Walk a Mile in his Moccasins – OR Wear her Apron for a Day?

“To understand a man you’ve got to walk a mile in his shoes.”

That common phrase is actually a twist on what Mary T. Lathrap, a Michigan minister and suffragist, wrote in 1895. The last line from Mary’s poem “Just Softly” reads “Take the time to walk a mile in his moccasins.

We can all agree that’s good advice – whether it’s moccasins or shoes.

But Mary might also have suggested that we “take the time to wear her apron for a day.” She touches on that timely subject in her poem “A Woman’s Answer to a Man’s Question.”

You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart to be true as God’s stars,
And as pure as heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
I require a far better thing.
A seamstress you’re wanting for socks and shirts;
I look for a man and a king…..

Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

It’s hard to be a wife/mother/woman, right? And not always easy to be a husband/father/man either, right? Also, as you’ll find in today’s Andy’s Corner, it’s not easy to be a pet/human companion/dog either (and there’s another great video).

You get the point. We need to be sure that men and women get equal amounts of compassion and empathy. And that’s admittedly hard to do – at least until we’ve “been” him or her.

But there’s a twist to that. Sometimes we want badly to BE some other person…someone whose life seems more fun than ours.

Which brings me to a blog title I’d saved a long time ago: I Wanna’ Be.” I had planned to write about how I wish I could be…Ina Garten.

My least favorite cookbook title: Cooking for Jeffrey

I quit following Ina’s Instagram posts after the 62,500 “likes” she routinely gets became too overwhelming – and slightly depressing – compared to BigLittleMeals 2-3 “likes.” 🙂

A recent post from Ina stated she needed to get back out and work in her garden. Looks like it needs work 🙂
I’ve been out working in my garden too – but it will never measure up to Ina’s.

If Ina isn’t threatening enough, now there’s Tik-Tok’s “senior” cooking star, Barbara Costello. “Babs aka Nona” has 1.9 million followers. Celebrate with Babs, Barbara’s recently published cookbook, has 800+ 5-star reviews on Amazon.


Wow!! It’s never too late. First time author at age 73. My NEW & first cookbook, Celebrate with Babs ✨ Available everywhere books are sold #nevertoolate

♬ Here Comes the Sun – Relaxing Instrumental Music

So what’s my point? Social media allows us to present a persona that isn’t reaI. I don’t think that either Ina or Babs is probably as happy and in control and carefree as they portray, though if they are – more power to them! And yet we casual observers see these ladies and can’t help but be slightly envious. But I remind myself: we should “wear her apron for a day” before our “I wanna be…” grips and consumes us.

Here is Babs/Nona on TikTok preparing meatloaf. And here’s my variation on her admittedly good and simple and basic recipe.

Babs’ Meatloaf

Bab's Meatloaf

We cut the recipe in half when it’s just the two of us. Then reduce the cooking time to about 1 hour. Recipe adapted from brunchwithbabs on TikTok.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 ground pork or turkey
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped – about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic minced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt (I use more salt than Babs does; for 3 lbs of meat, I’d use 1 tablespoon of Diamond kosher salt)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c quick cooking oats (or put your old-fashioned oats into the food processor and do a quick pulse or two)
2 tsp dried parsley (I used about 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley)
1/2 c tomato sauce

Glaze for meatloaf: 1/2 c ketchup, 1/2 tsp brown sugar (I doubled that), 4 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Babs/Nona sautes her onion and garlic in olive oil before adding it to the meatloaf, but I skip that step. I just mix the olive oil, raw onion and garlic, eggs, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce together. Then I dump that into a bowl with the ground meat, add the oats, parsley, and tomato sauce and blend together really well with my (really clean) hands.

Babs bakes her meatloaf in a bread pan, but I prefer using a cast iron skillet and free-forming the loaf. After you’ve formed the loaf, spread the glaze on top.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Serve warm – or our preferred way – cold, sliced and served on toasted bread slathered with mayonnaise and mustard, for d-lish sandwiches.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.


  1. Bob Carleton says:

    Hearty applause for David Ewing’s post! Your Railroad Street casa e jardin(s) are the envy of all who are privileged to experience them. Plus, their beautiful caretakers make it all better.


  2. David Ewing says:

    Humbug. Your garden is more beautiful than Ina’s. And I can’t believe you could envy JaLo or JaAf or whoever she is these days. I’m as big an admirer of women’s chests as anybody, but propping them up, pushing them out and dangling jewels all over them like she had done in the photo you sent is so silly that I would be mortified to be seen with her…not that there was any risk of that. Be honest, Ann. You would never be caught dead in a get up like that. If anything, she should envy you, because you have way better sense than she does. And to my taste, are more beautiful into the bargain.


  3. Deb says:

    You have always made cooking and gardening look effortless…and you are a master of each.

    There might be a moment of envy, but then it just illustrates we always have more to learn and that whatever level we are presently at, is appreciated for what it is.


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