Making lasagna is hard. Or it might be that I am too dumb to make lasagna. Every time—every time—I boil the wrong amount of noodles. In this instance, I am not exaggerating at all. EVERY SINGLE TIME. 8x8, 9x13—doesn’t matter. I will not do it right.
See what goes on? Odd noodle cutting and arranging.
Then the layering part always messes with my head. This, this, this, repeat. I always—always—screw it up. Maybe it’s the “repeat” directive. Why can’t they just write it all out again? We live in the digital age—how much effort would it take to copy and paste? It’s not as though some poor monk in a hair-shirt has to write it out longhand with quill and ink by candlelight. The problem with lasagna is that it steers a little too closely to mathishness. And I do not do math—proud hater since 3rd grade.
I can’t even write out a lasagna recipe for someone. I make a few really good lasagnas (such as roasted butternut squash lasagna) and when people request the recipe, I sort of gloss over the how many noodles to boil part and the how the hell you layer it part. I just leave it up to them, as if to indicate even a monkey could figure out those parts—I won’t bore you with the details. But truthfully, I’m simply incapable of figuring it out to tell them.
I had a really good idea about lasagna recently—I call it the “whatever’s beginning to rot in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator lasagna.” Dice up whatever that might be (I happened to have lots of peppers, eggplant and zucchini) and throw in some diced onion, toss it all with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until tender and browned. Pour in some sauce (homemade or jarred) and use that as the filling with the usual stuff, like ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. Boil some noodles (you know how many, right?) and layer it all up (or have a monkey do it). If you have a ton of this veggie filling after you roast it all up, dump half into a zippy bag and freeze. Then some night when you totally don’t feel like cooking, you have the fixin’s for whatever’s beginning to rot in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator lasagna! Brilliant!
Is that not the most unappealing food photo you’ve ever seen?
Even with the bag folded over ever-so-jauntily.
But enough about math and monkeys and disgusting looking baggies of food.
How is NaNoWriMo going? Very well, thanks for asking! I am right on target. This is my 4th year and I am almost never ahead with my word count. I am the sort of person who possesses the best intentions in terms of getting ahead of the game and then consistently working right up against deadlines and only to the extent that I must. So, I write almost exactly 1,667 words every NaNo day. What is the novel about, you ask? A large cast of women characters—archetypes of sorts—who experience the gamut of female experience. It’s sort of a group interrelated short stories, but I think it will be more complex than that in the end. Intrigued? (You know you are!)
Well, you’ll have to sit tight on this one. First drafts are almost always some degree of crap or another. But I think I am getting better at novel-writing and this one won’t require 43 years of editing. At any rate, it’s easier than lasagna. Which is really hard.