Category Archives: Dinner

Birthday Dinner


The last time Christine and Chuck visited, Chuck said something to the effect of, “I’d rather eat anything that someone I know made for me than go to a restaurant any day.”  It made me stop and think a minute and I decided that, almost every time, I would agree with him.  There is something about food that someone chooses to make for you – no matter what it is – that tastes especially satisfying. Luckily, my gracious friends pretty much feel the same way, or at least they make every attempt to appear that way.  Even when a dish comes out badly (overcooked meat or vegetables, a half-risen cake), I’ve had the luck of seeing smiling faces and clean plates.

When I asked the Bun what he wanted for his birthday dinner – mainly, whether he wanted to go out or stay in – he gave me a little look that said, “would you mind cooking for me?”  Of course, I was pleased with his answer.  After deliberating on a menu for a few days, I decided on a bit of inspiration in the form of pork rillettes, which is basically like a meaty, fatty spread you eat on bread.  It is, of course, French.  A French meal, of course!

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Pasketti and Meatballs


Pasketti and Meatballs

There is something about this weather that makes me crave carbs and, specifically pasta.  Maybe my body needs the extra fuel to stay warm through the damp chill of late winter.  Maybe I have been denying myself pasta since the holidays and my belly just says, “okay, you are being ridiculous; make spaghetti now, please.”  Regardless of the impetus, I had to get down to making some sauce and pasta this weekend.

As a born-again omnivore and regular gym-goer, I pretty much eat an animal-based protein at every meal except breakfast.  It may not be the best course of action, health-wise, but I do try my best to keep my choices on the leaner side whenever possible.  Unfortunately, this meal was an exception to the lean meats, as was the previous Bolognese post.  Yikes!  All I can say is, enjoy a few less healthy meals now, while you can, and hit the gym a little more often.  In a couple of months, none of us will be in the mood for heavy pasta and meat dishes.

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My Bolognese


My Bolognese

I will admit that the first time I ever had something called Spaghetti Bolognese, I had no idea what I was ordering.  It was my first time in Europe and I was with a person who, at the time, was almost a complete stranger, who is now my very dear friend Melissa.  Both of us were jet-lagged and on our first assignment in what would be our home country for the next 10+ months: the UK.  We were charged by our year-abroad advisor, Professor Wendy Moffat, to drop off our bags at our rooming house and head straight to a neighborhood of London that was randomly assigned to us, where we would make an attempt to observe and record the essence of that neighborhood.  Melissa and I headed to Camden Town, exhausted and hungry.  At the time, Camden was the hotbed of counterculture in London, but had its own brand of gentrification in place, as well.  Hence, we stumbled into a hole-in-the-wall cafe that served what looked to be pretty decent Italian food.  For my first meal in the country, I wasn’t ready for traditional British fare, so I figured Italian would be a good, safe bet.

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