Archive for March, 2011

Mar 31 2011

Hello, Lover

Published by under Country Life,Weather

Come on and set a spell

Well, March isn’t going out like a lamb – it’s going out like a fuzzy little kitten!

Here in Hooterville, it’s a glorious day. I have the doors open, the cats are nowhere to be seen, and the birds are singing like crazy. A peek at the thermometer reveals that it’s 65 degrees outside (or 18 degrees, depending on how you look at it). Not quite the record-breaking heat the Bay Area is experiencing, but I’ll take it.

It truly feels like spring.

It was nice enough this morning to have coffee outside in one of the yellow chairs you see above. As I slowly woke up amid chirping birds and capering cats, I thought about all the things I want to do in the garden this year.

As you can see, the tulips are getting close to blooming:

They are supposed to be purple and white and fringy, like a flapper’s dress, so I can’t wait to see them.

The orchids are a little ahead of the tulips (which I probably should have planted before New Year’s Day):

Here’s a close-up:

I’m not sure what kind they are, but they sure are pretty.

As if all that isn’t enough, today is Opening Day for baseball, and the world champion Giants start the season in LA this evening. Today is the real first day of spring!

2 responses so far

Mar 28 2011

My Week in Pictures

Published by under Cats,Dogs,Weather,Work

At the jobette last Monday, we had a brainstorming session at the Aquatic Center. So basically, we were working poolside (kids kept peering at us through the windows as if we were on display. Look at the grownups in their natural habitat!). The tables were covered with paper, and we had crayons and glitter to use on it. The idea was to get our creativity flowing. To that end, we also had Legos. And there were cookies. This may have given the kids an inaccurate idea of what being a grownup is really like.

On Tuesday, I spent the afternoon with our county’s official canine ambassador. His Dads’ car had broken down and turned out to be jump start proof, so they were waiting for the (one) tow truck to come. My diplomatic friend was faultlessly behaved, and even posed beautifully:

I was sorry when one of his Dads picked him up, and made a mental note to keep some dog biscuits at work. After all, our ambassador also joins our weekly staff meetings.

It’s only fair to give cats equal time. This handsome boy lives next door, and poses as nicely as Hairy (but don’t tell him):

I noticed this pergola on Main Street, while on my way to Paws to pick up food for the kitties. Now that the boys are almost ten months old, I’ve been feeding all three of them the same food. I alternate between Wellness Core and Wellness Complete Health. More and more, I think it’s really important to feed our companion animals the best food we can afford.

Incredibly, it was raining by the time I got back to work. Hard to believe from looking at the picture, isn’t it?

I took this one at the Hooterville post office on Monday morning. I thought its beauty was a great way to start the week:

And I hope it’s a great start to your week, too.

5 responses so far

Mar 26 2011


Published by under Cats,Weather

My back yard now doubles as a pond

Well, the experiment failed. Or succeeded, depending on how you look at it.

The cats all ignored the giant plastic dragon until this morning. I was reading my email and slowly waking up with the help of my close personal friend caffeine when I was attacked by a giant plastic dragon.

At first, I thought it was Clyde, since there were at least four claws digging into my head, but it turned out to be a giant plastic dragon. I removed it, and to be completely honest with you, there may have been a certain amount of swearing involved.

I set the dragon beside me on the couch, and figured that would be the last of it, until Clyde started chewing on the toy attacker. I then put the dragon away and Clyde outside.

What else can you expect when you name your cat after a notorious outlaw?

I’m thinking that we might have to remove the shelf and hang the painting higher to keep it out of paws’ reach, but having seen Clyde leap from the bed to the top of the armoire and from the glass roof of the back deck to the ground in a single leap kind of makes me wonder if we could ever hang it high enough to escape him.

While all this has been going on inside, it’s been raining like crazy outside. Frankly, I find it astonishing that there can actually be any rain left to throw at us. My neighbor Jim, whose serendipitous encounter with some unexpected snow made him an internet sensation, tells me that he emptied out his rain gauge on Tuesday evening and by Thursday morning, there was 3.6 inches of rain in it. Also that he collected a further 1.5 inches since yesterday morning.

This proved to be too much for my laundry room, which was awash in water which had somehow seeped in through the walls. Fortunately, there’s a drain in the floor, which has also come in handy when there was a booze flood in there. Booze floods, being attacked by giant dragons…I really know how to have a good time.

3 responses so far

Mar 25 2011

Lost the Battle

Published by under Cats,Family

Well, Clyde won the battle of the painting.

But if Rob has anything to do with it, Clyde won’t win the war.

I was awoken by a crash this morning. Not thunder, not hail, but pretty loud all the same. I didn’t even have to get downstairs before I could see what happened. The painting was no longer above the shelf over the couch, as you see here (aka the Good Old Days – who knew?):

It was on the floor. Miraculously, it wasn’t broken, though I can’t say the same for the vase you see in the middle of the shelf in the picture above.

On the bright side, none of Rob’s pottery was broken (I have the premier collection of RobCo ceramics on the west coast), and the painting was unharmed.

It’s about five feet wide and four feet tall, so it wasn’t easy for me to maneuver, but I managed to get it across the room and lean it against the staircase. As I waited for the coffee to perk (and perk me up), it occurred to me that there are no good answers here. If I put it back up – well, if Rob does – the Battle of the Painting will resume. Also I had previously thought that Clyde tried to climb it to get my attention, but apparently it’s just a hobby.

If I leave it where it is, it may well suffer the terrible fate of the records, and be clawed to death by the Demon Kittens.

If I put it away, I’ll lose my window to the city and the joy the painting has given me over the past fifteen years.

My living room now looks bleak and sad:

By the way – Rob made that shell-shaped plate and its stand.

I told Megan about the whole fiasco, and pretty soon Rob came over to inspect the damage. His thought was that Clyde probably approached the shelf from the side, instead of the front. So he stapled some cardboard to ends of the shelf and baited it with a huge plastic dragon:

to see if Clyde can still get up on the shelf. If it foils him, Rob will make something out of wood and fasten it to the ends for permanent foiling.

Needless to say, the cats have not gone anywhere near it or shown the slightest interest in the giant plastic dragon over the past six hours, even though it’s rainy and depressing outside and you’d think they’d be bored. Maybe I’ll find out tonight.

One response so far

Mar 22 2011


Published by under Cats

At this point, I’d have to say that what I hate the most about the time change is not being able to put the kittens outside when I get up.

The actual getting up is not the problem. I still wake up before the alarm, only now it’s in pitch darkness instead of semi-light. The pitch darkness lasts until after 7:00, or later when it’s raining/cloudy, which the weather dial seems to be stuck on.

I still let Audrey out around 5:00 (or when I can’t take it anymore), but I don’t feel comfortable about letting the nine month old boys out in the early morning darkness. I figure there may be bobcats and mountain lions who don’t observe Daylight Savings Time. And I hope Audrey is smart and fast enough to avoid them at nearly four years old.

So the boys, having rested up all night, are wide awake and ready to make trouble by the time I get up. Unfortunately Clyde has whatever the opposite of acrophobia is, and is either climbing up the shelves, across the curtain rod, leaping from the bed to the top of the armoire, or, worst of all, jumping onto the shelf above the couch and climbing into the back of my beloved painting.

Last week, I caught him sitting on top of the frame, and had to lure him down with treats.

Now, every morning he keeps trying to jump onto the shelf-threatening painting. I have already, at 6:40, lost track of the number of times I have grabbed him off it or stopped him en route. There is nothing I would like more than to chuck him outside, but the sky remains resolutely dark.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m relieved if he’s climbing the shelves with Dad’s books and perching beside the antique stereopticon.

It’s all relative.

2 responses so far

Mar 20 2011


Published by under Weather

Well, the Supermoon was rained out here in Hooterville.

It would have looked great, too, since there is no ambient light and on a clear (or even a clear-ish) night, the moon and stars are always bright and seem really close. There also seem to be about a hundred times more stars here than there were in the city.

Oh, well. My moon photographing skills leave something to be desired, anyway. Here’s a dramatic orange harvest moon from last September:

And the moon on the morning of the surprise snowfall:

So it may be just as well.

On the first day of spring, the forecast looks discouragingly winter-esque, with rain, showers, maybe some rain, more rain, and, why not? More rain! for the foreseeable future. Looks like the moon, stars, and sun will all be hiding from view the rest of the month.

Maybe we’re getting all the rain we didn’t get in January.

Not to jinx things, but we’re lucky we still have power, at least so far. I’d better refill the emergency water buckets, just in case. And it’s too bad that my rain gauge exploded, though I’d probably have to keep running out in the rain to empty it at this rate.

2 responses so far

Mar 18 2011


Published by under Cats,Country Life,Weather

I was woken at 5:30 this morning by the resounding boom of thunder, so loud it shook the house. The darkness was shattered by lightning, and the rain and hail smashing into the roof/walls was almost as loud as the thunder. The cats were hiding under the bed, and I wished I could join them. At times like this, it’s apparent that my house has way too many windows and doors. There’s nowhere to hide from the storm in Woodhaven.

I figured I might as well get up and make coffee, since it was too loud to sleep and I was too scared anyway. I guess I’m not going to outgrow that one, am I?

When I opened the living room curtains, I was met by the sight of hail drifts, doing a pretty good impersonation of the snow we got a couple of weeks ago. I risked life and limb to move the orchids onto the porch to save them from hail damage, and then took a couple of pictures just for you. Nothing is too good for you, Constant Reader.

All this BC (before coffee).

As I write, it’s raining and hailing again. As I gave the cats dinner, I told them I’d bet $5 that we’d get a third thunderstorm, but there were no takers. Cats are smart.

2 responses so far

Mar 17 2011


Published by under Family

Rain, hail, and thunder woke me up early this morning. I lay there in the darkness and remembered that it’s Dad’s birthday. He would have been 80 today.

As I made coffee, the antique Wedgwood I inherited from him looked on calmly, as it has watched generations of our family for 120 years. My father’s cookbooks are on the shelf, as well as the books he authored, and a picture of him as a nine year old boy, holding a gun and laughing gleefully with his friend Brian, who was his friend his entire life and his best man when he married my mother, more than half a century ago.

If my wallet were ever stolen, the only thing I would really lament losing is the little note from Dad which reads “See you, kid-o”. When we were in Russia in 1991, he was moved to tears when his wallet was stolen*, because it contained a little prayer his mother had written out for him and given to him when he first went to college. Sentiment – and carrying sentimental things in our wallets – runs in the family.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see him. I don’t look particularly like either of my parents, though I am the only one who got Mom’s green eyes. Megan has Dad’s nose and Jonathan his blue, blue eyes. I think my hands look like Dad’s and his mother’s, though. And I have his love of travel and cooking.

I worked for twelve hours today, which I think he would have liked. He always worked hard, and loved his work. He told me more than once that he would have done it for free. And he left the world a better place than he found it, which is perhaps all any of us can wish for. Though I wish he was still with us to celebrate his 80th birthday.

Dad, I will always love you and always miss you. And though I should be celebrating the day my best friend was born, I can’t help but mourn the loss of him. As I write, the rain and hail have started again, heavier than ever, and darkness has fallen once again.

*His money and credit cards were not in the wallet, undoubtedly to the thief’s disappointment.

4 responses so far

Mar 14 2011


Published by under Country Life,Weather

Before all the time change madness, it was clear that winter was slowly losing its grip on Hooterville. It was less dark at 6 am, the air didn’t smell like winter anymore, and things had begun to bloom.

It’s still raining, which is the number one sign of winter around here, and the frogs are still happy about it, but the robins are scarce and the whales have begun to migrate back from Mexico, where they wisely spend the winter. Last week, I saw a whale – well, its spout – on my way to work and it made my whole day.

I even emptied out the emergency water buckets on the back porch, since they were full of mosquito larvae. Let’s hope there are no more power outages!

I thought I’d share a couple of spring-y photos with you, in case it’s still winter-y where you are (and in case the groundhog turned out to be wrong this year). And as you see, it’s spring-y all over around here.

There are fifteen tulips coming up!

Keeping the orchids inside during frosts has paid off. They’re both covered in buds, which look like they’re going to bloom pretty soon.

I liked the texture of the wood. And how the new plant has sprung up between the two fallen logs. The circle of life and all that.

There you have it. Hope spring finds you soon, wherever you are.

2 responses so far

Mar 13 2011


Published by under Country Life,Dogs,Family

You all know that I loathe the twice yearly madness of the time change, so I won’t tell you again. But I will just say that my body and I are going to know perfectly well that it’s really 5:30 am when the alarm goes off tomorrow. I may finally need the alarm to go off to haul Self out of bed in the newly-restored morning darkness (thanks, government!). In the month since starting the jobette my record of waking up before the alarm has been unblemished (thanks, kitties!).

Now that I have to get up and go to work on Monday, Sunday has acquired the familiar feeling of dread going back to school days, when prison doors yawned and homework was belated and possibly incomplete as Sunday arrived. Just like I did then, I put out my clothes for the following day and try not to think about it.

Monday Eve seemed to arrive particularly fast since I did a special guest appearance at the jobette on Thursday. The database needed wrestling into submission, and time was running out. I have to check 35,000 entries for duplicates and delete the offenders by this Wednesday.

Fortunately, Rob has ceramics class on Thursdays, so we were able to carpool again. But greenosity has its price.

Absorbed in his work, he lost track of the time, and arrived half an hour late to pick me up. He left his cell phone at home, which he had noticed about halfway to town, so I knew there was no point in trying to call him. After he arrived, Star in tow, he realized that he had forgotten something at school, so we went back to where he had just come from.

After that, we took Star to Lu’s house so she could stay there while Rob and Megan went to the city on Friday (the trip that was cancelled by the tsunami warnings, but we didn’t know that at the time). Lu was home sick, but we stayed and chatted for a while.

When we were on our way again, Rob saw that the “add water” light was on the car. The water leakage is an ongoing problem which has rendered their car unable to drive to the city. Rob and Jonathan have been trying to diagnose the source of the leak to no avail. We stopped at a townette which might have water at one place.

The one place was closed. Rob considered puddle water from a couple of different puddles despite my veto, got distracted by a fallen sign which might perhaps be converted to a windmill blade if they make another one, discovered it was still attached to a pole, and rejected it as impracticable.

Partway through the townette, Rob paused the car to show me why you shouldn’t leave your siding and roof unfinished for extended periods of time, pointing out the problems it had caused a certain house. It was interesting, but I really wanted to get home at this point in the game. I thought longingly of my kitty PJs.

Once my daily ration of education was complete, we got back on the road briefly, stopping at the next townette to get water. I was pretty confident that water was available at this location, and so it was. Rob debated getting coffee (unlike the car, he appears to run on coffee and cigarettes almost exclusively) and decided against it.

I was pretty happy to see the welcoming sight of Hooterville, though not happy enough to want to stop there. Rob, however, wanted to check the mail, get half and half, and oh, why not? A coffee to go. While he did all this, I checked the local paper and learned that our seasonal rainfall has reached 38.8 inches*.

When Rob returned to the car, he had a parts catalogue for him, and junk mail for me. Coffee in hand, he started to peruse the catalogue. After a few minutes, I finally said, “You know, Megan’s probably awake and waiting for that half and half.”

By now, it was about two hours since Rob picked me up. I’m now beginning to understand how it can take him all afternoon to go to the dump, or an hour to go to the Hooterville store, a mere five miles away. It takes talent. And it takes a Rob.

*My rain gauge did not survive the unexpected snowfall a couple of weeks ago. The water inside it expanded as it froze and broke into several pieces. Those pesky laws of physics!

2 responses so far

Mar 11 2011


Published by under Family,Weather

Calm seas

Last night, I happened to be channel-surfing and came across the shocking footage of the Japanese earthquake. Any Californian feels a certain kinship with fellow earthquake sufferers, and I was appalled by the size of the disaster: 8.9 on the Richter scale. To put it in perspective, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake was a 6.9, and the 1906 “Great” quake, which devastated most of the city, was about an 8. Keep in mind that a quake measuring 9.0 is 10 times greater than one measuring 8.0. This is one of the five strongest quakes in recorded history.

Scary, scary stuff.

This morning, I woke up to an announcement in my email* saying that the one and only road to San Francisco was closed, as were several state parks (including the beach I pass on my way to work and back) and schools. I quickly called Megan, since she and Rob were planning to go to San Francisco this morning to consult with some specialists about Rob’s continuing spinal issues (yes, there is more surgery in his future). Fortunately, they hadn’t left yet, though they wouldn’t have gotten far.

They rescheduled the appointment, and we all headed down to the local store, partly to get propane and partly to find out what was going on and have a peek at the ocean. The ocean, as you see above, was living up to its name and was actually calmer than it was yesterday. The local fire department and emergency services were on alert, though nothing had happened yet. This afternoon, I got another email alert saying that there had been serious destruction caused by the tsunami in the harbor in the big town. The very harbor where we have our few but fabulous girls’ nights out.


As I write, Dad’s famous honey mustard chicken is slowly cooking in my little oven, filling the house with a delicious, comforting scent. Pretty soon I’ll start the brown rice and later I’ll steam some broccoli. Megan and Rob are coming over for dinner tonight. Maybe there’s something about a disaster that makes you want to keep your loved ones close. I feel lucky that we are all safe, but my heart aches for the people of Japan. Our thoughts are with them.

*I recently joined a local Listserv for announcements, and it’s been quite useful so far. Weather warnings, an armed fugitive in the village (he was caught)…things like that. News you can use!

2 responses so far

Mar 09 2011


Published by under Dogs,Family,Work

Yesterday, Rob and I car pooled to town together. It was so fun!

Unlike most Americans, I hate to drive, so I was happy to hand over the wheel. I’ve always wanted a chauffeur*. And Rob makes interesting company. We also brought Star along for the ride. Sometimes she stayed in the back seat, and sometimes she didn’t.

We stopped off briefly so Rob could express plant some daffodils he found in the wilds of my garden at the front of my brother’s property. Rob has landscaped it nicely there, with the pointy bush from their garden, crocuses, and now the daffodils. I’m pleased to say that my tulips are coming along nicely.

Rob had a ceramics class in the morning and an appointment in the afternoon at 4:00. So just in case he couldn’t get home in time to return the car to Megan at 5:00, when she leaves for work, we decided to share my car. Those of you who are wondering why he didn’t take his trusty truck don’t live where gas is $3.79 a gallon and have a truck which gets about 5 miles to the gallon.

We arranged to meet up at Monica’s store (conveniently located a block away) at 4:30. I ended up leaving work at about 4:15, having successfully labeled, stamped, stuffed, and sealed 500 envelopes. There was no way I was leaving work until I had wrestled them into submission. You haven’t lived until you’ve processed 500 envelopes. Or maybe you’ve died and gone to hell.

As I approached the corner, Rob pulled up beside me. Perfect timing and curbside service. What’s not to love?

*All those Hollywood starlets who keep getting arrested for DUI? I can never understand why they don’t have chauffeurs. Talk about a sensible luxury!

5 responses so far

Mar 04 2011

Kitten Kaboodle

Published by under Cats

Snow kitten, February 26, 2011

On Wednesday night, the kittens woke me up around 3:00, racing around like mad and knocking things over downstairs. I went to investigate. Audrey stayed at the top of the stairs, glowering. Maybe she was woken up from her beauty sleep, too.

I went into the bathroom and discovered one of the kittens with a mouse in his mouth. Remarkably, after all these months, I have a hard time telling them apart. Basically, if I can’t see Clyde’s little white bowtie, I’m at a loss, even though Roscoe is slightly bigger and Clyde has slightly longer fur.

I shooed whoever it was out of the bathroom, reflecting on how far I’ve come in the year I’ve lived here. The sight of the mouse didn’t even make me scream. On the other hand, the fact that it was 3:00 am and I couldn’t shoo them outside means that there’s a dead mouse in the house somewhere. I’ll probably find it by the smell in a few days. Oh, well.

Later on, when the sun came up and got to work, it was warm enough to have the door open a little to let in the spring-y air. I might be imagining it, but it seems to me that the birds sound a little louder lately. One of the kittens (again unidentifiable) came racing through the door with a bird in his mouth. I hate it when they kill birds. This time, I chased the little murderer outside and shut the door on him.

I’ve been lucky so far that they haven’t dropped their victims on the bed (or on me, for that matter). Yesterday, Megan told me that when Rob had his first spinal surgery and was lying helpless in bed, their cat, the beautiful Harriet*, clearly thinking that Rob was too infirm to feed himself, brought him a mouse and dropped it on his chest. The mouse scurried all over Rob’s body. Harriet decided that Rob wasn’t well enough to kill his own mouse, either, so she did it herself and gave it to him again. Rob had to get Megan to remove Harriet’s gift.

So it could have been worse. And speaking of mice: last week, I noticed a mouse trap on my co-worker’s desk. I asked her if she’d ever caught one. “Oh, yes!” she laughed. “There’s mice poop everywhere!”

Now they tell me. At next week’s staff meeting, I’m voting for an Official Office Cat.

*Harriet is acting as if nothing happened to her leg. It looks funny, but she’s doing fine with it. It’s amazing how animals adapt. The other day, I met a three-legged dog who ran and walked as if she had all four. I didn’t even notice at first.

One response so far

Mar 03 2011


Published by under Friends

Well, break out the champagne and cue up the noisemakers: A is finally out of Intensive Care!

After two months!

She’s now in what they call the Highly Dependent Unit, which would sound scary if she hadn’t been in the ICU for so long. Anything sounds good after that.

Apparently she still has the tracheotomy tube, but they’ve put on some kind of speaking attachment. C said that yesterday he heard her voice for the first time in eight weeks. Yesterday was a busy day for C: he picked up A’s mother at Heathrow and received news that his own mother had surgery for a cancerous tumor, though the prognosis was good. He must be beyond exhausted. If A ever gets out of there, Dr. Suzy prescribes a couple of weeks of lying on a beach somewhere.

She is having physiotherapy to help her learn to sit, stand, etc. again. After two months of inactivity, her muscles have atrophied. She still has a long way to go, but I think we can safely say she is out of the woods now.

Hoopla! as C would say.

4 responses so far

Mar 02 2011

The Jobette

Published by under Work

I know you’ve all been dying to hear about the jobette. It’s been going well so far. Everyone is super nice – very possibly the nicest people I have ever worked with – and they’re always saying how great it is to have me there and thanking me for doing the slightest thing. And I love having a dog join our weekly staff meetings.

You may be surprised to hear that I have already gotten the place way more organized. I tend to be very organized at work, not so organized otherwise. For example, there’s a pile of Christmas letters I’ve been meaning to answer on my desk at home. And it’s MARCH.

All in all, it’s pretty much the perfect jobette for me.

Here’s my office from the outside:

You can tell it was a house (well, cottage) not too long ago. The kitchen doubles as the conference room and features bright orange counters and yellow and orange floral floor tiles. That 70s kitchen!

View from my desk:

The fence is where the tailless Siamese cat next door takes his daily constitutional, stopping to be admired.

I was delighted by this tableau across the street:

And this little sticker near some calla lilies*, who seem to be taking it seriously:

The ocean is at the foot of the street:

There you have it!

*They grow like weeds by the side of the road here. I am always taken aback by what people will pay for them in the city. Also they look more funereal than bridal to me.

3 responses so far

Mar 01 2011

Sunday Dinner

Published by under Cooking,Family

On Sunday, my family and I finally had dinner together. It’s been a long time. We cancelled Thanksgiving, Jonathan couldn’t make it for Christmas, and somehow we’ve slipped into the new year without dining en famille. It’s been harder than ever to make our schedules match up since I started the jobette. So it was about time.

I made a salad and a new recipe: Spaghetti with Fresh Sopprassata. Apparently actual sopprassata is a kind of cured sausage, like salami, but this is an uncured, fresh version. Note that you need to start it the night before. I did an excellent job of misreading the recipe (or not reading it carefully enough), so I missed that part, and instead put it together in the morning, which is not the time you want to smell wine. Especially cheap Gallo wine bought for the purpose of cooking. I also missed the “extra can of crushed tomatoes” part, necessitating a trip to my sister’s pantry (fortunately, not the store, which is several miles away).

So, you have been warned. Here we go:

Spaghetti with Fresh Soppressata

4 garlic cloves
1 1/3 cups dry white wine
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I used turkey instead of pork, and if you like it spicy, you could use hot sausage instead)
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more, for the spicy-minded)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
One 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed, with their liquid
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a blender, puree the garlic, fennel, and peppers with 1/3 cup of the white wine. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the sausage and knead lightly to combine. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage mixture, onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium heat breaking up lumps with a spoon, until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices to the pan and season lightly with salt. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 5 cups, about 40 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until just al dente. Drain, add the pasta to the sauce and toss with the grated cheese, basil and parsley.Toss the pasta over moderately high heat, until nicely coated, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

It turned out great and there wasn’t much left, although the recipe is supposed to serve 6. The perfect ending to the meal was one of Megan’s famous huckleberry pies. It’s worth having temporarily black teeth to eat one.

We had such a good time that we have promised each other to get together for dinner more often. Is it too late to make a new year’s resolution?

One response so far