The wonders of an inefficient dinner

I decided to make pasta for dinner. It took me about three hours though I did get a break in the middle for a run.

Three hours for pasta. This would have once seemed normal. Now it’s just inefficient.

I’m well aware for a couple of bucks you can toss perfectly fine fettuccine into a pot of water and in about six minutes have dinner cooked.

For another four bucks you can have a pretty decent Alfredo that you can put in the microwave (if you don’t mind the cancer cells cooked into your food… OK, I shouldn’t have opened the can of worms just yet, but I will… I will…) and it will be ready before the noodles are.

I’m well aware you can drain the noodles, pour the sauce and serve this meal in about ten minutes for less than a ten spot in your pocket, which you can use the change to buy some bread to cut up.

So ten bucks and ten minutes compared to three hours. It’s a tough sell.

But this is one of the biggest changes in my eating patterns within the last few years that I have found is making all the difference. Slow food has so many more benefits than just filling your stomach.

For example:

  • I had to cut back on pasta and bread in my diet. For an Italian who loves making dough you might as well have tied one of those gastric bands around my stomach. But one easy way to accomplish this was to only eat pasta when I made it.
  • Now pasta is a treat, but its also a chance to work creatively and experience the ever-changing process of making it.
  • I can experience the now as as I knead the dough for long minutes until my forearms ache. I can see how slowly I am getting better at this unique, ancient art form.
  • It simply tastes so much better than the store bought I don’t care how much folks argue it’s the same. There is no comparison.
  • Instead of just putting dinner on the table, I nurtured myself hoof to head: I did something creative I enjoy, I took time out to pause and wonder, I went for a run, I shared time with The Bride: none of the things I would have done if I went the ten-buck-ten-minute-route.
  • Instead of ten bucks, it costs me about three.

So my inefficient dinner turns out to be an experience, that part of my day when The Bride asks, “how was your day?” I can say “Great, I made pasta” instead of saying, “It was OK. I sold a couple of stories. My neck is aching because I spent too much time at the computer. And I really haven’t figured out what’s for dinner tonight.”

Today I said the first answer. Then she sat with me playing solitaire on the computer while I finished it up and served it with eggplant fried in Nudo Olive Oil.

I even took the time mid-pasta making to break out the blender and bash up a delightful smoothie with protein powder, flaxseed meal, plain greek yogurt, mangos and cranberry! Super food to rebuild the muscles after all that kneading. This is hoof-to-head living right here:

IMG_20140210_130128

As we ate our simple meal the wonder of it caused me to pause and be grateful. To me in this day and age making pasta is an exception. To Nonie and her generation it was simply what you did. You made dinner. That’s a connection I’m glad I share now. It firms my feet upon this place in the Earth I call my own, rooted in my past and yet wonderfully present.

It was a good day. Inefficient, but good.

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