Monday, August 21, 2006

First Meals

We broke down yesterday and turned on the stove. As predicted weeks ago, the first meal prepared in the new kitchen was scrambled eggs in honor of Ava. Maybe the best eggs we've ever had, her favorite Kraft shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese sprinkled on top. I was in Manhattan on Friday and stopped off at Orwasher's (78th and 2nd) in our old neighborhood to pick up some of their tremendous Challah bread. We toasted up some slices, the girls like it with cream cheese, and along with the eggs it was just about a perfect breakfast.

For meal #2 we had some early afternoon pasta. My Grandmother on my father's side passed away a few years ago, my Grandfather within the last year. After he died the family went to the house to do the necessary clear-out and everyone had an opportunity to take whatever items they wanted. One of the things that appeared to be going inexplicably unclaimed was my Grandmother's big old aluminum pasta pot, so I took it home with me. My Grandparents were both first-generation Italian-Americans, and this pot had basically produced more boiling water over the years than Old Faithful, across thousands of batches of pasta, particularly on Sunday afternoons.

And now it was in our house and, for some reason, we'd never used it. The maiden voyage in the new kitchen seemed an ideal opportunity, so I took it out of the drawer, filled it up with water and salt and put it on the stove. Madison noticed it, had never seen it before, and said, "what's that big old pot, Daddy? Where did we get it?"

I explained that it used to belong to Poppy's Mommy and Daddy, and now it was ours and we were going to use it to make some pasta on our new stove. She smiled at the thought of that, and when I put the bowl of spaghettini in front of her, Rao's sauce on top, she smiled again. (We'll resume our ritual of homemade sauce every Sunday afternoon next weekend. After two months of a shopping list confined to items that could be eaten raw or prepared in a microwave or toaster oven, we found ourselves a little short of key ingredients as we settled into the new space, so we had to resort to the jar. Sorry Grandma.)

Ava, who wins the award in our family for fussiest eater, doesn't like red sauce. She eats pasta plain, with her "favorite cheese" - the above-mentioned Kraft shredded cheddar/monterey jack combo - on top. Now that we have a fully-functional kitchen we're going to focus on Ava's cholesterol intake, because her favorite foods are eggs and cheese. We want to try to build some pork rinds and lard into the mix if we can by the time her fourth birthday rolls around.

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