Tis’ the season to be jolly, and to count our blessings. Here, in no particular order of importance, are the ‘real’ important things I am thankful for.
• I am thankful that my bun still looks good. Really good.
• I am thankful for my children’s obsession with Max and Ruby, and for the clarity that makes me really, really hate Ruby.
• I am thankful that I have lost all of my baby weight. Exercise, running and an unhealthy obsession with calories have paid off.
• I am thankful that my husband was able to comb out a matted knot of hair from my cat’s back. Now she is her soft and overweight self once more, and I can pet her without being grossed out.
• I am thankful that my hair hasn’t all fallen out during the post-partum period.
• I am thankful that a man with huge ears has been elected president. This should serve as an inspiration for my infant daughter who has adorable little radar dishes.
• I am thankful for Xanax, available in times of need.
• I am thankful that someone invented TiVo, so I can record The Colbert Report.
• I am thankful for the time you take to read my column, and especially for the mean comments I get.
• I am thankful that I married someone who has an ample supply of earplugs always at hand, so that when we go to the movies, he can give me the fluorescent ones to wear during the previews, which are always too loud for me.
• I am thankful for Twitter and my peeps on the Web.
• I am thankful for our military benefits, which make the headaches worthwhile.
• Last, but not least, I am thankful that I can make a mean pasta dish. And, after many requests, here is my quick recipe version (serves 3 Italians or 6 Americans, unless one is my 2-year-old daughter, in which case, it goes back to only serving 3).
Get: Barilla Pasta one box (penne or mini penne) and plain red tomato sauce, 1 large can (29 oz.). Barilla is what we use in Italy, and I think it tastes just a little better.
Sauce: In a pot, pour in extra virgin olive oil (three or four tablespoons). Add two or three pieces of garlic (depends on your tolerance for bad breath), half an onion, and a carrot. Add in the tomato sauce, and a teaspoon of salt, cover everything, and let it cook for about half and hour on medium or low (so it’s just bubbling at little).
Pasta: Boil the water. PAY ATTENTION: This is my dad’s secret when cooking pasta, DO NOT PUT THE PASTA IN THE WATER BEFOE IT BOILS. It’ll jinx you. Only when the water is bubbling should you put the pasta in. Cook for one minute less than what it says on the box, because that’s how you make real al dente. Drain pasta. DON’T run water over the pasta, this will make it mushy – just drain it, and put the pasta back in the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Mix. Add a teaspoon of butter and parmesan cheese.
Voila, the kick-butt pasta recipe you can be thankful for.
Anita Doberman is a freelance writer, mother of five and wife of an Air Force pilot stationed at Hurlburt AFB in Florida. Contact her at: