I hate making dinner on Saturdays. The rhythm of the day is so different from the rest of the week, and the likelihood of being involved in unusual tasks so much greater, that the necessity of buckling down and, once again, feeding the family is sometimes frustrating. Don’t get me wrong–I like to feed people–but doing something every single day does tend to dull the attraction once in a while. On the other hand, dinner must be eaten, and so tonight I turned to a family staple–Mel’s Cowboy Spaghetti.
Does your family love smoky, barbecue-y goodness? And, you know, spaghetti? Because we do (or at least, most of us do). This stuff is amazing. It’s spaghetti with red sauce that my husband is actually happier to eat…he doesn’t love marinara, but he DOES love barbecue sauce, and so this works for him. Top it with medium or sharp cheddar cheese and chopped olives (for those who prefer them; my husband most definitely doesn’t!) and you’ve got a lovely main course. I don’t bother topping with more bacon or green onions, to be honest with you–I’m perfectly happy without. What I DO do is change it up just a bit. Mel tends to be meaty, rather than saucy, in her tastes, and I like sauce to go a little further, so I use the listed amount of bacon and ground beef and one-and-a-half all of the other ingredients. (Except for the tomato sauce, because really, who wants to use half a can of tomato sauce? The missing four ounces make no difference whatsoever.) The kids all inhaled theirs. To be scrupulously accurate, I used rotini today, but that’s only because my 19-month-old doesn’t do so well with thin noodles. Spaghetti is better.
(And by the way, when I say inhaled, I mean it. The girlies played outside for several hours today, and even their brother got in a bit of time out there before his nap. I love to see them enjoying warmer weather–it was in the fifties today–and enjoy it they did! They devoured their cowboy rotini and broccoli and CONKED once their reading time was done. Wahoo!)
Once the kiddos were all in bed, I finished up the last few pages of Mara’s Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness. It’s a folkloric tale of a girl who tells stories to her fellow concentration camp inmates in the barracks at night. The Holocaust as a topic has always fascinated me, but I put it on hold mostly because it was Gary Schmidt. (I would read anything that man wrote. Seriously.) He never disappoints; it’s a poignant but hopeful collection of Jewish stories and legends, adapted to fit a particular time and place. It reads incredibly quickly and it’s very worthwhile. Enjoy!