On this peaceful Saturday afternoon at 2:40, I’m in the kitchen, tending to laundry and kitchen chores while nursing a tender lower back that still feels as if it could lay me low at any moment. I’ve already done ice packs and stretching, and, with the addition of a muscle relaxer, it’s holding its own.
I woke up early again this morning, well before daybreak. Ever since the time change a couple of weeks ago, I’ve consistently woken up around 1:30, sometimes 2:30, every morning, restless, anxious, and uncomfortable. For some reason, (I suspect Seasonal Affective Disorder), the “fall back” in November is particularly hard for me. About the time I get adjusted, it’ll be time to “spring forward” again.
I had a yearning for some classical opera this morning, so I’m currently delighting in this lovely piece-
-which was preceded by this-
-and it’s just making the afternoon feel a bit more peaceful.
As I listen to another selection by the incomparable Pavarotti-
I’m reminded of the mother of the main protagonist, Dave Stoller, in the movie “Breaking Away”, which was filmed locally. (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it). I’m thinking in particular of the scene where she is doing the dinner dishes, lip syncing to an Italian opera, very much in a far away place, as she sways and gestures, while up to her elbows in suds. That’s about how glamorous I feel, in old longjohns, battered old tshirt and a denim shirt over that, sleeves rolled up, gloves in hand, ready to tackle the dishes-
Yes, my dishwasher is old, about ten to fifteen years or so old. But it works, and that what matters.
Heres a handy kitchen tip: I’m sure you’ve seen the new cleaning strength vinegar from Heinz-
This stuff is awesome! I use it in the rinse dispenser instead of pricey rinse aids, and quite often, pour in a 1/2 cup during the main wash. We have hard water, and by using this, with it’s acidity percentage of 6% vs the 5% of regular white vinegar, it really keeps the limescale from building up on the heating element, plus it makes the dishes sparkle!!
Fresh out of Turkey Day leftovers, (having frozen what remained for enjoying some cold Winter night), I settled on ‘Sketti. The Italian sausage is cooked-
-and, I’m cheating a bit on the sauce (thank you Emeril)
-and I didn’t grate fresh Parmesan, I used store bought shredded-
But after all the from-scratch cooking I do, not just on holidays, but most days, no one’s going to complain about some semi-homemade comfort food, especially when it’s been a cold November day, and this dish is quick, hot and comforting. Feel free to adjust spices and herbs to your liking, use good ground sirloin, a mix of beef and Italian sausage, or make it vegetarian.
If you’d like to whip this up, you’ll need:
1 jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 lb. browned Italian sausage
1 T. Italian Seasoning
1 t. Oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 lb. pasta of choice
grated real Parmesan
Brown the sausage, add sauce, herbs, salt & pepper and simmer while cooking the pasta Drain, add to meat/sauce mixture and throw in a couple-three good pinches of grated Parmesan. Heat and eat!
It reheats well, and it’s even better the second day. Can also be frozen in bulk or individual servings for a quick meal later on. Pair with a salad, bread and a beverage for a meal.
Till next time friends
~~~Have a happy Saturday!!!~~~