Dear Jon

Mad Men PosterDear Jon,

You’ve occupied not one, but two spots on my Freebie Five for a long time now.  Yes, two spots.  Almost half of my fantasy allotment goes to you because clearly, a night with you would be very different than a night with Don Draper and, well, yes.

For the record, my husband couldn’t be happier that both of you made the cut because it means that one of my prospects doesn’t even exist in real life.  Similarly, I have encouraged my husband to add “the brainy Kardashian” to his list.

But Jon, we have a problem.  This thing in the news about your, um, Hamm bone causing problems for the nice folks in charge of wardrobe for Mad Men — ew.

It’s odd to say this, but please wear underwear to work, Jon.  If you want a little fresh air on your pork ‘n beans while out for Sunday brunch, that’s your business.  At work, however, you need to keep it locked down tight.

This is important.  If you creep me out and I have to take you off my list, I will be crushed.  I’d be compelled to give Tom Brady two spots – football player and Ugg model – but we both know he only deserves one entry in The Five.  So please, Jon, wear underwear to work.  Do it for me.  Or do it for the poor guy who allegedly had to Photoshop your groin into submission for the show’s promotional posters.  But please, just do it.

Forever yours,
(provided you wear proper undergarments at work)

— the Unskilled Perfectionist

Mango Bread, Jon Hamm and Floor Eggs

Mother’s Day started off with a bang – literally.  The sound of one dozen eggs hitting the floor is surprisingly loud.

I don’t have many vices, but coffee paired with a treat (something “scone-y” my son calls it) ranks high up there, along with citrus-based cocktails, Lainey Gossip and Jon Hamm.  So in honor of my special day, my special people were busy in the kitchen trying to make mango bread.

My daughter accidentally drops the eggs, my husband accidentally drops an f-bomb, tears and apologies abound.  Then, they scrape three eggs’ worth of mess off the floor and keep cooking.  The simple fact that I was able to smile, chew and swallow bread that was made with floor eggs is a testament to my deep love and gratitude for these goofballs.

Our morning consisted of a few nice moments as well as more chaos as an entire mug of hot coffee was spilled into my lap.  The rest of our day was pretty uneventful but our night took an interesting turn when my daughter asked how babies are made while we were eating dinner.  My husband and I had an entire conversation with our eyes:

Me:  “Hey, why don’t we just answer this and get it over with?  Two kids with one awkward conversation.”

Him:  “Hell no.”

Me:  “Are you sure?  We’ve got a teachable moment here…”

Him:  “Seriously?  I’d rather eat floor eggs.  Let’s get through dinner and put them to bed.  Mad Men is on tonight.”

Me:  “Aaah, the Hamm card.  Well played.  You win.”

And with that, Mother’s Day 2012 came to a close.  Messy, sweet, chaotic and pretty perfect.

Here’s the recipe for Mother’s Day Mango Bread, floor eggs optional.

Fresh Mango Bread

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking From My Home to Yours

 3 large eggs

¾ cup canola oil

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (packed) light brown sugar

2 cups diced mango (about 2-3 mangos, depending on size)

grated zest of one lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan, dust with flour and tap out excess.  Put pan on an insulated baking sheet (it helps keep the bottom of the bread from burning during the long baking time)

Whisk the eggs and oil together

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.  Add the brown sugar and stir to break up any lumps.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.  The batter will be very thick.  Stir in mango and lime zest, scrape into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake the loaf pan/insulated cookie sheet combo for about 90 minutes, covering the top of the bread loosely with tin foil if it is browning too quickly.  Once baked, let the bread sit in the pan for 5 minutes to cool, then flip it onto a cooling rack and let it get to room temperature before trying to slice it.