But it wasn’t the worst.
Last weekend, I spent the whole time thinking about themes because really, if there’s one thing I learned from Sandra Lee, every meal has to have a theme. Ethnic? Small Plates? Color? Pink tablescape! Prissy pink cocktail in a pink cocktail glass. Pink dinnerware! Pink dinner wear! Skin-tight pink sweater with a matching pink Chanel-esque quilted headband! Don't think I wouldn't do it. I would. I love pink.
I spent Monday and Tuesday looking through cookbooks for inspiration, planning the menu, pulling recipes for coaching, listing dishes, listing out ingredients dish by dish, translating the ingredients list into a shopping list cross-referenced by store.
This is what happens to me. I brainstorm. I plan. I make lists of lists of things I will have to list out later. Then I fill in the lists. Then I transcribe the detailed lists into Excel. I re-list them into matrix format. I create project plans, workplans, timelines, and I don’t know why, but I even include the “resource” column and yes, every single resource cell in my twenty-by-twenty matrix says “Sarah.”
Okay, that last phrase is not true.
The column actually says “SG.”
Maybe I miss working.
Or maybe I miss having something to which I can “escape” when real-life things get difficult for me to handle. I have a tendency to do that. I don’t do it consciously as it’s happening. It’s only after I find myself three days unshowered in three-days unwashed sweatpants curled up under my Binkie with a generic store brand zipper top bag half empty of dried mango on a Friday night alone because I haven’t called my parents, I haven’t seen my sisters, I haven’t hung out with my friends in omghowlong?!?!, that I realize that oops, I did it again.
Something in my life got scary or weird or stressful or frustrating or uncontrollable or something, and oops, I threw myself into my work so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Again.
But I don’t have “work” as an excuse anymore.
And so I have to deal with that scary or weird or stressful or frustrating or uncontrollable or something that’s there.
I have to *gasp!* deal with it.
Or maybe I can just lose myself for two days straight, smothering sadness in tomato sauce, breaking artichoke hearts, cutting out heart-shaped ravioli with gentle violence, throwing confusion into an all-red salad, and baking brownies for a brownie fudge sundae.
Spinach and Artichoke Ravioli Hearts
Preheat iTunes to the Crystal Method. Nothing shrieks "Valentine's Day" louder than a little aural substance abuse.
Drain 1 pound of ricotta cheese for about an hour. Normal people do this by putting the ricotta cheese in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. I used coffee filters. It worked.
Wash and dry 1 pound of fresh spinach. Don't think a mention of the Semi-ho is license to use a 10 oz package of frozen spinach. This is just ravioli. Save the frozen stuff for gourmet dishes like Spinach Dip made from dried vegetable soup mix.
Heat 1-2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet. Saute 3-4 cloves chopped fresh garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach just wilts. Remove spinach and garlic from pan, let cool, squeeze out as much moisture from the spinach, then roughly chop.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, ½ c. grated parmesan cheese, pinch of nutmeg, and salt/pepper to taste. Stir in chopped spinach and 1 c. (about half can) chopped artichoke hearts.
Cut fresh wonton wrappers into hearts with a giant heart-shaped cookie cutter. Do I have to state the obvious here? If it's not Valentine's Day, then use whatever shape is appropriate, or just leave them as squares.
Lay a few wonton hearts on a dry cutting board. Spoon 1 Tbsp of spinach and artichoke filling into the center of each heart. Brush the edges of the hearts with 1 lightly beaten egg. Lay another wonton heart on top, press down gently around the filling so that there are no air pockets, then seal edges.
To cook ravioli, bring a pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Place a few ravioli at a time in the boiling water. They will sink, but will float back to the top after 3-4 minutes when they are ready.
I served my ravioli with a tomato sauce that was accidentally too spicy because the G*d**ned perforated shaker top on the red pepper flakes fell off. Thank God it turned out to be a delicious accident otherwise I would have had a total meltdown. Because that's what I do when it's that time of the month. I have meltdowns over tomato sauce.