I realized today that I’m getting way too used to being unemployed. It doesn’t feel weird anymore to not be going to work every day. It felt normal to head to the grocery store at 10am on a weekday. That kind of freaks me out. It means I’ve been unemployed so long I’ve adjusted. And it means it will be even harder to switch back once I do find a job.
I had this realization while I was walking to Whole Foods this morning to get the makings for a picnic lunch. Immdiately after I had this realization, I almost got hit in the head with a squirrel.
I was just walking along, when all of a sudden there is a blur of grey fur directly in front of my face. I look over to my left, and a squirrel is perched on the side of the tree I’m standing next to. For some reason, he decided to leap from the fence on my right side to the tree on my left side at the exact moment I was walking between these two things.
Just for a minute, let’s imagine the hilarity that would have ensued if I had been a half a second faster. A squirrel, leaping from the fence, would have landed ON MY HEAD. I’m picturing tiny claws in my face and a lot of jumping around on both our parts.
But after a moment of standing there staring at the squirrel in shock, I was able to continue on my way. I picked up some food to make a picnic lunch tomorrow. Some friends and I are planning a hike and I wanted to make a nice lunch. We’re going to have chicken and prosciutto sandwiches on ciabatta with olive tapenade spread, a side salad of carrots and pears with a curry vinaigrette, and some chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Yum yum.
But first let’s talk pasta. Pasta and I had a brief falling out. My last boyfriend reeeeally liked eating pasta and at some point I just got sick of it. But then I discovered Pioneer Woman’s tomato cream sauce. It’s so easy, and so incredibly delicious. One time I added pancetta to it and almost died it was so good.
I was suffering from a lack of kitchen inspiration earlier this week, and decided that tomato cream sauce was just the comfort food I needed to get me through it. I was going to stick with the old standby, but then I saw the link to her vodka sauce. And I thought, hey, I have a lot of vodka in my cabinet, let’s do this.
Don’t ever buy vodka sauce in a jar from the store. It’s so easy to make it yourself, and it just tastes one million times better. I promise. You’ll never go back.
Just some onions, garlic, vodka, tomato sauce and heavy cream. Easy. You’ve probably got most of that in your kitchen already.
This was before I spilled tomato sauce all over my stove top.
Pasta with Vodka Sauce
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Makes 6 servings
1 pound pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup vodka
1 14 oz can of tomato puree (or tomato sauce)
1 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, as much as you want
Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
While pasta cooks, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add diced onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add vodka and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the tomato puree (or sauce), and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add the heavy cream, being careful not to overheat. Add salt and pepper and stir.
Drain pasta and add sauce, topping with a generous helping of Parmesan cheese.
Because I was only serving myself, I didn’t cook up a whole pound of pasta, I just cooked the amount I wanted to eat, poured some of the sauce on it, and put the rest of the sauce in a Tupperware container in the fridge. Now I can cook up more pasta, reheat some of the sauce, and have a quick dinner.