Twigs and sticks

As you can imagine, we all came home just bloated from the family reunion. Our send-off breakfast at Flapjacks Pancake Cabin (don’t you love Southern restaurant names – a flapjack is a pancake so you could call it the Pancake Pancake Cabin) consisted of scrambled eggs, biscuits, hashbrowns, cream gravy, sausage, bacon, blueberry pancakes and steak. Then Noah got a KFC craving when I stopped for gas so that added fried chicken to the list. By last night, I couldn’t move.

DSCN0348Meanwhile, I somehow came home with two packages of mushrooms and a red and yellow pepper each. I guess because they’re vegetables they just didn’t fit in with the program. So here’s my throw-it-together, get-the-lard-out recipe for something healthy after too much grease (and I hardly ever go there!)

The picture shows what I already had on hand – a lemon, some garlic, some Parmesan cheese, olive oil and Marsala wine. By the way, do not ever in your life buy “cooking wine” at the grocery store. You cannot sell actual wine in grocery stores in Tennessee (that’s a rant for another day), so you can imagine what “cooking wine” really is if they let it into the Publix.

Throw the mushrooms and peppers (sliced up, of course…I know I don’t have to paint every picture for you)  into a frying pan with a little olive oil and saute them until they’re browned. Chop up the garlic and add it last so it cooks but doesn’t burn. Deglaze the whole thing with about a quarter cup of the Marsala and let that cook down a bit. Then add the juice of one lemon and the lemon zest. If you don’t know what lemon zest is or don’t want to bother with it, then just leave it out. It’s not that important.

Meanwhile, cook about a half pound of thin spaghetti until it’s al dente. That means not mushy. Toss the whole thing together and top it with grated Parmesan cheese. I will get a little snobby here. The pre-grated stuff in the plastic tubs is not permissible unless you’ve just had a really bad day and can’t muster the effort of getting out your grater and using a block of the real stuff.

I told Mark yesterday when I let him get deli meat at the Publix that we were eating twigs and sticks this week to make up for the bad, bad weekend, and do you know what that boy did? He bought liverwurst! I love liverwurst but it’s just full, full, full of fat. So after my good pasta meal of last night I am faced with the absolute certainty that tomorrow morning I’m making a liverwurst sandwich with thin sliced onion and Duke’s mayonnaise for breakfast. With those really crunchy kettle potato chips. I am so weak.

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