It’s hard to write coherently when things are falling apart all around you. Finn has the flu and is pitiful to behold. A boy who doesn’t have the energy to taunt his younger brothers is sick indeed.
Last night I asked Porter to move the sheets from the washer to the dryer, add a dryer sheet and turn it on. When he did, an enormous rattling commenced. Upon inspection, I found a good handful of dog food twirling in the dryer with the sheets. The dog food was already dry. Using my well-honed CSI skills (I’ve finished Miami and am now onto New York, and why didn’t any of you tell me about that hot Danny Messer?) I deduced that Porter had dropped a pillowcase into the bag of dog food while making the transfer then thrown it in the dryer, oblivious to the kibble adhered to it.
Boys. Teaching them to be self-sufficient is a tine-consuming process. “Check the wet laundry and make sure no strange objects or dog food are stuck on it” has now been added to the laundry check list.
What started as a simple task well before dinner ended with Bill and the boys carousing in the kitchen, waiting on the Pasta Puttanesca to be served. It was a big deal when the Silver Palate cookbooks came out. My mom went nuts cooking dishes that relied on fresh, new ingredients instead of cans of cream of mushroom soup.
Pasta Puttasnesca was a meal that my sisters and I adored, and my boys loved it, too.
1 lb spaghetti
2 35 oz cans tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup drained capers
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
2 T salt
Boil water. Add salt and pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain.
While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes and olive oil in skillet and bring to boil. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, stirring frequently
Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook until sauce has thickened to your liking.
Serve immediately over hot pasta.
I use a large can of diced tomatoes and a large can of puree, as I have boys who pick out chunks. I increase the red pepper flakes and use Greek olives. I made this a day ahead so I just had to heat up the sauce and boil noodles on a busy night.
Speaking of self-reliance, it turns out that there is such a thing as teaching boys to be too self-sufficient. I discovered this when both Drew and Porter brought home some sucky grades on their spelling tests. I was particularly upset since I won the 5th grade spelling bee on the word “linoleum.”
“What’s up with this?” I asked. “Why didn’t you tell me you had a test? I would help you study.”
“Why would we tell you?” Drew asked.
“You would help us study?” Porter asked.
Then I realized that I’ve focused so much on having them do things for themselves that it never occurred to them to ask for help. The last couple of months I’ve been on them like a flea on a dog asking about spelling tests, and I give them each a fake test. They write the words they miss three times each and then are tested again.
They may not be able to spell linoleum but they are improving.
One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Albert Einstein Needs Love, Too
Don’t forget that this week’s Flashback Friday theme is Love, Look At The 2 Of Us. For instructions on how to participate, see here.