 years after mine. You are brave for sharing and I have always loved your blog and your genuine way of writing. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this “crucible”. But the lessons you learn will be invaluable. Hugs to you!

  65. With so many comments mine probably won’t be original but I had to say thanks. Thanks for being real and sharing things that were probably tough to put out there. We try so hard as moms to be and do everything and I think a lot of us feel a lot of the time that we’re not good enough. Reading this today made me feel like I am enough today. And I hope I remember it. God bless in your crucible, hope you find your way to peace and happiness 🧡

  66. My heart is heavy for you. That couldn’t have been easy to first, keep quiet with this life altering information and then, to open up and share it with us. Thank you for trusting us and letting us in. You and Sara are loved by thousands for your authenticity, among many many things. And we, in turn, love you back.💕

  67. What a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching post. I have been thinking a lot lately about what things are truly important, and your words capitalized on my thoughts and clarified them. My heart aches for you and I hope you know how many people and families you have impacted for the good, not only with your delicious recipes but also with your willingness to be real and honest and accessible and vulnerable. God bless you and your children.

  68. So, I also love your sunny and comical perspective on adulting and parenting and life. Like equally as much as I love Tim Riggins Brownies, chocolate peanut butter cookies, fruit salad in chocolate dipped cones and oatmeal cookies.
    Keep being you. God knows the world needs all the bright spots. ❤️❤️❤️

  69. All of this. Yes. Life kicks you in the crotch sometimes but it is always still the one life we have and it is beautiful. Beautifully hard, but beautiful.

    And I was a “superior” parent, too… then I realized what my kids needed was me and my time, not a weeknight dinner I spent 5 hours making.

    Thank you for making this chicken pot pie. And being you.

  70. Best post I’ve read in a long time! Thanks for keeping it real. Life is hard. It gets harder, and then maybe it gets better for a bit. I hope yours lightens a bit.

  71. Oh Kate, thank you for your honesty and for being so real. I am a lot older than you and can totally relate to how our judgments about others soften as we gain more life experience. Hang in there!
    p.s I love your blog and have all your cookbooks!

  72. What a beautiful and real and vulnerable post!! Thank you for being real and being you! I have found myself going through similar transformations and finding greater understanding and love and empathy for those around me. We need to judge each other less and love each other more! Thanks again!

  73. Thanks for sharing. I think we can all relate to this on some level. It’s amazing how much wisdom we gain with age and yet some days I still feel like I know so little. I have loved following your blog and getting a glimpse into yours and Sara’s lives. I use your recipes all the time!

  74. Big hugs, Kate! I’ve followed you two and cooked your recipes filled with love for as long as I can remember. In that time, I’ve gone through several crucibles and can attest that it changes your outlook on the everyday. I’m so glad you have each other to lean on. 💗 I pray you continue to find the support you need and that you can give yourself grace through these tough times.

  75. Thank you so much for this touching post. You had me laughing and crying. I have followed your blog for years. I feel like you and Sara are good friends of mine. ❤️ As someone who is struggling right now with a different struggle you touched my heart. I am so grateful for your amazing words that buoyed and comforted me when I needed it. You truly are amazing! 😊

  76. So real, so raw. I absolutely loved every word you wrote and can relate to so many of them. Thank you for the beauty you added to the world today.

  77. Kate, I dont know you very well and I love your first 2 cookbooks and dont follow blog , but now I want to. I empathize w one thing. Crucible oh and nostalgia oh and Sara Bereiles songs. I’m single, never been separated or had kids to cook for every night for 11 years. But I know what suffering is like and have talked to Sara a little bit about some issues. I highly respect your diligence and hard work as a mother and wife. I respect your vulnerability. And want to follow you guys to get to know you better. Thanks!

  78. I am a better mom and wife because of the recipes you have provided my family. Thank you for helping me out along the way and helping me be my best self. You too, are killin’ it!

  79. I started reading OBB about 8 years ago when I was freshly pregnant with my first. During these years I’ve had to go through my own crucible and it was rough. The thoughts you shared are spot on and made me cry! Nothing is quite as it seemed it would be. I’ve loved learning from and (virtually) leaning on you and Sara. I love how you guys keep it real and how you’ve taught me to be a better mom and person through your real life posts, and of course your amazing recipes. ❤️💪👊

  80. I couldn’t tell you the last time I commented on a blog post, but I had to on this one! What beautiful thoughts and feelings to share. I appreciate so much your honesty! This will help so many people, truly! We are all good Moms trying our best! Sending you lots of love! ❤️

  81. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you (and Sara) for the wonderful blog /recipes /posts/real life stuff. It does feel like you’re my friend and I value what you put it there. I’m so sorry for your recent struggles. I’ve had a rough 3 years myself – it’s made me focus more on what really matters. Sounds like the same for you. I hope you and your sweet family find peace ❤️

  82. I’ve been reading this blog for forever and I’m in tears. I don’t know you but I feel like I do and I’ve always loved your posts. We have the same taste in music! I’m so sorry to hear about the crucible you’ve been experiencing. I can SO relate to changing as a mother. I’ve felt a lot like I’m not the mother I was because I’ve let so many things slide. But, I am certainly less judgmental and I’m doing my best. Thanks for the reminder that that’s the most important thing. Love to you and your family. ❤️

  83. I’ve been following along for over ten years and very rarely comment. I wish I could let you know just how much good you have done for me, my friends that I’ve referred, and our families. You are loved ❤️❤️❤️

  84. Beautiful, REAL, & vulnerable. Thank you. We need more of this in the world. Love, understanding, & encouragement. God bless you.❤

  85. I’ve been following you ladies, enjoying your stories, and feeding my family with your recipes for over 10 years. This post has touched me like no other. ❤️ I’ve made that chicken pot pie exactly once- it was delicious but we didn’t eat until 8:00 (back in the day when that wasn’t our normal dinner time). Maybe it’s time to try it out again with a few shortcuts – except the crust. I love your pie crust recipe!

  86. Bless you and thank you. The honesty and vulnerability in this post is beautiful. Over the past several years, I’ve learned that my tragedies and trials have taught me how to love, and for that, I’m grateful. So much love going out to you and others here that are going through hard times. 💗

  87. I just wanted to stop in and say thank you and to make sure you are flooded with love on this post! Thank you so much for not trying to fit into a box. I love your writing and your perspective and you have always made me feel like a friend. I’ll be thinking of and praying for you.

  88. Thank you for sharing! I have made this chicken pot pie so many times. I may have used leftover chicken and rotisserie chicken, but it is still one of my favs. You made a comment on my daughters blog about 8 years ago, when she had a blog, about the Tim Riggins brownies she made. It was so thoughtful. She just started college and still remembers that sweet gesture. So Thank you again for sharing not only your recipes but yourself ❤

  89. Dang it! Here I claimed to be the friend you guys didn’t know you have and then I go and spell Sara’s name wrong. Sorry, Sara, I know there’s no H. But there is some H in a lot of this thing we call life. 😉 Hugs.

  90. Kate- every one of your posts, whether here, or on insta are my favorite. You are real, and man- we need more real. I’ve hit my mid 30’s which has really had me contemplating my early 20’s life, too- and man I wish I could shake the girl I was- man I had no clue- just no clue. But reality tells me when I’m in my mid 40’s or 50’s I’ll want to shake this new contemplative mid 30’s me, too.
    The thing I’ve learned, and am still learning, is it’s just the love that counts- I’ve got a 15 year old that’s “kicking me in the crotch” on the daily- and gosh I wanna kick back! I’m so darn tired- but you’re right. It’s the moments, the memories, the love. The simple things. Hang on dear lady- I find so much to relate to in each of your posts- and I love what you’ve said. We’re rooting for you with so much love! ❤️

  91. You have brought me to tears. In a good way. Thank you for reminding me of my worth. I feed my 17 year old son (the Tank) Mc Donald’s for dinner. We had the BEST conversation we’ve had in a long time! That wouldn’t have happened if I’d cooked all evening.

  92. Kate, like so many others, I’ve been reading the blog and making your recipes for ten years. You feel like a friend to me even though I only met you at a book signing years ago. You’re way cooler than me so you might not wanna be friends with me IRL 😜
    I am in tears and I just want to give you a big hug. Thank you for opening your heart. You are amazing and nobody can take that away from you.

  93. I have followed you for a very long time. Before the first cookbook anyway. I have had many a hard times and here i am in another one right now with light somewhere out there pretty far away and i truly appreciate the honesty! Ive been wanting chicken pit pie for a while so you got me hooked with just the pic and now i sit here wiping my eyes

  94. This is one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read and I love following you guys. I remember having the hardest time breastfeeding my 4th and struggling with PP depression. I was such a mess and felt so judged and inadequate. One day I was dropping another child off at preschool and the sweet teacher said, “just give that baby a bottle. I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I can’t tell a difference between the kids who were breastfed and the kids who had bottles.” It was the most validating experience. Thanks for sharing that same kindness with us.

  95. I was at a parent orientation for my college kid and one of the speakers said that we needed to remind our students that we are all on the same team. We are here on earth to help each other. It is not a competition. This post said just that. Thank you.

  96. I’ve been following your blog for ten years, I know because my oldest son was a three month old baby when I started making your recipes. A group of friends started sharing recipes and I was introduced to your blog. That’s the summer I stopped
    hating cooking and realized it could be fun! (Although I’m still grateful for Mac and cheese boxes and cold cereal.) Thank you for your post and your courage in sharing it. Bless you as you are going through hard things, and thank you for the compassion you reminded all of us to have.

  97. All the love. Life is rough…and wonderful. But those of us who aren’t publicly going through the rough stuff are generally just silently stuffing it and going it alone. I admire you for owning it and maybe not making the rest of us feel less-than for simplifying asking the way. Very best of luck to you, and all the love. ❤️

  98. You have a beautiful way with words. I wish I could just give you a hug. Thank you for all of the years of sharing your recipes, but also a little bit of who you are. You two are my favorite.

  99. I rarely post on blogs where I haven’t actually met the blogger, but I grew up in Cache Valley and I think we may have attended the same high school, so that’s close enough 😉. This is a beautiful post. Even though my own struggles are entirely different, I can relate to your words. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you feel the love of all the people you have helped by being willing to be vulnerable.

  100. Tears streaming down my face. I love you, Kate. And for the record, your posts have never made me feel ‘less than’. Although no story is the same, my spouse and I divorced last year and are now in the process of trying to decide if we made a mistake. It’s caused a lot of soul searching – that’s what these things do, they hold a mirror in front of us and make us question our cracks and flaws. I know your heart is good, you are a loving, kind and generous person. You can hold your head high. Grace is a word we don’t use much in our culture but it comes up a lot in my mind now. We all need more grace to forgive others and forgive ourselves. Keep doing your thing, you give people more grace than you know and it looks like you’re finding it easier to give it to yourself now. Many hugs and thank you for your gifts.

  101. I am reading your blog for the first time, this article, based on a friend’s comment on her Instagram page today. Wow! So nice to meet you. Your honesty is refreshing and needs to be read. Thank you thank you. I look forward to reading and exploring more of your little corner of the internet. Keep of the great work.

  102. Thank you so much for this post. I feel inadequate as a wife & a mother so often. Your post is so real & it hits home. You made me cry & laugh. You made memories come to my mind that I’ve not thought about in awhile. You also touched my heart…
    I’m sorry for what you are going through.

  103. You have touched my heart today. Thank you for being real and sharing this post. You don’t know me, but I’ve followed you and Sara since the beginning of your blog, and feel like we are dear friends. I love your sense of humor, your honesty, and YOU! Life is HARD. If anyone says it’s not, they are delusional. 😂 Hang in there and keep going. You are in a great position to touch many lives, not just with yummy food, but with your words and experiences. I know you’ve touched mine. ❤️

  104. When my husband asked me for a divorce (although I realize you are separated at this point) my mother gave me her only good advice, ever. She said “Keep your chin up. Your story is not over yet.” Truly, life, after that, has been better for me than I ever dreamed it could be. I wish the same for you!

  105. You’ve always been one of my very favorite bloggers because you’re talented and created but also REAL. Wishing you and your sweet family the very best.

  106. Everything has been said about the serious, what could I add?
    But my goodness such a life hack of paying kids to go to bed is the BEST. I pay the kids $1 for each time they make it to the toilet when they puke, but for those tough nights? BRILLIANT. I had an older mom, one that I thought was very conscientious of healthy eating, show me that she ALWAYS keeps little candy in gum in her purse for bribing. We moms really do need to stick together.

  107. Exactly what both you and Sara have given me as a mom (now a mom of adults) was time with my kiddos when they were few years younger……recipe ideas and efforts that don’t take all day and we’re do-able! Recipes we taught them how to cook with and time spent together cooking and learning instead of me just doing it for them. Seriously your first Best Bites cookbook did this for us and i thank you! I’ll nwver forget my pre-teen saying he’s picking a recipe to make for us and didn’t want help, he picked your chocolate chili and it worked!!!! 💙💙. Lol. Be strong, love yourself and love your kiddos. Prayers for your family! Thanks for sharing, you’re inspiring for sure!

  108. My philosophy is that people who can’t keep it real can’t be my friends, so you are the best kind of person in my book. Life sucks a lot of the time, so we have to learn to choose to see and cherish the happy moments and not kill ourselves trying to be perfect. There are enough things to worry about that canned cream soup can’t be one of them.
    Cheers to you!

  109. I have to add to the hundreds of comments here. You are awesome and you ladies taught me how to cook. I started reading your blog about the time my husband and I got together (10+ years ago) and I have become “the baker” and “the cook” in my family thanks mostly to you and Sara.

    On another note, I have a sweet friend who I was talking to about feeling guilty I quit breastfeeding my second child cold turkey at 1 year old (I really disliked nursing and had some nursing aversion and 3 bouts of mastitis with that kid) and she reminded me that a relationship is more than one person and *I* was part of the nursing relationship too. It was profound to me at the time. You are never solely responsible for how a relationship in your life turns out, the other party is responsible for it too. Thank you for reminding me today.

  110. This struggle has also been on my heart and mind. I’m re-working and changing everything that I thought I knew for sure as a young mama too. Life is so hard sometimes. Hang in there, and believe there are good things in your future!

  111. Woman. You are a writer who can also cook. Thank you for sharing all that you did. As I’m going through some similar things right now, I know how difficult it can be to open up to others. I truly wish you the very best.

  112. I love that you shared this ❤️ I think we all can all relate. I have found that choosing to believe people are doing there best has changed so much of how I see the world. And I appreciate more and more every single act of compassion and empathy people show me.

  113. As I read your post I just cried my eyes out. I’ve always looked at you and your sister and “assumed” all is well. I’ve learned over the years everyone is going through “something.” I could go on for hours. My life at 70 is not at all what I thought. Opening up is so important and I appreciate you doing so…………..you know we all love you and are so grateful for all you do

  114. Hugs. Right there with ya sister, except in a slightly different circumstance. So. much. pain. But the Lord is faithful and kind; Jesus is the only one who has given me enough strength to keep going.
    “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 xoxo

  115. I’m so sorry Kate!
    I’m having some kind of glitch with comments I think. I’ve posted 3 separate comments and none of them are showing up on the feed- so I’m wondering if its some kind of block. I’ll keep trying on other things and hope I figure it out. I don’t think I’ve posted anything offensive or not appropriate so its a puzzle.

    Thank you for being brave and sharing a little bit more with all of us.

  116. Thanks for sharing. It REALLY helps! Everyone has things to deal with and somehow you sharing this helped me feel connected and like I’m not the only one. Sometimes the days are hard and life isn’t turning out even remotely how you imagined it. Sometimes you can’t imagine something new right now, but it will come. Wishing you moments of peace.

  117. Wow. I’m in tears. I love this post and I love what you said. And I am so sorry for the trials you are facing, and so impressed by your courage to share your thoughts. I’ve followed our best bites for years. I think ever since your chicken taquito recipe went mega viral (and I’ve literally probably made that 100x since). I have to remind myself all day and every day that I’m doing my best. It’s so easy to compare, but when it comes down to it, if our kids are loved (and they know they are loved) and taken care of that’s all that matters. Not canned soup, packets of seasoning, or store bought vs homemade pie crust 🥰

  118. Okay… to be totally honest, I don’t know if I have ever read an entire blog post all the way through, and I am so glad and blessed that I did. I have always struggled with the dinner thing, but especially lately. I have children that are hardly ever home. Half of my kids quite grown and not around very much for dinner, and my youngest is still in elementary school and really wants a “real dinner” instead of whatever I can heat up for her “because nobody is home.” I know that you have delish and fairly easy recipes, so I popped on her. I am quite nostalgic, and so chicken pot pie (a favorite) and Memories – the title of this post caught my eye. Little did I know that I would actually be crying while reading it. Thank you for being real, honest, and encouraging. Thank you for your help. Thank you for helping me to not feel like a total failure. Love to you and your family. Life can really suck sometimes, huh? We got this!

  119. Your vulnerability is admirable. Life definitely keeps us humble. And I do make chicken pot pie regularly-with rotisserie chicken and ready made pie crust!

    Really enjoyed the honesty and personal touch of this post- thank you.

  120. I loved this post – THANK YOU! For years I have enjoyed your recipes. But in this case, your sharing deeply resonated with me.
    For two years watching my mom fade to her death, I would not have wished for her another day on earth in her condition. But what brings me to tears every time in this last 10 months without her is whenever I make her recipes. And I will always remember decorating sugar cookies with two little girls who are dear to me and telling them that this was a Christmas tradition in my family. Little Bridgette looked up and said “you were so lucky.” And I was.

  121. Thank you for this post. I am not as gifted with words as you are. Just know that I wish I could give you and yours a big hug.

    Thank you for making me feel better about taking short cuts in the kitchen. 🙂 Thank you for opening up to all of us; in doing so we have been able to reflect, open our hearts, and heal also. Truth be told I am still trying to unwind some of the things I have told myself for nearly a decade (kids are only as resilient as their parents, or good moms don’t yell, or good moms always give their kids positive energy, or kids are happy if their parents are). I have had to look at my thoughts and try to replace them with better/more true thoughts that serve me better. It is a process. Not an easy one actually. Your words were a timely reminder to me today that we all have intrinsic value that is not conditional upon our kids actions, our successes or mistakes, or anything else.

    Thank you. Really, thank you. ❤️

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