Did I mention that I have a cold? Because I do. I think I’m dying. It is very sad.
I will miss me.
(Do you hear them? In the background? Those are teeny tiny violins, playing beautiful music in honor of my sore throat and reversion to 5-year-old maturity level when my nose is stuffy.)
Oh, FINE. I suppose I’m PROBABLY not actually dying. In fact, I’m that sort of really unsatisfying sick where you just feel crummy and gross, but deep in your mucous-covered heart you know that without a fever or whatever you really just have a cold and should suck it up.
Of course, I’m sick because I have a million things to do this week.
Anyway, I spent a large portion of Saturday sleeping, because that seemed like the thing to do. I had hoped that would cause me to wake up fresh as a daisy and completely over this crud on Sunday, but Sunday morning dawned and I still sounded like an 80-year-old 4-pack-a-day smoker.
Fortunately it’s one of those things where I always sound and feel like death warmed over in the morning, but after I move around a little and have a cup of tea and a few lines of cocaine, I feel much better. (Oh, I kid. Who can afford cocaine with two mortgages? I just snort a little Bon Ami—it’s earth friendly!—and call it good.) So all weekend Otto kept asking me if I wanted to cancel dinner for last night, and I kept assuring him I would be fine.
And I was. Mostly.
So we were having folks over to dinner, see, which meant that we needed to do some cooking. (I would like to assure everyone who ate at our house last night that I didn’t sneeze into any of the food, by the way.) And Otto offered to take care of everything, but I felt like I should contribute, you know, so I soldiered bravely onwards, never remarking more than a dozen times or so that I was working hard in spite of being so terribly ill.
First of all, I must tell you that this recipe rocks my socks off. Although I am now perfectly happy to make bread that actually requires kneading and rising time and all of that, it’s nice to have a recipe that makes something delicious and bready in such a short period of time. (Also? I made it as drop biscuits instead of as a loaf, and that worked fine, too.) I am convinced that most of the problems in the world can be solved with carbohydrates, and although my theory seems somewhat flawed when it comes to THIS PARTICULAR cold, I stand by my position.
Also, anything that makes the whole house smell like beer cannot be bad.
So anyway, I made that, actually doing a test batch on Saturday between naps, and then a “company” batch yesterday wherein I included some rosemary and some parmesan, and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. The way that ancient man felt when he mastered fire is pretty much how I feel when I bake something edible. (BEHOLD! I HAVE CREATED… BREAD!)
We planned to make a couple of lasagnas, and Otto was perfectly willing to do it on his own and let me rest. But no, I had this notion of fairness and helpfulness or something, so I said “NO NO NO, you do one and I’ll do the other,” which seemed like a good idea, except that I forgot that I am a competitive bitch.
Otto set about making the spicy Italian sausage version while I worked on the spinach one.
I layered my lasagna with OCD precision, making everything just so and smoothing down the ingredients and such. Otto slopped ingredients into his pan and often tossed in extra noodles and let things overlap and REFUSED TO LET ME ADD AN EGG TO HIS RICOTTA. (You NEED that egg! For… smoothness! And… stuff!) He used FAT FREE mozzarella—which is against my religion, as cheese NEEDS FAT—and he sprinkled various spices on at odd intervals as whatever whim grabbed him. Otto used up all of his ingredients by topping the entire thing off with whatever was left, yielding a pan that weighed approximately twenty pounds with Mount Saint Lasagna arcing up from the center at a precarious slant.
My lasagna, when completed, looked as though it had been assembled by Martha Stewart and blessed by angels. It was perfect. And it used REAL CHEESE and was therefore superior in both looks and taste.
Except that his lasagna ended up tasting WAY better than mine, which is totally unfair, because did I mention? The cold? And the cheese? And the layers? And the NOT FAIR?
(As one guest pointed out, “Starting with sausage really gave him an unfair advantage,” which is true; but as long as I’m over here eating my crow I concede that that was not the whole story. My lasagna needed more sauce. Even if Otto did totally cheat by… being a cheaterpants.)
Fortunately, I’d whipped up a batch of Ben & Jerry’s raspberry sorbet for dessert, so I was able to save face a little, there
In conclusion, those people are lucky they got dinner at all. Or something.
Please pass the advil. And the sorbet.