Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the lasagne of oppression

In which lasagna is the oppressor and spiced wine punch is the liberator.
It was the bf's office party and that meant 8-12 people for dinner plus his 15-year old son and 3 friends. I volunteered to make a lasagna. All those people plus 4 15-year olds? That adds up to 2 pans of lasagna.
I make a pretty good one. I'm not famous for it, but as lasagnas go, it is my favorite. It involves a ragu made from browned ground beef and 2 types of sausage over which I dump a bottle of Rao's marinara sauce. So far, so easy. There is a white sauce, still, pretty easy. I had to grate 4 C of Parmesan so I opted for the food processor, and that was a good call, despite the extra time and space required for washing it.
Then there were the noodles.
Recently, I have decided that fresh lasagna noodles (purchased from the refrigerator section of whole foods, not made myself, which would move the lasagna beyond oppression and into the realm of abuse or even torture, serfdom, maybe) make a far superior dish. The purchasing part is easy, but they have to be boiled and then removed from the boiling water, not just dumped into a colander to drain, so another package can be boiled. Remember, 2 pans. And they are HOT. And I can't manipulate them with utensils because they tear. So I curse and burn my finger and wrestle them apart and have to drape them across the sauce and naturally they are not the size of the pan so I have to cut them and patch pieces in, all the while cursing and burning my fingers as my feelings of oppression hypertrophy. Why 2 pans? I never would have agreed to this had I known I'd need 2 pans. And what do 15-year old boys know from al dente pasta? They would be fine with no-boil noodles.
And the hour grows late and I still haven't dressed or done make-up. The dog keeps bouncing at me, and pawing me, because their dinner is now 2 hours late, and I still have to walk them and I've lost most of the skin off my finger tips.
Did I mention that I had my spider veins injected and have to wear real honest to goodness support hose for a week? If ever there was a perfect primer for feelings of oppression, it would be support hose. I now know why old women are so disagreeable. These things couldn't be more uncomfortable. So I'm wrestling with scalding hot noodles as my white sauce congeals and the dog starts to whine pitifully, all while enduring itchy, tightly compressed legs, and an excruciating binding around my hips and a near severing cinching at my waist. I think the dog would start gnawing on my ankle except he would probably break a tooth and also die from the poisonous chemicals that keep these things tighter than an iron mask day after day.
I finally have both pans assembled. The gross weight of the dirty dishes that are strewn around the kitchen I think is creating it's own little mini black hole, but I'm late so I turn my back on the disaster area and box up the pans, padding each one with plenty of brown paper bags bc I know they will slop grease all over on the way to the bf's house.
The good news is that I had made Grossmutters Punsch and as soon as I got there, I had a large glass over crushed iced and all was at least improved with the world.
Two more days of support hose.

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