Yesterday while grocery shopping, I spied a new product. My eyes sort of popped out of my head like a cartoon character. I had to look twice. It was a box of dried spaghetti. I was strolling through the pasta section, looking for the corn, gluten-free pasta. I had to stop and take the new product box off the shelf and look for myself. Is this real? It is called “pot ready” spaghetti. The company has graciously (for a price) broken the spaghetti in half for me the consumer. Freeing up valuable time in the kitchen. You know, how long it takes to grab a handful of dried spaghetti and prior to dropping it into your salted heavily, rolling boil of water……………you break the stack in half. Gee, that took a lot of time. Of course I jest. REALLY? Who has so much money, that they can pay extra to have someone else break their pasta in half to fit into your stock pot?
Of course I have spaghetti on the brain, so when I opened the refrigerator this morning, I spied left over fresh Rosemary and Thyme. On the counter, was a sad-looking Basil plant. The few leaves that were left for picking were calling my name. Sunday dinner, Sunday dinner.
Do I want to cook and fuss all day long? No thank you. I want to take down the rest of Christmas. I want to brush the dog. I want to jump in the car and head to the library. I love it when my boyfriend, carries my tumbling over the sides filled library book bag. I love to have snacks on Sunday afternoon. Salty olives, marinated mushrooms, tangy mandarin oranges, smoked salmon, “cheese” spread…… I don’t really relish the idea of spending the day in the kitchen cooking. I want it to cook while I am flitting from one thing to another.
I began by cooking some chopped onions and a hand full of garlic cloves. The very moment those two lovely ingredients hit the hot oil in the pan, a cloud of savory aroma went up in the kitchen air. Oh, be still my heart. So good in fact, when Mr. Right, came through the door, he said, to no one in particular, “it smells good in here”. That’s what a girl wants to hear. Next, I chopped up a board full of Crimmini mushrooms. In the pot they went, then I attacked gently, all those, end of the week, fresh herbs. I can’t quiet describe the homey, warm, cozy, comfort smells that are swirling in our kitchen. While those simmered and browned and became melded together, I grabbed a bag of frozen sauce. I make 8 or 9 batches of spaghetti sauce at a time, I freeze them flat in smaller portions, enough for Sunday dinner. I take one of those, place it in the Slow Cooker. Then I add oodles of fresh Basil and the well cooked onions, garlic, mushrooms and herbs. I swirl it around a bit with a wooden spoon. After 15 minutes or so, the kitchen window begins to steam up. It is much warmer inside than outside in that brisk winter air.
Dinner, done at 9:00 am on Sunday morning. Yes, dinner will be gently warming and simmering and melding in the Slow Cooker, until we are ready for a wonderful comfort giving, family meal. Cooking a wonderful meal is my way of giving a part of my heart to him.
Mr. Right reminds me he adores me by making each Sunday morning breakfast and bringing me flowers. I remind him, how much I get the butterflies in my stomach when I think of him, by making him an amazing Sunday dinner.
Even thou I grumble about it, I secretly enjoy ironing all is dress shirts for the week ahead. I like having them ready for him. I like doing that simple chore for him. He finds some sort of weird happiness by organizing the pantry for me.
Sunday dinner…………..one of the secrets to keeping a long and happy marriage, fresh. 32 years later, our marriage box is full to overflowing. So full we have to weed out and share with Goodwill once in a while, haha. Sometimes, in our quest to clean out and make room for more happy, we have to box up four amazing jig saw puzzles and send them on their way to another family who will work them and then they can share with some one else. We work at it. We value how full our marriage is.
Here’s to pure goodness and HAPPY. Love to hear your Happy secrets. We are in this together, sharing Happy is a great thing.
Say Grace, Sunday dinner is served.
“Murder is always a mistake – one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner”. Oscar Wilde