Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pasta Point Of No Return

As her boldness grows, so does my fear.  Never did I dream I would long for the days of her waiting for me to succumb to slumber before she executed her ravenous raids; yet what I would give now to go back to that time, when I could lay at least part of the blame on myself for nodding off with some (or all, in certain cases) of my meal sitting seductively at the exact level of her mouth, as if I’d intentionally left it there for her to consume.  I couldn't really fault her, much less ascribe malicious intentions on her part.  The food wasn't technically being guarded, after all.

Those days are gone.

(NOTE:  This is yet another hell-hound based post, as my existence in and of itself remains bereft of sufficient goings-on to merit putting to pixels, and generally serves best as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to Halcion.)

As some of you may know, my lifestyle is one that lends itself to making large batches of various foods and storing them in an appropriate fashion such that individual portions may be prepared with little effort and time, and without regard to the societal and somewhat arbitrary norms of when meals should be taken.

That is to say, I live alone, and make giant pots of spaghetti sauce, freeze individual servings, and eat at midnight in my jammies.  It’s quite pathetic, in all honesty.

Nevertheless, it is as such.  While I do have certain “go-to” menu items, such as the aforementioned spaghetti sauce, and chicken breasts (which can be used in a nearly infinite number of dishes, of which I cook exactly three), it occurred to me the other day that I had not made lasagna* in quite some time.

“O widest of noodles commonly found in grocery stores, how I have forsaken thee!” I cried upon my realization.  “Your ruffled edges so lovely; ‘tis shame ‘pon me that I have forgot, but I will boil you on the night next, so that right will be made, and you shall be layered twixt cheeses of four and the thickest of sauces!”

The next day, I ventured off to the store, and got all the fixin’s: various tomato sauces and pastes, some Italian sausage, peppers, onions, tequila numerous cheeses, and a couple of boxes of noodles.  I was set!  Never had I been so prepared for a culinary endeavor.

Well, as is my norm in such projects, I made entirely too much sauce (I really should write down a recipe and actually use it), but fortunately, I had bought two packages of noodles.  “Not to worry!” I told myself.  “You can just make two batches, and maybe share with friends, who will then pass on an act of kindness to others, and world peace will be achieved and it will have originated in your very kitchen!”

As it happens, there are 18 noodles in the boxes of the brand that I purchase (homepage:, and I use 16 per pan of lasagna.  This is perfect, as there are a couple of spares for the inevitable torn-beyond-use-even-in-the-middle-layers noodles, and I cooked up a box, rinsed them, and laid them out on some towels to dry off a bit.  The whole operation was proceeding swimmingly.

Alas, my elation was short-lived.  I had turned away from the noodle-bearing counter to momentarily give attention to the Sudoku puzzle that appears in the local newspaper, for the day was Sunday, and only it remained to be completed for me to notch the rare Sunday Trifecta of crossword, Jumble, and Sudoku.  Such was my rapt focus that the slurping and chewing had grown quite loud and had apparently gone on for quite some time without my noting, for when I finally turned, there remained only 9 noodles, with Indy giving a strong effort toward reducing the count even further.

#~!!@*&%$,” I screamed, as that is the normal protocol for alerting her that she has done something objectionable and that she should retreat to beneath the bed for several hours.  This time, however, proved to be shockingly different.  She turned, front paws still on the counter, and seemed to contemplate the situation, as if mulling over some difficult decision.  “#~!!@*&%$,” I said again, though with nowhere near the authority as I had just moments before.  “#~!!@*&%$?”  She stared for a moment longer, then dropped to the ground and walked off slowly toward the backyard, glancing back one last time with a menacing sneer before exiting through the doggie-door.

And so it is a new world for me.  The delicate balance we had crafted seems to have been shattered, and she appears to have moved from the planning stage to active implementation in whatever hostile takeover scheme she has concocted  Worst of all, I had to boil another pot of water to cook enough noodles from the other box to finish the lasagna, and those noodles seemed to be defective and didn’t reach the entire length of the pan, but I didn’t realize that until I had poured out the water, so I had to boil water a third time just to cook half a noodle to patch up the bare spot in the corner.  And now I have ¾ of a box of noodles, and I’ll never get back on a proper noodle schedule, always having a partial box sitting on the shelf as a reminder.  And I messed up the Sudoku.

I hate Italian dogs.

* Is it "lasagna" or "a lasagna"?  I really don't know.  I imagine the battle will continue to  rage long after I have expired.


The Bug said...

NOODLES? All that sauce & she scarfs noodles? I think you're right to be alarmed. LOL.

The Dead Acorn said...

Bug - I've learned to put the sauce on the back burner and surround it by other pots and pans. Cleaning up a kitchen floor covered in sauce is something I only want to do once. I was making chicken pasta salad a couple of weeks ago, and had a bowl full of spiral noodles and veggies mixed up. She stood at the counter and got all the noodles out, leaving most of the veggies, and not spilling the bowl. She's quite talented, in a horrifying kind of way.

Niamh B said...

It's neither Lasagna or a Lasagna but "An Lasagne" surely? We don't put noodles in ours whatever they are - we use pasta sheets - and they don't need to be precooked, we just throw em in between the meat and cheese and white sauce layers... but maybe I'm thinking of something completely different?!
She's a talented doggie for sure.

The Dead Acorn said...

I once knew a French lass named Anne LaSagna. She too would throw anything between the shee ... wait, this is a family blog.

So are the pasta sheets crunchy when it's done, or do they soften up? Or do you make your own pasta? This sounds like something I may need to try (though I may have a hard time convincing people that it's traditional Irish cuisine ...).

Niamh B said...

They soften up while cooking... I can post some to you if you want?!!

I can't believe you have to cook the pasta for the lazange separately! That's just mad waste of energy.

Niamh B said...

as is using the correct grammar...

Niamh B said...

as one would if they were to insert an "a" everywhere it made sense to, such as prior to the words "mad waste of energy"

The Dead Acorn said...

I took the lack of the "a" before "mad waste of energy" as an example of you practicing energy conservation.

There are "no-cook" noodles available, but I haven't tried them (I will the next time I make gluten-free lasagna, because those noodles really fall apart when boiled). I think I'll try the normal ones without cooking them first ... I am nothing if not adventurous in the kitchen! ("My god ... is he MAD? He's substituting garlic salt with garlic POWDER!")