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Friday, October 11, 2013

Be sure to Pierce the Spaghetti

Squash before Microwaving

Tonight, well now last night, I really wasn't feeling very much like cooking (blame Cipro aftermath and Tramadol) but Hubby and I were hungry.  

He offered to take us out to dinner, but due to economic crunch and a few 'Easy, Simple, Quick Fix' frozen goodies in the freezer, and a bounteous organic garden in the backyard, plenty of canned and dried goods in my "Save for Disaster" pantry, I opted for staying at home and I'd "whip up something quick" because I was a disaster.  Just you wait.

Hubby chose "Perdue's Simple Italian Grilled Chicken Breasts shorts, uh short cuts, as he loves chicken breasts, and I love Italian.  Yum.  And I especially love the fact that the box declared 'Heat in microwave 35 seconds. Let stand anther 35 seconds.'  What could be easier than that? Tonight I desperately wanted easy and simple.


O.K. inside were some wonderful chicken breast pieces obviously spiced up Italian-wise. 
But no veggies or side dish.  Oh, we have to have those!  The pantry yielded a box of angel hair spaghetti, and a can of spinach.  O.K. Well now, that'll do.  But then I realized we had a healthy spaghetti squash in the fridge..even better! That's a fresh veggie! 

Get Ready, Get Set...

I popped it in the microwave and started cooking it, set on high setting sitting there so pretty on the rack by itself.  Of course, I just had to get some spaghetti sauce out of the pantry - there are plenty of jars of it there. What is spaghetti without sauce? 

Keep it simple.

Remember now, I wasn't feeling exactly up to par, nauseated from the Tramadol and I just couldn't get the darn jar open even tapping it on the floor, and using the handy jar opener.

Hubby was somewhere else.  Keeping out of my way, I surmise.

Well, of course I'm an efficient expert home-made spaghetti sauce creator, so I would just throw in a can of tomato paste with some spinach juice from the can.  Keep it simple, right?  

After turning the squash around and restarting the microwave, I remembered that I had a few mushrooms that needed to be used up before too late, so I sliced those. Very efficient of me. No wasted food.  O.K. so far.  

Oh but yes!  I need fresh organic oregano and rosemary from the garden!  I got the sauce mixed well with the mushrooms, turned it on medium then I went out back to harvest some goodies.  Great, here were also some Damiana plants, and I just had to have a few leaves for my nausea and to calm down because this dinner was just taking too long, and it was being made in a messed up kitchen with dishes in the dishwasher and dishes in the sink from lunch because, well, remember Cipro's domino effect. The limited counter space was getting cluttered with the cooking, cutting board and more dishes that I had started to unload from the dishwasher etc,. (of course there's always an etc.)

The Damiana was a gift of Hurricane Andrew, having been blown in from the Bahamas, and now growing all over our property like weeds.  I guess God knew the stress of rebuilding after that storm of the century (last century - we'll probably have more doozies this century, but I sure hope not here!) 

The Damiana flowers open up in the morning and help cheer me up for the day.

Coming back from my fresh air harvesting, dodging mosquitoes,  I discovered that the sauce was starting to burn. Oh well, part of it would be nicely caramelized, an added touch. Turning the little two-person sized spaghetti squash again, heating some more, I proceeded to cut up the oregano and rosemary sprigs, leaving some sprigs to decorate the plates. Coming from a long line of artists, I had to decorate - cooking is not complete otherwise. 

Suddenly, KA - BOOM! and the microwave door flew open. Strands and seeds were all over the inner door and walls of the microwave. This cause my already giddy self to burst out laughing especially when I saw what a lovely picture it was, and I was indeed assured that the squash was done and I wouldn't have to keep burning my hands to check if it was soft enough. I went into the back of the house where Hubby was cleaning one of our kitty litter boxes, CutiCali's I believe, but Itty Bitty sneaks in there when Cuti is not around.  I also suspect Evil-Kitty RoseBuddy asserts her dominance there too. There are clues. 

Rosebuddy likes to read while on the toilet
Itty Bitty is afraid of Giant Evil Kitty - and CutiCali

CutiCali learned how to meow.

Oh but I digress. (Tramadol does that). I just had to share my glee with Hubby and insisted he come see the artwork.  He did. He managed to grin - and bear it and went back to an easier job.  I decided to let the art cool naturally so I could get it out without getting burned. Easy as pie.

Well, the sauce just had to have some garlic in it.  Maybe it'd settle my stomach.. and I'd throw in some healthful organic turmeric, some paprika, a dash of cinnamon to control blood sugar spikes (who wants that) and some fennel, to settle my stomach, of course.

Oh yes... half of a chopped onion was going in there by all means.  Chop, chop, chop..and tears.  I really wanted some chopped organic celery (regular celery is very high in pesticide contamination and Cipro had taken care of even my good natured pests very well thank you) (Oh shut up Blogger! Tramadol causes this rambling!) But I was getting too tired and clumsy to deal with chopping celery. Besides, long stalked celery needs more room that was presently available.  So no celery in the sauce. 

My very patient hubby then came in with a bag of dirty kitty litter to throw it out, and - why was he barefoot?!  He must have forgotten to put on his indoor shoes.  Turning back to stir the sauce and put in the onions I knocked the glass container of the turmeric on our terrazzo floor.  Oops.  Glass and powdered turmeric there and on the rug too.  So, warning Hubby to stand back and keep his bare feet away, I got the dust pan and brush and cleaned it all up, then got the mop and bucket and repeated it all with that.  Then I went to get Hubby Roy's indoor shoes in the back of the house, arch supports from his outdoor shoes in the front of the house and his clean socks from the bedroom in the east side of the house.  Zig-zag.  All the while my stomach was getting worse, more nausea, and I started getting dizzy, hot and sweaty.. whew!  I had to take off my back brace to continue without melting because those things can be very hot especially when you are standing over a hot stove in front of a microwave full of exploded spaghetti taunting one.  I just had to go cool off and take care of my nausea while I was at it.. so back into the back of the house I went.  Oh, oh, in my haste, I twisted while rapidly rounding the corner without the back brace - oops and ouch.  Slipping vertebrae and big twinge. (D-mn Cipro) Whew.  Well, O.K.  O.k.. then...

Back to work in the kitchen feeling better, I decided to pour the mop water out by the compost bin, (Hubby Roy insists that he did that, but I must have done something outside) and put the mop out there so the sun whenever it came up (it was dark by now) would sanitize it of course.. and the outdoor light blew out with a loud pop!  That seems to happen when I'm 'in a mood'.  Even street lights.  Watch out, she's coming down the street.  Pop, pop, pop.

Carefully I scraped the spaghetti squash strands off the inside of the microwave door, ceiling and walls.  Took some doing to separate the seeds.  Never mind trying to roast them.  They would have been tasty, but not tonight.  Then I put them in the bottom of a Corning Ware casserole dish inherited from my mother, or maybe from my daughter, layered the canned spinach over it (Italian Florentine), then my precious sauce, then sprinkled with chives.  I bet you thought that was parsley on top, (see beautiful picture of beautiful casserole) but I forgot to tell you that I had already added some in. No, those are chives!  I recently bought a bottle of them and I'm using them in everything.  Well, not in coffee, or shakes, or...  Never mind..Tramadol strikes again.

So then, I removed the upper plastic microwave ceiling, and the bottom glass tray..and Dear Hubby Roy washed them for me after transferring some dishes from the right hand sink. Replacing the microwave parts,  I just popped the casserole dish in the now clean microwave - but set it for 70 seconds instead of the recommended 35 seconds being as it was now a much larger dish.  

Did I let it 'sit for 35 seconds afterwards'  on the box?  No, it took 'way more time than that to finish putting the rest of the clean dishes up, unload and re-load the dishwasher, and wipe down EVERYTHING.  And bless my Hubby Roy, he set the table.  

Guess what!  It tasted great and was very filling!  We had half left over so we took it over to my neighbors who just happen to be my son Bruce and his beloved Cherie, both very good cooks themselves.  No, the dogs and their bird did not get any! Purely human food.
 All's well that ends well.

Today, Bruce brought the now very clean casserole dish back and gave me a glowing report of how delicious it was.  He said Cherie was already eating it when he got home.  They want the recipe.  Well, I'll just copy this blog page for them, being as I had told them, "You'd never guess what I went through making this."

Source:  My life yesterday, October 10, 2013 (Today is better!)

See also: 
Cipro is Dangerous - Be Warned!

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    1 comment:

    1. Ah yes, the modern American household. How could we survive without pain killers, antibiotics, orthopedic devices, economic strife, devil-cats and the endless entertainment provided by microwave cooking ? In retrospect, it might have been a mistake to sacrifice the spaghetti squash artwork for dinner ; it probably would have brought a fortune on Ebay !


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