Spaghetti: Creating Connection and Helping You Trust Yourself
Plus reading and writing updates including a recipe
There are days when the writing is just not coming together the way you want. You can not explain it. I’m there this week.
I started writing two posts this week, but they felt forced and not my usual storytelling.
I promised myself I would consistently post every week, so ya girl had to write something.
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I can say, I was productive in other ways:
I read Ashes to Ashes Crust to Crust by Mindy Quigley in a day and a half. It is that good. I love her character-driven storytelling. A review will be coming next week. I was going to post it this week, but as I mentioned, it wasn’t flowing. There are also one or two recipes that I want to try out and post for y’all from the book.
I played with the kiddo quite a bit by excavating dinosaurs and digging in the dirt with his toy excavator and backhoe. I wish he could experience country life in Alabama as I did. He would love it.
I cooked! Cooking has been hit or miss lately, which is a story for another day. I made “spaghetti." It’s in quotations because it is not authentic in any way. I find Black people make it a certain way with the meat, sauce, and noodles all cooked together, then served. We want that sauce sticking, ya heard? (This is not to say white people don’t do the same it just seems universal among Black people.) Recipe below.
I worked on the novel! I added maybe 500 words (possibly less, probably less 🙃). Either way, I’m back on the novel-writing train.
I’ve recently embraced that small moves are big moves in the grand scheme of things. We are all productive when we view it that way.
How were you productive this week?
Christilisa’s Southern Spaghetti 🍝
Growing up, Momma (her name is also Christilisa) made spaghetti when she was short on time and needed a meal to last. We would eat spaghetti for days and days. It was a one-pot meal that kept us fed, even if we were over it by day three. I suppose that is why Black people make spaghetti, a meal that is long-lasting but also gives a sense of connection. We would sit down together that first night and enjoy slurping the tomato goodness with the added tang of powdered parmesan cheese.
Now, I make this dish for the same reasons for my little family. (One day, my munchkin will eat it, for now, it’s just me and Chad.) Not to mention, it is a cheap meal. The most expensive item would be ground meat because you know, inflation.
It’s a simple recipe. Sometimes, simple is what you need.
I call this a recipe, but it does not have measurements. Most of the time, Mom did not measure seasonings, everything by taste. You have to trust your instincts and make every recipe you make your own. Some people disagree with this approach, but if you struggle with trusting your decisions, this is an easy place to start practicing trusting yourself.
I hope this brings back memories while allowing y'all to make new ones.
2 lbs ground beef
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Smoked Paprika (this is a new addition)
2 jars pasta sauce (I use Classico Roasted Garlic and Sweet Basil)
⅔ pack pasta, spaghetti
Kosher salt (for pasta water)
Preheat a deep skillet on the stovetop, at medium heat.
While preheating the skillet, add water to a pot for the pasta.
Add salt to the water and bring to a rapid boil.
Once the skillet is heated, add the ground beef.
Season the ground beef, in the skillet with the Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, Tony's, and smoked paprika.
Once the meat is lightly browned, add the pasta sauce. (Pour off any oil from the meat.)
Let the meat sauce simmer while you prepare the pasta. (Turn off the heat after about 5 to 7 minutes.)
Once the pasta water is at a boil, add your pasta and cook to the package directions.
Drain pasta water. (I leave some pasta water in the pasta.)
Add meat sauce to the pasta. Let it cook on low heat until the sauce sticks, 5 to 6 minutes.
Until next time,