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One of My Favorite Afternoons in Chicago

Four years ago this fall, I was easing into my new life in Chicago. It had been a rough transition, but I’d finally begun to make some friends and develop a few job leads. My first friend in Chicago was a really cool girl named Stacy McKinley. I met her through a friend of mine in Los Angeles and she will always remain as one of the most welcoming, hospitable and funny women I’ve ever met. Right now she’s a teacher and a writer living in Louisville, but back then she was grad student and co-host of a pretty fantastic Internet cooking show called Per Person.

One day that fall, when I was feeling particularly depressed and sorry for myself, Stacy convinced me to come over and help her with a new episode of Per Person. One of the things I am NOT in this life is an actress and so I agreed begrudgingly. However, that afternoon will always go down as one of my most favorite spent in Chicago, and I tend to think about it every October so I thought I’d share it today.

Here’s the video. In one part I was supposed to be pretending to hold a baby so we wrapped up Stacy’s little dog Belvedere in a blanket and I almost peed myself laughing because he was squirming so much.


p.s. The cookie recipe featured is REALLY good. You should try them!


  1. That is hilarious! Perhaps now that you’re in Tinsel Town, the acting bug will bite you! Really cute opening. The recipe does look good, and what’s more, looks like they’re having a blast. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Ron Stempkowski on October 13, 2011 at 6:05 am

  2. Ugh, no acting for me! Especially not in LA! But thanks, Ron. :)

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on October 13, 2011 at 8:53 am

  3. the writer in me salutes the write in you. congrats on your soon coming book.
    I am in Big Bear, another great place to get a feel for nature, though we are not Sedona.

    Comment by david on October 16, 2011 at 8:04 am

  4. Awww, Claire. I adore you. That was one of my favorite days too. We all “grew up” in Chicago, and as the seasons changed and we made it through the grueling winters, I will always remember dinners at your house, the clementines for desserts, the gift exchanges, the wine, that amazing back deck, all of Greg’s woody furniture, and you and me always taking it one step too far in conversation. I miss you all the time, and I can’t wait to hang out with you in the sunshine again. Thank you for posting our awesome video.

    Comment by Stacy McKinley Geyer on October 16, 2011 at 9:59 am

  5. Aw, Stace! I miss introducing Bern to new and “grown-up” foods.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on October 20, 2011 at 9:10 am

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