Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


January 2011

A Tale of Success and Simple Indulgence

I claim no originality here, I simply tell a tale of success and raw indulgence.

Snow snow and more snow.  In the fridge, what to make?  And what to make to eat in less than 15 minutes? 

Get out a big pot, fill with water, high high heat.  Yes, we are going pasta here.

Second pan onto the stove.  Large.  Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Cut up 3 pieces of  bacon.  Into the pan on medium high heat.  Smash a clove of garlic – basically still whole so you can get it out.  Also, in with the bacon.  Get out 3 eggs.  Grate a bunch of parmesan while the bacon cooks.  Once the bacon is about crispy, turn off the heat. 

Is the water boiling?  Yes indeed.  Lots of salt into the water.  Pasta - 1 lb of whatever you have.  I like Spaghettini.  Set timer for 9 minutes.  Put your collander in the sink (Boy Scout motto – be prepared). 

When the timer has dwindled to 2 minutes, turn your heat back on under the bacon pan – medium heat.  Discard the garlic clove (ciao, bella).  Add a few red pepper flakes.  Crack the 3 eggs into the pan – it's like you are frying them.  Do not be tempted to turn the heat up.  We are looking for really runny, not ready to eat yet fried eggs.

Use a mug to grab a mugful of the pasta cooking water.  Drain your pasta.  Turn 2/3s*** of it into the pan over the eggs and bacon.  MIX MIX MIX.  Drop your cheese in.  MIX MIX MIX.  If it looks a bit dry, add some pasta water from your mug.  Lots of black pepper.  Salt to taste. You are tasting, yes?  You get it – MIX!

Two dishes.  Pasta into the dishes.  More cheese on top.  More pepper.  Don't hesitate.  If I need to tell you what to do next, well, nevermind.

** For extra credit you could have chopped a scallion or two while the pasta was cooking.  If you did – good for you.  Put this on top of your pasta now. 

It's an even more simple carbonara.  It's done in less than 15 minutes.  It's absolutely delicious.  I would share a picture but it demands to be eaten right away, and really, who am I to quibble.  It's simple and easy but demanding and sinful – not only must you eat it right away, but you must eat it all.  It does not keep.  Oh well.  I was taught not to let food go to waste.  Eat it all.


*** I made 1 lb and used only 2/3.  I kept 1/3 for leftover plain pasta.  It's just good to have around. 

And On This Ordinary Night…

The Knicks are playing the Trailblazers on our TV.   The Cats and The Daugher are sleeping.  Tuesday but feels like Wednesday.  The belly is getting bigger.  The flutters come with increasing frequency (ladies who've had children, you know what I mean).  Nice steal, Chandler and nice shot Felton!  The husband is searching for a hotel in London for a quick trip.  Harumph.  Already, three plows have come down our NYC street unlike last time when they were nowhere in sight for THREE days.  The snow falls heavily and the red beans, in anticipation of tomorrow's rice, simmer away on the stove.  They are snuggling with ham hocks, garlic and onions…other ingredients to come…even though it's nearly 10:30, that is no reason not to be cooking.  A chocolate chip cookie.  OK…two chocolate chip cookies.  And all is well on this ordinary night.

We’re Off To A Good Start!

A great dinner with friends.  Asleep when the ball dropped.  A child who slept through the night.  A husband who thought I should have an extra hour of sleep the next morning.

Lamb shanks (started at 6AM!) for New Year's Day lunch, courtesy of my very kind culinary expert of a father in law.

A gathering with friends down the block.

Garlicky Shrimp and Black Eyed Peas (prosperity!).  MAKE THIS – BE HAPPY.

Two playdates before noon – one with friends in from San Fran, one with local friends.  Fun, and led to a great nap for Avery.

A last day with the tree.  The very round, very pretty tree.

The iron pills seem to be working!

Front closet organized. 

GO KNICKS!!  Happy Knick Year.

Bolognese, made by me, over fresh pasta, made by my husband.  Delicious does not begin to describe it.

Easy bed for Avery.  Notable as she has been flexing her nearly 3 yr old drama muscles at bedtime.

Matcha tea bath (great gift for someone you love, trust me).  Borghese mud mask.  New pajamas. 

2011 personal budget, created.

West Wing reruns.  A good book. 

Welcome to 2011.

And a very good night.

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