Catalyst Cooks

Make. Food. Happen!

Hanging with Friends, Making Pasta August 27, 2010

I’ve been on a pasta kick. 

It’s no wonder the Italians have it so good.  Their food can unite just about anyone.

I wanted to share some of my pasta stories of late… pasta is love.

In spring, I visited my friend Rachel, her hubby Paul and their kids Grace, Vera and Peter in D.C.  Rachel is kicking cancer, and I felt a little helpless from Minnesota.  Besides thinking about her, what could I do to show I care? 

I felt compelled to visit, so I called to clear some dates, signed up to “deliver dinner” for two nights on her online help site, and booked a ticket.

Instead of delivering dinner, I wanted to make it.  With the kids.  In their own kitchen.  From scratch.  But what could I possibly make that would be fun for a two year old and an eight year old?

I know: PASTA!!!

Picture us (since I didn’t break out the camera)- Gracie and Vera kneading dough at the kitchen table.  Peter using it like play doh (and then eating it).  Making unique shapes of pasta.  Then using our creation to make an Orecchiette pasta dinner.  I hope the kids enjoyed it half as much as I did– I’ll remember that burst of creativity and losing ourselves in cooking and creativity rather than thinking about the other C-word- for a few moments at least.

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky to spend some time with my friend Kristen, her hubby Brett and their beautiful Margot in San Francisco.  Again, pasta was on the menu.  We all sat down at the table to make it, and then entertained another family with our pasta dish.  A family meal- spending time together for a couple of blissful hours- celebrating old friendships and creating new ones.  Making pasta was the centerpiece of a great dinner!

Yesterday, my friend and old neighbor Megan (who is on the verge of 14) visited.  We decided to make impromptu bow tie pasta for lunch.  We hung out, chatted, made and ate lunch together, reminisced about the old days- when Meg was 3 or 4, just tiny- and she joined me in my kitchen next door to cook.  At first, she’d watch and help a little, back in the day.  I had a kids cooking set and she’d use the small spoons, bowls, and cookware to make her mini versions of what I was doing.  Eventually we graduated to homemade noodles, one of her favorite foods, and she still remembers those early sloppy attempts even now, some years later.  We created long lasting memories over pasta.

Ah, the joys of sharing kitchens and food.  I love it.  Nothing says caring more than cooking.

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