a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!

2 things:

1. a lot of people are really embarrassing. that's not their fault, and you still shouldn't give them a hard time about it, but man. crying over roast beef because you're stressed about cooking it is really lame.

2. there but for the grace of god go I. I grew up fringe upperclass had a stay-at-home-mom who could cook and (through becoming a vegetarian, along with everything else) had the time/money/desire to make a waaaay broader variety of things than a anglocanadian midwestern household would have on the average. i loved to get in the kitchen as a kid. i loved to bake things and cook things. i loved, and still love, food and eating.

i've also been "mentally unwell" in one way or another my entire adult life, and there's nothing that sucks the love out of you than coming home after however many hours of work and having to do yesterday's dishes because you didn't do them last night, because you had to do yesterday's dishes before making dinner, because ...

preparing and cooking food is one of those invisible labors that, because everybody has to do it, gets its difficulty discounted. it's timeconsuming to plan, prepare, cook, and clean up after meals. generously it takes me an hour to do all that, if I'm doing anything more complicated than "combine premade fridge staples in pot" or "combine pantry things in pot" or the classic "grain and cheese in oven". sometimes i don't have an hour to spare. sometimes i don't have an hour in me. i've been roast beef tears girl before. sometimes the little things are what tip you over the edge.

i held this one in the drafts because i wrote it before cooking dinner. i made a classic recipe of mine that i made hundred times during the pandemic, and i have it down to a military grade aluminum schedule so i decided to use it as a case study

ingred. 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 can black olives, 1 pound rigatoni, 3 cans tuna, and relevant accoutrements.

start boiling salted water for pasta. fry up olives then tuna in some olive oil until mildly sizzled. add very generous # fish sauce, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, and red pepper flakes or equivalent ground red pepper. mix in tomato. let simmer and then cool to low. cook pasta and combine it and 1/3rd to 1/2 c pasta water when done to sauce. eat.

it took me about 30 minutes to do all that and to clean most of the dishes. there's still the final pasta pot in the sink that sits even now at midnight. the rest is done. it's the power of an all pantry-meal.

a cute name would be pasta Qttanesca. I've substituted too many things to make it italian friendly, but what do they know anyway