Cooking with Ms. M. April 8.2013

I am starting to date the posts because I lost count. It’s 5 minutes to 5 pm now. Good for me, I am starting early. Well, Except that this is what my kitchen looks like:

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And this is what my dining room table looks like:

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Welcome to my  CHAOS. OK, I have to clean-up. Let me grab a beer first. Or maybe some white wine?

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5:15 and the laundry has been thrown into the dryer, the table has been cleared off (don’t look at the stairs) the kitchen is clean enough to work in.  I chose the white wine. The boys have come in from outside and are preoccupied with Skylanders Giants. I have about 15 minutes until someone is crying and/or screaming.

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OK, let’s put the pot on for the pasta. The water takes forever to boil in the Le Creuset pot. My husband has requested spaghetti with shrimp tonight. Whenever I bemoan that I can’t cook he always tells me I can make a good pasta. Who can’t make pasta? You boil water and open up a jar of sauce! With no offense to anyone, Cypriots can’t make very good pasta. Their pasticcio is fine, but when they make the spaghetti they leave the noodles in the water too long and it’s a starchy mess. At least, this has been my experience. I used to make my own tomato sauce using tomatoes from the can and would never use jar sauce. That was before I had my son and before I found this at Trader Joe’s. It has no sugar or preservatives and makes my life even easier. I enjoy easy, because I’m easy, easy like a Sunday morning...

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I once saw a friend add sugar to her tomato sauce and I was like “What are you doing that for?” I had never bought a  jar of sauce before and after that I started looking at them in the supermarket and they all listed sugar as an ingredient. I asked my dad about this. He explained that the sugar cuts the acid in the tomatoes. But we don’t use sugar, I protested. He said that you could also cut the acid by adding a carrot. That’s what we usually do. I don’t know how Trader Giotto’s nonna did it, but according to the label it took 99 attempts to get it right and the ingredients don’t include sugar or carrot. Here are the ingredients: Tomato Puree, diced tomatoes, salt, soybean oil, chopped garlic & onions, tomato flakes, basil and oregano. I’d like to know what are tomato flakes?

The reason I love Trader Joe’s is they don’t use preservatives and they are cheap. I don’t love them as much these days and they have been adding cane sugar to a lot of things.  But they still have good staples like the sauce that are cheaper than anywhere else.

5:30:  The water hasn’t boiled, I am on my second glass of wine and I am rambling. I do that. After all this talk of sauce, I’ve decided not to use it. I will make a white wine garlic sauce instead. It will go better with the shrimp. My son won’t like it, but that’s his problem. And what do you know, he and his friend haven’t had a run-in yet.

5:45: Water is at a rolling boil. I added the Angel Hair pasta and set the timer for 5 minutes. A timer is an ADHD person’s best friend.

6:00: The boys are still playing nicely. The pasta is done. I threw it in a bowl with some oil and added some marinated artichoke hearts that we had leftover from Easter. The shrimps are cooking. My husband called. Ringing phones makes ADDers irritable. These days I try to ignore them. Now, where was I? Toss the sautéed shrimp, garlic, onions and finocchio with the spaghetti (I just sautéed whatever I had in the fridge with some olive oil). While it sits and settles I’ll feed the cats and make a salad. (I usually leave this part to my husband, but he’s not here). I HATE making salads. All that chopping is bound to end in bleeding and honestly, I don’t care for salads. I much prefer cooked greens.

As I pour myself another glass of wine, I realize I never added the wine to the sauce! Oh, well, no matter it has enough seasoning. Usually, I do add red pepper flakes for punch. But I give my son this one concession and will add it to my own plate at the table. Oh, the salad, yeah I guess I still have to do that. Making the salad is sososo boring. Do you know what I miss? Music! The Bose stereo is in the living room where the boys are playing Wii. Sometimes I use my phone, but it’s dead now. What do you do to keep cooking less boring and get motivated?

6:15: I am done. Early. How did that happen? Mr. Obscure isn’t even home yet.

Serve the Spaghetti and Shrimp with a salad, some warm bread, white wine and parmesan cheese to pass. Some people say no cheese with fish, but I have to put parmesan on my pasta. (even if dairy is off-limits for Greek Lent, it’s just a bit).

Photo on 4-8-13 at 6.32 PM

Oh, there go the boys. I have to go. But before I go I just wanted to ask, “Should this be a separate blog?” It started off as a goof and is really not part of my creative writing, but I am having fun with it. Even if no one reads it, it is motivating me to cook and have fun again. So what do you think, should an inept Cook start a blog about cooking?

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