I Get Mad, I Eat Spaghetti

What is it about pasta (or almost any carbohydrate, for that matter) that makes the world a better place?

I especially crave pasta after a really bad day full of stuff going wrong. Curiously, I don’t eat carbs the night before most competitions (though I will have some plain oatmeal the morning of most events) because it’s too hard to sleep on it when I am already nervous about the next day.

I’m not even picky about pasta types. I like long ribbons, such as pappardelle and tagliatelle, substantial tube shapes like rigatoni, and curly fusilli. Basically, anything that holds a sauce well works for me. And sauce can be something as simple as butter, fresh basil, fresh cracked black pepper, and a lot of Parmesan cheese. My other half has a preference for white, cheesy sauces, but I like to mix Alfredo and tomato sauces.

I was fortunate to grow up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, with Italian, Irish, and German influences. My father had a lot of Italian longshoremen as friends, and when we visited, their tables were covered end-to-end with good food, no matter how large the family or how lean the times. There was always more than enough food, love, and laughs to go around. Everybody shared and traded what they had. My dad was in the clothing business, so he got a lot of sample stuff to give his friends, and they reciprocated by using their dockside contacts for fresh seafood. I ate a lot of shrimp and lobster that “fell off the boat” on a remarkably frequent basis.

I made a simple baked pasta tonight with ground turkey, two sauces, lots of cheese, and a mix of regular and whole grain pasta. A post-race treat; my first trail race that was longer than a 5K. The hardest, dirtiest thing I ever did. One small fall (courtesy of a hidden rock) but no real damage done. Lots of dirt, grass, deep sand, and tree roots. And rocks. Like life, obstacles that make you mad but also challenge you.

I survived the start of a new season.

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