For as long as I can remember, my father has woken up by 6:30am every morning and sat down to one of two breakfasts: 2 pieces of rye toast with butter or a bowl of maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal, accompanied by a strong cup of coffee, black. Sometimes, if he’s feeling saucy, he’ll have half a grapefruit. Now, there may have been mornings where a bialy with cheese appeared, or maybe even a donut, and there was that affair with the South Beach Diet breakfast frittata, but for the most part, my father is a toast and oatmeal kind of guy.
In this sense, I am very much my father’s daughter. That’s not to say that I won’t try new things; in fact, I enjoy new flavors and dishes very much. However, if I find something I like, there’s a good chance it will stick around for a while. I am a creature of habit.
In the summer, I wake up every morning to a bowl of Greek yogurt, lightly sweetened and flavored with cinnamon. Sometimes, there will be some cereal or fruit mixed in, but the yogurt is always the same. When the weather cools down, yogurt gives way to warm oatmeal, still sweetened and cinnamon-y delicious, now with the addition of vanilla bean and a splash of milk.
I drink my coffee the same way every day. I prefer to drink it out of the same mug, the one with the A on it from Fishs Eddy on Park Avenue. (Have you been here? It is the greatest store in the world.) The coffee must be hot, and I will only use skim milk. Anything else makes my coffee taste like butter. Butter is good on toast or a baked potato, not in coffee.
In the winter, Sunday dinners are for roast chicken. Sometimes, I think it might be nice to make a pork loin, or maybe even a steak, but in the end, it’s always chicken. Greg and I will sit down to a great Sunday feast, and the leftovers will make excellent sandwiches and salads for weekday lunches. I make my chicken the same way every week: nestled on a thick bed of onions and seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Remind me to give you my recipe for roast chicken one day. It is fantastic. Roast chicken is the best thing about Sundays.
I ate the exact same dinner 4 nights last week. Spaghetti squash, topped with homemade tomato sauce and parmesan cheese, with some tofu or white beans thrown in for protein. It was a busy work week, Greg wasn’t home one night, I was lazy, and it was just good. It was healthy, it was what I wanted, and that was fine.
So I leave you with something I wish I would have learned before the 4th night of this dinner: how to microwave a spaghetti squash. Prior to this useful bit of knowledge, I roasted the suckers, and it took forever. Now, I have been enlightened, and I’m happy to share my squash-nuking techniques with the rest of you. After all, I’ll probably eat this again very soon.
Take your clean spaghettie squash (approx. 3 lbs.) and pierce the skin in several places with a sharp paring knife. This allows the steam to escape while it is becoming delicious.
Microwave on High for 10-12 minutes, or until the skin gives slightly when touched.
If you haven’t poked it sufficiently with the knife, this will happen. You don’t want to clean this up, so be generous with your poking.
Let the squash stand about 5 minutes, or until it is cool enough to touch.
Slice in half, remove the seeds, and then begin the business of removing the flesh from the shell.
And there you have it…Spaghetti Squash for Dummies. Don’t feel bad about eating it (or anything else) several nights in a row. I don’t.