Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ice Rinks and Aglio Olio

What seemed like an insanely daunting schedule when I was all hepped up on codeine, worn out from coughing and could barely summon the energy to self-pityingly sip my tea now seems… pretty nuts. There’s soccer, there’s hockey for the kids, there’s coaching the Pink Piranhas, there’s hockey for me, Stumpy has this crazy thing called a job (with a paycheck!), the PTA has a mania for meetings, and on, and on, and on.

Some of what I find astonishing about all of it is that we’re no busier than any other family with school-aged kids. And knowing that pretty much every other family at school is in the same position is both consoling and, well, not. Still… holy color-coded schedules, Batman.
A drive through habit would be an easy thing to develop. Natural, even. Hockey rinks are usually pretty close to some kind of drive-through, and the temptation of greasy, toasty-hot fried, salty food after sitting in a cold rink is really, really strong. Zombie arms out in front of you moaning “cheeeeeeesebuuurrgerrr” strong.


However, I’m resisting (for now), and trying to dish up food for all of us that doesn’t start with “Mc” anything.


Coming home hungry and chilled, it’s nice to have dinner that can be made from the pantry. That isn’t, um, pizza rolls. I’m fairly certain that pizza rolls, despite being edible, don’t qualify as actual food. I think they have some of the same ingredients that my shampoo does. Not that I eat them. Often. Er. Anyway.


Spaghetti aglio olio fits the bill. It can be prepped and cooked while the water comes to a boil (if you’re slow chopping the garlic, it might edge into the time that the pasta is cooking), with time left over to set the table, open a bottle of wine and clean up a bit. It’s tasty. It’s simple. And bits and pieces of what you’re in the mood for (or need to use up) can be added as it suits— I used sun-dried tomatoes this time (I pictured the over-priced ones that I have really, really been enjoying lately, going so far as to carry a jar of them when we went hiking on Rainier so that I could put them on our sandwiches... but only when we were ready to eat. But I'm not a fussy diva. I'm a really fussy diva.), but I don’t always. And although it is simple, it is one of those satisfying, simple classics. And it seems to take the zombie-pull feeling out of the thought of cheeseburgers.

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