This week I decided to make arrabbiata sauce. I have made it before, but this time I accidentally changed the recipe and made it my own. According to this particular recipe you make a very easy tomato sauce first, then you doctor it up to make arrabbiata. So as I was making the tomato sauce the recipe said to add either 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil leaves, or 2 teaspoons of dried basil leaves to the tomatoes. Well I accidentally added 2 tablespoons of dried basil (as I was saving my fresh basil for yet another panzanella salad), and the result is perfection! I will never make it any other way again…ever! Here is a link to the recipe that I used: http://dev.wendyshow.com/2010/08/10/teresa-giudice-skinny-italian/
I’ve made this sauce three times in the past three weeks. The first and the second time I made the sauce it was intentional. The third time I made the sauce was yesterday morning. This time I had to remake the sauce as the second batch got destroyed. Let me explain. I made the first batch on June 13th. I made the sauce to go with pasta we were having for dinner, and that was when I made the error I mentioned above, and accidentally changed the recipe. It was so good I wanted to make it again. Herein lies the dilemma. I love the sauce, Dan loves the sauce, Victoria likes the sauce, and Ryan of course doesn’t like any sauce of any kind. Well Dan left for a European business trip on June 16th, and didn’t get back until this week. If I made the sauce then, I’d be minus one fellow eater of the sauce. The recipe makes a decent amount, and with Victoria only using a tiny bit of sauce on her pasta, that meant that I’d have to eat A LOT of it myself. I try to limit my carb aka pasta intake for obvious reasons, so I decided to wait until Dan got home to remake it. So there I was on Tuesday, happily remaking the arrabbiata. I made sure to add extra love so Dan would taste just how much I missed him. Well the sauce turned out great! Better than the first time in fact. Victoria and I had it on gemelli for dinner, and then I saved the rest for Dan. The kids and I were ecstatic to have Dan come home…he was gone waaaay too long this time. Well after he was home for a bit, I pulled the pasta and sauce out of the fridge and made him a plate. As I was wrapping the Pyrex bowl of the remaining sauce to put back in the fridge, somehow the bowl slid off the island, and crashed to the floor! I am sure you can all imagine what I said…yes it was a four letter word, it rhymed with luck, and it started with “f.” ☺ There it was…my labor of love… all over the kitchen floor! In addition to my lovely sauce, there were enough glass shards to make me want to pull my hair out. Our kitchen floor is ceramic tile. That makes for an ugly clean up if you are unfortunate enough to drop something made of glass on the floor. So bright and early yesterday morning, I made the third batch of arrabbiata sauce as we still had a lot of pasta to eat. I am happy to report that it came out really yummy…again. I am also happy to report that the left over sauce made it safely to the fridge this time, and is just sitting in there waiting to be eaten.
Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident of bad luck for me. I often joke that if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have none at all. This was just the last little kick in the teeth that I endured while Dan was in Europe. The rest of his time away wasn’t a whole lot smoother. First, the kids and I missed him desperately. I know that goes without saying, but I am illustrating that the mood around here with him gone for so long was bleak. The bad luck started almost immediately after his departure. Before Dan left, he made sure that our water softening system was all set. He changed the pre-filter, and added a ton of salt. In any other instance, we’d be good to go for about 4-6 weeks. Well not this time. Two days after Dan left, the water looked and felt really hard again. So since I was not prepared to have to monkey with it, Dan didn’t teach me any water softener system maintenance. Then the bad luck really kicked in on Thursday of last week. I work on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I purposefully scheduled all my client’s for the week for Thursday, so I would only have one day of child care to worry about with Dan gone. So Thursday rolls around and my once full schedule was trimmed down to 1 client, as my other clients had to reschedule for one reason or another. Therefore, I didn’t have to be at work until 6:30 p.m. My good friend Sheila, offered to watch the kids so I could go to work. Well just as I was leaving the house, it started to storm…thunder and lightning, included! So I dropped the kids off, drove all the way to my office, only to have my only client of the day not show up! Yes apparently she “forgot” about our session! Yep… that’s my life.
The bad luck continued on Friday. At my Dad and Sister’s yard sale, I slipped on the porch and cut and bruised my leg. Add it to my list of injuries…I swear I get a new bruise every week. Then on Saturday as I was cutting the grass, I got the tractor stuck. Since Dan was in Europe, I had no one to help me. It took a bit, but I got the darn thing unstuck. Then at 1:30 p.m., the kids and I were going to the yard sale again to help out, but as we piled into the car, it wouldn’t start! Our other car was already at the mechanic as we needed to replace a head gasket, both exhaust manifolds, and the catalytic converter. It was done, but with Dan in Europe, we figured we’d wait to pick it up until he came back. The mechanic closes early on Saturdays. They close at noon to be exact, and it was already 1:30., so I figured we were grounded at least until Monday when they reopened. Long story short, I hitched a ride with my good friend Sheila, and was able to pick up the old car. Then we drove to Kroger to get Victoria’s prescriptions, only to be told it wouldn’t be ready until the next day after one. No phone call, no warning. So we drove 30 minutes to pick up a script that wasn’t ready. Yep…that’s my life.
Then on Sunday night, Ryan got this crazy rash on his hands, and complained about being dizzy. My first thought was hand, foot, and mouth disease! We have unfortunately had this before, and it isn’t pretty. The thing is…he never ran a fever or had a sore throat…both of which are tell-tale signs of the virus. So I made an executive decision that if on Monday he felt any worse, we’d go to the doctor. He woke up on Monday, and the rash was gone, but he still was pretty dizzy. So then I thought ear infection. We agreed to watch and wait and make a doctor appointment if need be. A bit later he told me that he thought he was just anxious as he really missed Dan. What??? Anxiety??? Why didn’t I think of that?? I mean it’s not like it’s my job or anything (sarcasm fully intended ☺). In the end, I think that’s exactly what it was because Ryan is fine. He never did run a fever, and the rash thankfully never came back. So after reviewing the above mentioned events, me dropping the delicious arrabbiata sauce shouldn’t have been a surprise. Yep… that’s just my life.
I am happy to report that we are all under one roof again. I, for one, will never get used to Dan’s trips. I usually sleep like a rock. I mean if a bomb exploded in our room, Dan would have to relay the details in the morning. When Dan is away, however, if one of our cats exhales, I am up! I am a worrier by nature, but when Dan is home, I can usually deal. When Dan is in Europe, however, I worry myself sick…literally. When Dan is in Europe, I second guess everything. I make mountains out of mole hills, I overreact, and I am hyper-vigilant to each and every house noise. I get frequent headaches, my stomach is in knots, and I rarely fully exhale. In a nutshell I am miserable. I realize that it’s kind of pathetic. I mean I am 40 years old. I am a competent and intelligent woman… I have a master’s degree for goodness sake. I know how to do all these things, but when Dan isn’t here it all just overwhelms me. If there is anything good that came out of his LONG business trip (besides the lovely gifts I mean) it’s the knowledge that we really do make a good team. It’s the affirmation that I really am blessed to have him in my life. Most of all, it reminds me that I am lucky enough to realize how lucky I am to have him. Yep that’s my life…THANK GOODNESS!