Yesterday was not one of my finer moments. It started off great with my new HUGE coffee mug from Bed Bath & Beyond that got me more excited for my morning fix than I’d like to admit.


But the day quickly deteriorated as work threw a few punches and I let them get the best of me. It was a long, stressful day with lunch eaten at my desk during a 2 hour conference call from hell.


I’m not going to get into details because in the words of the almighty Dooce, “be ye not so stupid” to write about work on the internet. Winking smile

Let’s just say 5pm was more than needed and it’s days like these that I’m so incredibly thankful and happy I’ve found an outlet in running. I went out for a music-less 3 mile run and got all my frustration out on the pavement. Does any one else have mock conversations in their head while running? Totally did that. If I can’t express my feelings in real life, I’ll just play the scene out in my head. I’m probably sounding like a head case right about now!


It wasn’t my best or my fastest run (I’ll blame my screaming sore glutes<—hello 40lb dumbbell lunges!) but it did the trick.

And then Bertha came out.


Yes, I’ve named my dutch oven Bertha. She’s big and ugly and it seemed like the only fitting name.


After our wedding, I had a few hundred dollars in gift cards and returns from duplicate items on our registry to a store called Fortunoff. It’s out of business now, but it was local to NY,NJ,CT and was basically a department store on steroids/bridal registry palace. You could waste hours of your life in there from bedding to china to furniture and more. I could’ve gotten a lot more with the money, but I spent it on Bertha. I had wanted a Le Creuset dutch oven forever and it’s a lot easier to convince yourself when it’s not your own $275 you’re throwing around. Her color looked so nice and rustic online but when she came in the mail it was all I could do to not puke at the sight of her. In real life it’s the color of poop. Ass grass, and now poop. What has come of this blog? It’s unfortunate really to have to cook delicious meals in something so offensive looking, but we make do and she hasn’t let me down yet.

On the menu was Anne’s turkey barley vegetable chili. Is there a food more comforting than chili? I don’t think so. I’ve made this before and followed her recipe almost exactly but I did take out the mushrooms (didn’t have any) and threw in some carrots & fresh tomatoes.


I’m pretty sure ground turkey meat is one of the least appetizing looking things ever.


Garnished with some sharp cheddar and avocado.



Other good things about chili? 

It’s a one pot meal = less dishes

There are tons of leftovers = don’t have to cook dinner for the next 2 days = more time to bake cookies.

So for the math nerds out there, if bad days = chili and chili = cookies then bad days = cookies, right? I could handle a few more bad days in that case. Winking smile


What was your major in college? I was an overachiever and double majored in International Business and Spanish. I loved math in hs and never took an ounce of it in college, go figure.



Filed under Dinner, Running, Work

27 responses to “Bertha

  1. “Does anyone else have mock conversations in their head while running?” I TOTALLY do that!! Sorry about the bad day at work 😦 Glad you got to run out your frustrations!

  2. Haha – that’s a perfect name. I’m dying for a dutch oven.

    Also – I TOTALLY have mock conversations in my head while running – that’s too funny. I always figured I was alone with that one.

    Sorry about the crazy work day – I’ve been on those conference calls before – they’re the worst! Hope today is better 🙂

  3. katie

    Had a great aunt who was big and somewhat nasty at times…..we called her Big Bertha!!! Reading your post gave me a laugh after a pitiful run this morning…side cramp and all!

  4. Did you actually have the conversations out loud, because that would be awesome. And, yes, I definitely do that too.

    I double majored in English and Womens Studies. If I was a guy I’d have such a good pick-up line, “Did you know I majored in words and women?” 🙂

  5. I love that you use running as your outlet! I am constantly dealing with clients who always turn to food! What a healthy way to deal with stress!

  6. Hi! Just found your blog and I am also a Weimaraner lover (we have 2, a gray and a blue, both huge). Totally get running to shake off a bad day – I had a 5 hour drive yesterday to get back home and actually fantasized about running 🙂 Color of poop or not, Bertha is awesome. I have one on my wish list, too!! Definitely going to make that chili, too, delicious…I’m all about one-pot meals that last for days.

    I majored in business (marketing) with a minor in dance 🙂

  7. I never thought to name my dutch oven, but if I had to pick, I think I’ll go with Black Betty. She’s sleek, sexy and always gets it right.

    I majored in public relations with a minor in marketing.

  8. The Teenage Taste

    Wow. Your dinner looks fabulous! Bertha sure cooked it up very nicely! 😉
    Sorry about the rough day at work, Gina. I’m sure today will be better! 😀

  9. Ha – I do the fake conversations all the time! It’s a good outlet! 🙂

    That is one heavy duty casserole pot!

  10. I don’t think Bertha’s ugly, but I’ve gotta tell ya, the chili makes her look much better.

    I too have fake conversations while running. I keep them in my head, but I bet no one would ever mess with me if I had them aloud.

  11. Kim (Book Worm Runs)

    Blah!!! So sorry about your bad work day!! 😦 I hope today is much better! The dinner looks fabulous…great job Bertha!! 😉 I majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. A lot of good it did me 😉

  12. Ha! Perfect question after the “math nerd” comment…. I was a MATH MAJOR in college. No joke, people actually do that. (we’re craaaazy, but not all nerdy!)

  13. yolie

    Hey Gina! I just discovered your blog, through PBFingers, and am loving reading 🙂 I’m so sorry you had a frustrating and challenging work day, we’ve all been there if that helps, but it is sooo great that you have running as an outlet…awesome! I completely do the same, having imaginary conversations in my head when I work out. I read English Lit at university, and loved it. have a beautiful evening! xyx

  14. yolie

    ps: big bertha like the golf clubs?! 😛 xyx

  15. LOVE that name for your big Dutch oven! Chili rocks my socks.

  16. Big Bertha looks beautiful, and sharp cheddar/avocado makes any dish look prettier!

    I majored in psychology with a minor in sexuality studies. And got lucky enough to be working a job that focuses on BOTH of those!

  17. Don’t worry your definitely not alone, I always have little conversations with myself, like how I would have preferred a really crappy conversation to go! You always think of the smartest remarks AFTER the event! 🙂 Sorry you had a bad day luv but at least it’s the weekend now!! 🙂

  18. Holly @ pink runner

    I love my le creuset! I have the best rissotto recipe at home that is so easy! It’s from one of the Barefoot Contessa’s cook books! I was a music Ed major and I use it bc I’m a music teacher 🙂

  19. Hey, we were pretty close! I majored in International Business, French, and English Literature. Do you still use your Spanish? I haven’t had much of chance to use my French yet…

  20. So sorry work was so crappy today! The dinner does look delicious though! And I totally relate to using running as an outlet! Really does wonders for stress!

  21. I totally need to learn to use avocado as a chili garnish. It looks awesome. I have yet to try any of Anne’s recipes, but I totally plan to vegetarianize this recipe. It looks so delish.

    I majored in Geography in university, but then I taught English when I was done, and now I’m a housewife/artist. So useful. LOL.

  22. pretty much lusting after a dutch oven too. But not one that color,nothing sexy about it 🙂

  23. I freakin’ LOVE chilli recipes. And I make mine with ground turkey too. Sorry about work – and I totally do have conversations in my head, especially while running. I also create blog posts about everything in my life all the time in my own head. It’s kinda crazy.

  24. Yep…I have conversations in my head too. Good you were able to take out your frustrations by pounding the pavement. Your chili looks fabulous…especially topped with avocado and cheese! Yum!! Definite comfort food! 🙂 My college major was psychology. I hated math! 🙂

  25. I used to have conversations and make up stories while doing long swims in high school. The bottom of the pool is just not that interesting. It really makes the time go by faster.

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