Thursday, October 18, 2012

That Italian Accordian-Type Music


I dreamed that I had my same job somehow, or the same co-workers at least, but we were all working at an (allegedly) upscale Italian restaurant. The kitchen was sort of just a back room and it was really small and cramped. There were piles of restaurant stuff everywhere but I didn't see any food. All of the tables were full of patrons and my co-workers and I were standing in the back looking out into the restaurant, which was in a strip mall. The front of the restaurant was all windows like a strip mall. It was bright outside and dim inside, and staring out the bright windows made it hard for your eyes to adjust when you looked back in the restaurant. Suddenly a huge group of fancy, well-dressed people (one of the ladies had an evening gown, a fur stole and a cigarette on one of those long cigarette holders. Overdressed if you ask me, since it was lunch time) came into the restaurant and seeing that there were no tables available, pushed their way into the kitchen area to wait. My co-workers and I exchanged looks. Suddenly I had an idea pertaining to what my real actual day job is, and I pushed my way outside to talk to my boss about it who was standing on the curb outside the door with a big pile of luggage. He was waiting for a cab to take him to the airport, and I tried to ask him some questions about my idea but he kept laughing to himself and showing me a picture in the paper of Kathie Lee Gifford. Then he told me a story about how he had gotten to hug her as the picture was taken, and his cab pulled up but he kept talking. I went back inside as two rounded corner booths of people were getting up and leaving, and the big group of fancy people were pushing their way to the two tables, not even waiting for the dishes to be removed or the tables to be wiped down.

This dream pairs well with the following meal:
I probably dreamed the Italian restaurant scenario because I recently made spaghetti from scratch for the first time. It was surprisingly easy, despite the fact that the pasta machine’s instructions were translated into English from Italian and made little sense. If you can’t (or won’t) make your own pasta, then find your nearest Italian grocery and buy some fresh pasta there. It will be worth it, trust me. While there, also buy a big can of whole tomatoes, the highest quality that you can afford. To make a sauce, dump the can of tomatoes and their juice into a pot along with 5 tablespoons of butter. Peel an onion and cut it in half, placing the two halfs cut side down into the pot as well. Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat so that the sauce simmers. Simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and break up the tomatoes into little bits with a wooden spoon. If you are like me, you will stand over the sauce for 15 minutes meticulously breaking each tomato into uniform small pieces. Taste it constantly. It probably won't need any salt if the tomatoes had salt in them, but feel free to add salt if it's not salty enough for you. While the sauce simmers, spread a red and white checked table cloth over your table, dump all the wine out of the nearest wine bottle (or drink it) and stick a candle in it. Burn the candle down enough so that some wax drips down the sides. Put an Edith Piaf record on the Victrola (yes, I said Edith Piaf. We are international here).

About 5 minutes before the sauce is done (if you did what I said and made the pasta from scratch or at least bought it fresh) bring a big pot of heavily salted water to a boil and once it’s boiling, dump the pasta in and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes, give or take. It will not take long. When the pasta is done, remove and discard the onion from the sauce. In two bowls, ladle a bit of sauce, then put some pasta in, and then ladle more sauce over the top. You must prepare two bowls; if you can’t find anyone to eat the second one then just let it sit there while you eat yours and pretend someone is on their way to eat it but is just running late. You can serve with parmesan but you probably won’t need it. You will definitely not need any bread. Bon app├ętit!