Monday, September 28, 2015

Of pasta and kitchens and plants and friends

Handsome Son and I went to the annual Italian American Festival at the local park on Saturday, no pix, since all the photogenic aspects were missing this year. No lovely streets laid out with the historic Burg street signs (well, one, lost in a mass of fast food booths), no children's puppet theater, no in person acts interesting to watch, few crafts.  Mainly it was about fast food, and a big midway, with the really good food sort of shoehorned in.  So next year we may rethink this.

However, undaunted by chilly and windy weather, we forged on to find dinner, and had some excellent sausage sandwich, funnel cake, pasta e fagioli, aka pasta fazool, and old fashioned soft icecream with sprinkles distributed by an antique original soda fountain sprinkling machine.  And the best funnel cake I ever had.

The crowds were as happy and nice as ever, despite crowding, and big families with not a single crying kid,  and the family who were leaving as we arrived to eat wiped off the whole picnic table surface for us, since as the grandfather said, my kids were here!  so when we left, we did likewise for our successors.

The pasta e f. was so good I decided to learn to make it.  And since I had the Plethora of Potatoes to deal with, and had made several hundred gnocchi, you can't make a few gnocchi, I had two large bags of them in the freezer (only freezable potato recipe I found), so here was a chance to use some of it up.

So yesterday I got to work,  already had the tomatoes in the freezer, the parsley growing fresh on the patio, the Italian seasoning in the house, courtesy of dear Karen, red pepper seeds, chicken stock in the house, only needed the white beans.  

While I was cooking friend G. showed up to put up the plant hangers he'd promised me to do this morning before he vanishes for three weeks, leaving me to watch his plants.  And commented several times on how good the soup smelled, what was it, etc.  

So after he helped create this lovely effect in my kitchen as seen from the living room, through the pass through

he had the honor of hanging the first plant, since I grew it from cuttings I'd swiped, I mean pruned, from his plant long ago.  Then he packed up his tools, and we processed to his house, he with all the tools, me with a bowl of soup and a hunk of homemade bread for him for later. 

He eats dinner close to midnight, so he saved it for then.  And this morning gave it a good review.  So much so that I think he was putting his name down for the next time I make it..

and here's the soup: Sunday's lunch for me

and Monday's lunch, for the fridge, and it is very good on the second day as well.  

Definitely a good home for the gnocchi. New mantra: when life hands you potatoes, make gnocchi!

Later, just when I was watching The Aristocrats on my tablet, another friend came by, bearing a lovely dish of Indian food she'd just cooked and wanted to share.  She admired the paint job in the kitchen, and said how she'd like to learn about plants, or rather she wants her husband to learn it, and would I show him how to get started.  They're about the age of Handsome Son and are developing into honorary kids to me!

Well, of course I will help him, he's a sweet guy, and her agenda is to get him more among Americans and their ways of talking (yes, I see the irony here) and a little bit more away from Indian groups.  He will be job hunting, and they would like him to move into an American firm if he can, rather than the paternalistic Indian company he's at now.  

But he needs to be a little bit more outspoken and assertive, and I guess she thinks he can develop that around me, learning how to pot up plants!  Or something!  anyway, whatever transpires, I'll be happy to work with him on learning cuttings and planting and developing an indoor garden.  First use, for me, of gardening as a learning tool for assimilation.  I already worked with them on their front area, helping with planting and dividing and identifying what to weed, and he does love it and can tolerate me.

Little did I know what painting the kitchen might unleash.  Next I will be doing the backsplash wall with a faux copper sheet deal, and I hope I won't end up working with a tinsmith on making soup..


  1. Your kitchen looks happy (if there is such a thing as a kitchen looking happy!!). Soups looks good too.

  2. Your gnocchi looks and sounds delicious. Tolerate you - l'm sure the man could tolerate you for hours. Funny that an ex-pat Pom is helping an Indian man to assimilate in America. Go you, you obviously have them well fooled (wink).


Thanks so much for commenting. I read all comments with care and much pleasure!