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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

Tag Archives: Rules

I broke my own rule about not adulterating meatballs and spaghetti by serving anything else with it: I made kale chips. But the only reason I made the kale chips was so that the kale wouldn’t go bad.

Basically my frugality overcame my strict meatball policy. I bought the kale to go with the pizza I thought we were having on Saturday night but then we went out for dinner and the kale kept getting pushed aside (as did the pizza – see Wednesday night).

The miracle is that I did not burn the kale chips. No, wait, the miracle is that we ate kale chips. They’re made of kale after all. But apparently enough salt and olive oil will make even the vegetabliest of vegetables taste good.

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I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t not write something about last night. We went out to dinner and there’s nothing to report and there are no photos and I thought: don’t write if you have don’t have anything to say; it’s okay to break the rules. But I can’t. I can’t break the rules – even my own rules. It’s terrible. I want to break the rules, but often I set up rules to do things that scare me (like writing), or things I’m not good at (like cooking). Once I get going I’m so pleased with where the rules have taken me I don’t know how to get rid of them for fear that if I lose the rules, I’ll also lose the thing they created.

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A quick and easy dinner from the freezer for a school night. Only it wasn’t quick, and I always forget that. This is the fourth or fifth meal we’ve managed to get out of two sausage lasagnas I made in December and every time I reheat the lasagna I forget how long it takes, so dinner is both late & lukewarm. Why is that? Why is it so hard to learn from mistakes?

The sausage lasagna is a recipe I made up which makes it a source of pride. I used the idea of bolognese technique (simmer in milk, simmer in wine) but used sausage instead of ground beef. It also leaves out the ricotta cheese. My daughter doesn’t like ricotta and by bending the lasagna rules a bit I managed to create something that everybody would eat, thereby adding a new meal to our repertoire. A lesson I suppose in the joy of rule breaking for a rule following lass.

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