Monthly Archives: January 2014


Guest Post: Adventures in Pasta

I’m still not cooking. My palate is still off while recovering from bronchitis (29 days and counting), so the stuff that appeals to me is veggie-based pizza, very select soups, and nursery food (think jello, simple cookies, oatmeal). I normally drink my morning coffee with 2% milk, but I can’t tolerate that — too bitter — so I’ve started buying flavored creamers. I’m really sensitive to salt as well. Chips and most crackers are just intolerably salty. I assume all will settle back to normal once I’m recovered, but for now, I’m just going to take it easy in the kitchen.

So a few years back I had a 20-mmmph-year high school reunion (Glynn Academy, Brunswick, GA). Facebook ended up being the easiest way to circulate all the event info, so I ended up “friending” a boatload of people from high school. Helen Stergius happens to be one of those people. I’m thinking she was probably funny in high school, but I am embarrassed to say I don’t really remember details. She’s out in Colorado and I’m on the East Coast, so our interactions are pretty much limited to reunions and Facebook. Now, in Adult World, she is one of the funniest people I know. Like spit-out-coffee-all-over-your-Kindle funny. She makes fun of herself and embraces her own special awkwardness. So when she posted the following on Facebook, I knew I had to share:

“Next time you think you are a total dork in the kitchen, imagine yourself doing this and you’ll immediately feel competent:

You make fettuccine by hand, including mixing, kneading, and rolling. You boil it. You strain it over the sink. The strainer tips and dumps all of your handmade pasta into a few slightly dirty dishes and a little soap. Begin cursing the same word over and over and over. You desperately plunge your hands into the sink to save the pasta, forgetting that the water you just poured had just been boiling. Spray cold water into the sink, refill the colander, rinse the pasta like crazy, boil some fresh water so that you can flash boil the pasta to reheat and clean (?) it. Transfer the pasta to the boiling water, imagining a noodly slither but instead getting a noodly plop of all noodles. Boiling water goes everywhere, into your cream sauce, into the butter package, all over your legs. Continue cursing then stop because it’s stupid and not helping. And calling attention to the fact that you just dirtied then washed then reboiled noodles. Complete meal as planned with slightly soggier noodles and a watery sauce. Family graciously says it’s awesome. The rest of the meal only slightly overcooked because of pasta debacle.

There – your dorkiness pales in comparison tonight, I am sure.”

See what I mean? Once I read this, I immediately messaged her asking permission to share this with a broader audience, as well as permission to use her name. She’s a good sport, and responded with:

“Haha! Sure you can identify me it’s no big deal. I did not scald my self and though my hands and shins feel sunburned a bit they aren’t even red, so you might want to add that so that no one thinks I have 3rd degree burns as a result. What a silly mess. It’s easy to make pasta but it takes so long to do it – when it all dumps out in the sink there’s just no rational reaction”

You know, this is JUST as funny on the fifth read as it was on the first! Many thanks to Helen for inspiring an interim post until I return to regular blogging!


Happy Belated New Year …

This is Nurse Buddy. My near constant companion as I fight the Mack Truck of Non-Fatal Illness: Bronchitis. After eight days of fever, I may be turning the corner. That little “flu” my husband had before Christmas — well I came down with it New Years Days. And got steam-rolled. The blog hiatus continues, but I leave you with a quick photo of the last thing I cooked in 2013, a pork-rib bibimbap.