It’s nearly the last Slice of Life for the month, so I double checked my list of slices I wanted to be sure to capture and decided that today is the day to record dinner. It is such a standard in my day and that’s part of what this little challenge is all about — capturing the mainstays and pushing to find a bit of meaning in them.
- I stopped on my way home from work for two items. I only picked up one: the ground chuck. I couldn’t remember the other.
- Assembled Susan’s Lasagna (recipe below). Laughed with Andy. Watched our precious kids play on their swing set outside the kitchen window. Comforted a little boy who ran in the line of the swings and was kicked in the head by a big sister who was in another zone while swinging. Had my heart melted that Steph held his hand all the way to me after the accident happened. Shook my head as the other yelled after them, “It wasn’t my fault — he ran in front of me!” Smiled as they all went exploring together in the backyard. Laughed some more as they tumbled down the hill. Smiled as we remembered this recipe was one my sister-in-law always cooked when we came to her house for dinner . . . she joked it was the one meal she could cook. (She does cook it well — but it’s not the only thing she can cook well!) We remembered visiting them in West Lafayette, Chicago, and their current home for Susan’s Lasagna.
- Pulled out a stoneware dish that I always make the lasagna in. Remembered it was a wedding shower gift. Paused for a moment to consider that I’ve had it for ten years. Really? Ten years. Then I giggled. That giddy giggle that comes from the realization that dreams really do come true.
- Put the dish in the oven.
- Remembered the second item: Garlic Bread. Since there is not a speck of bread in our house, Hannah and I zipped into town to get some. (Plus a box of crayons since she is all out at school. This is a major catastrophe in the life of a first grader.)
- Headed for home: “Thanks for letting me go with you Mom. We’re best friends, aren’t we?” Really. Can it get any better than this?
- Entered the house at the precise time the lasagna was being pulled out of the oven. The garlic and tomato scent filled our house.
- Hannah set the table as I warmed the garlic bread and cooked the peas.
- The others joined us.
- The fairy tale came to an end. (Or did it?)
- Sam screamed and screamed and screamed. “I feel icky,” we were finally able to discern his wails (with the help of our five year old translator). “Mom, make me un-icky, please,” his tears rolled down his face.
- Chocolate milk calmed him down.
- Steph said the prayer: Dear Jesus, Thank you for cottage cheese, spasagna, and our family. They are the best. Amen.
- Sam downed his milk in record time. “I really feel super-duper-super-ruper-fruper icky, Mom,” the tears started to well up again.
- Carrying Sam to the couch, he snuggled up close. I tucked his favorite blanket around him, found Duckie, and kissed him on the head. “Thanks Mom,” he whispered.
- We finished dinner and even had left over chocolate cake from this weekend.
- “We have a good life,” his green eyes met mine across the table. The same eyes that stole my heart nearly fifteen years ago. Now I love him for so many more reasons, but mostly because he shares this everyday living with me. The good, the tough, the ugly. And he loves me more with each passing day.
1 lb. ground beef
1/8 t. garlic powder
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. salt
1 T. onion flakes
24 oz. tomato sauce
Brown and stir ground beef, onions, and garlic. Stir in tomato sauce, oregano, sugar, & salt into the skillet. Reduce heat & let simmer until ready to assemble the lasagna.
16 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
9 cooked lasagna noodles
3/4 lb. shredded Mozzarella cheese
In an ungreased 9 x 13 pan, spread a thin layer of meat sauce. Top with a layer of 3 noodles. Spread 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Top with 1/3 of the sauce mixture. Repeat the layer 2 more times. Save a bit of cheese for a final sprinkling on top.
Heat over to 350 F and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.