Two Elon alumni (2002) have pooled their talents to bring excitement and joy to your day. One is a classy woman who combines her Italian and feminine powers to influence men of all shapes and sizes. The other is a tall blond man who relies on wit and boyish good looks to impress women, especially when they're drunk. Join them in their epic pursuit of the phenomenon known as adulthood. NoSalesTax side effects may include addiction and abrupt laughter as colleagues look on in confused jealousy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What a Crock.

I had a peaceful weekend. I used my crock pot for the very first time, and if that doesn’t mean you’re a grownup I don’t know what does. I didn’t cook from a recipe, but rather memory, and I think it always turns out better that way, doesn’t it?

I’m not the only person who cooks that way. My Great Uncle Lou made it his mission a few years ago to teach me the family "secret recipe" for spaghetti and crabs. It starts with simmering garlic in olive oil, includes cans of the cheapest tomatoes you can find, and is best eaten with a loaf of very crusty yet doughy in the middle Italian bread. If you can smother that bread in garlic you roasted in the oven, even better. Anyway it was perfect the first time we made it together. When I went for a pen to write it all down he smiled and said, “The best recipes are the ones we remember because they are so good that we can’t forget them. Don’t write it down, just remember it.” If you knew my Uncle Lou, you’d be surprised that he was sober enough to come up with something that profound, but it’s true.

I didn’t write the recipe down that day or any other day, and I have made spaghetti and crabs many times. I usually make it when we have leftover crabs from the day before- a day where we woke up way too early, caught too many crabs and couldn’t get enough of their sweet buttery taste. So the next day my dad will say, “What if you make spaghetti today?” And I always do. I also make it when we have company. I remember a few summers ago my great grandmother and several other relatives were visiting from Pennsylvania, and my dad asked me to cook. I spent most of the day in the kitchen, figuring out how to stretch the recipe out a little bit, stirring simmering garlic, basil, parsley. My great grandmother was one of the early influences in my passion and obsession for the kitchen. When I was young my dad would drop me off at her house and I’d marvel at the way she could make Italian ribbon cookies and meatballs, sweep a floor and cuss at the tenants upstairs in Italian, all at once. She was invincible, the strongest, coolest 85 year old woman I knew. So when she told me the spaghetti was wonderful, it was the best compliment in the world from my biggest critic.

Now I am convinced that the best meals are prepared by memory, taste and feel. Add dinner to the list of things in life that we cannot script, handle the same every time, or prepare for with a book.


At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:19 PM, Blogger Emiole said...

What's with us getting spammed?

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous schmidty77 said...

you've never made me spaghetti & crabs...



At 9:01 AM, Anonymous pnutz said...

What are Italian Ribbon Cookies? I'll have to do a search...I married an Italian!


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