Friday Night Dinner 9

What We’re Eating and Drinking – Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese with Nebbiolo Red Wine

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After a stern talking to from Stefan last week, the themes of this week have been balance, presence, and less doing of things that I think I should be doing, but are in fact more time fillers than meaningful activities. In that spirit, I’m aiming to eat out this Friday. And since, unlike the kids, I don’t get a homemade pasta meal made for me everyday (the cooks at school people, not me!), I’m excited to dig into one of Bologna’s most well-known exports, Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese, or as we Americanos call it, Pasta with Meat Sauce. After tasting the traditionally made sauce that’s ubiquitous here, the simplification of the name to “meat sauce” seems totally wrong. What numb nut would ever have thought to call this complicated delectable taste, meat sauce? One classic cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, played a large role in introducing an authentic version of this dish to an American audience, and The New York Times ran the recipe here. A glass of Nebbiolo, a red wine from the Piemonte area of Italy (Northwest), is a good match with this hearty dish. Buon Appetito!

Christine: This sounds delicious. And I mostly mean the going out to dinner part. I’d be happy to go out to dinner and have someone serve me a simple salad and a bread basket (and, of course, a carafe of wine). But Italian pasta!?! Yuuuuuuummmmmmm! Are the kids with you? Are you in Bologna? What did you wear?


What We’re Talking About – Off The Hamster Wheel


It’s amazing what more sleep, a little exercise and meditation, and more thoughtful choices can do for a girl! Every time I manage to get off that damn hamster wheel that I talked about last Friday, I’m always astonished by how sweet life is out here, and how difficult it is to see that from in there, even when you live on a vineyard. In Italy. Occasionally, some of the goodness gets lobbed into the wheel with you, and you get to feel/taste/smell/touch/hear it, but you are (or your mind at least) still running, and so just processing a modicum of what you’re experiencing and stressing out about keeping up with the damn wheel. Have I taken this metaphor too far? Probably, but nevertheless, I wish there was some kind of giant red button you could push, or cling to when you feel like you’re being drawn back in there and feeling like those kids getting sucked into the light-filled closet in Poltergeist. For now, however, I have had a delightful week, which has included less pointless running around, less aimless time in front of my computer, more time outside, a drawing class, a mid-week dinner with friends, and even movie time with Stefan. Let’s hope I can keep this up more than a week!

Christine: Metaphor, Shmetaphor. I’m just glad we’re not talking about toilets over here on this side of the blog. And YAY! Sounds like success of the highest order was in store this week! I’m so happy for you, basking in the lightness of all of those hamster-wheel free days. A stern talking to from Stefan can do wonders of course, but YOU are the one who has changed some thing(s) for the better. Change, being a most arduous and unstable beast, is best celebrated in the moment it happens (for fear it might vanish at the first sign of light) and I’m so glad you are recognizing it for the miracle that it is. (**virtual wine glass clinking now**) This is a time for you to look at–and remember–the strides you’ve made this week. And THAT, my friend, is the “red button” you’re looking for–the building up of a cache of experience of how you want to be and then using that knowledge–that arsenal of your own history–as your shield whenever the Poltergeist comes knocking. And as infinitesimal as some of the actions you did this week might seem–drawing instead of reading Jezebel, spending time outside instead of straightening up the living room, going to a movie with your love instead of puttering around the house in your sweatpants ignoring each other (er…I might be projecting here?) the sum of all these small actions is substantial. Sometimes one (good) week is all it takes to initiate a new pattern of behavior and tweak bad habits into good ones. Let’s bookmark this post future reference!



































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