Because of travel, this week was quite discombobulated. We got back into town on Wednesday. I went to work on Thursday – which was a day full of meetings followed by cooking dinner at Ronald McDonald House. Friday, I kept as my regular day off because I knew I needed a day to get many of the projects done before Ali and Jose come for their visit this week. Going into the new week, I feel like I am back on track and kind of caught up. In the midst of the confusion giving way to order, here is my shortened list of good things!
A Gloomy, Cold Autumn Day – I know that sounds less than good, but when you get to spend said “gloomy, cold, autumn day” in your warm, cozy house, it is a very good thing. Friday started out dreary and then proceeded to bring it on big time for the rest of the day. It was cold enough that at one point I looked at the temperature inside of the house and it was 58 degrees. That was enough to prompt me to turn on the furnace for the first time this season. The boiler kicked on (also a very good thing!), and the steam heat started filling the rooms. Outside it was gray and misty. Inside it was warm and the chaos of an untended house was being put back in order. By the end of the day, the house was clean. In the freezer I found some spaghetti sauce with smoked sausage. I got that out, and when Dan came home, I heated that up and boiled some delicious Italian pasta that, I think, was Casarecce (I threw away the bag without paying attention). The sauce was thick and rich, and I tossed the just al dente noodles into it. The noodles soaked up some of the sauce and made for a pretty spectacular pantry meal. A glass of red wine. Good company. Wonderful food. Our house. Great gloomy, cold, autumn day.
Pansies – I wanted to brighten up our front step and some of the flower containers that have petered out with lack of end-of-the-summer attention. One of my favorite flowers is the pansy. They come in so many beautiful colors and some of them have that distinctive little face. On Saturday, we went to the garden center and I bought a flat of dark purple pansies. At home, I planted them around the house. Some went in with other things. Some went in an empty space in the ground. Some got their own container. They already have perked up the surroundings. Going out to get the paper this morning, just seeing them made me happy. What also makes me happy is knowing that these pansies are winter beasts! Almost always, a pansy planted in the fall will continue to grow and survive the winter here. When the first warmth of spring comes, there they will be again!
My Grandmother’s Ravioli – Usually, I can take or leave Mo Rocca. I watch some of his stuff on the Cooking Channel or The Food Network, but it is usually due to not having anything better to watch. Yesterday, I was skirting through my go-to channels and I landed on the Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli. The premise of this show is that Mo Rocca’s Grandma was a great cook and made epic meals, but, he never learned from her how to make them himself. In each episode, he visits some grandparent and spends time cooking with them. The episode I landed on was Mo cooking with Clara Corrado. Clara is 94, lives in Philadelphia and has a set of great grandson triplets who are all in the military. Part of the show was Mo and Clara making Care Packages for them. The repartee between the two was totally charming. The viewer finds out that Clara likes Korean shows and she invited Mo up to her bedroom to watch some videos. There is dancing and some singing. There is good natured teasing and some touching memories recollected. Mo totally seems like he is enjoying the experience. The episode sold me and I went on to watch three more episodes. One was an African American woman in South Carolina who took Mo to church with her and he sang with her in the choir. One was a body-builder grandpa in Florida who was standing in for his dad, who was supposed to be the one featured on the show. Sadly, he passed away shortly before the filming. This is by no means intellectually stimulating time spent, but showing such fun interactions around food and family met my requirements for good television.
It looks like it is going to be a beautiful autumn week here in the Midwest. I am excited for my girl to be coming home for a few days and getting to meet Jose. Already there is goodness around the week ahead!