(week of january 6, 2002)

January 11, 2002 • Friday

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January 8, 2002 • Tuesday

I made really good pasta sauce last night. It was so good that I'm going to share the recipe.

This is the master recipe for the sauce (I made a variation) cut and pasted from America's Test Kitchen:

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil
Serves 4

Quick cooking preserves fresh tomato flavor and creates a sauce that is both hearty and brightly flavored. Any type of tomato can be used in this recipe—just make sure to choose the ripest, most flavorful ones available. To peel tomatoes, dunk the cored tomatoes into simmering water for 15 to 30 seconds, transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water, then peel off the skins with your fingers. Short tubular or curly pasta shapes such as penne or fusilli are well suited to this chunky sauce. Alternatively, before adding the basil, the sauce may be pureed in a blender or food processor so it will coat strands of spaghetti or linguine. The recipe can be doubled in a 12-inch skillet.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed with garlic press
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 pound pasta (see note above)

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in medium skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; increase heat to medium-high and cook until liquid given off by tomatoes evaporates and tomato pieces lose their shape to form a chunky sauce, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and salt to taste; cover to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot or soup kettle. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente (refer to package directions; cooking times vary with different shapes). Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water; drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot. Mix in reserved cooking water, sauce, and remaining tablespoon oil; toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

Okay, so the recipe I made adds some anchovies, kalamata olived and capers. All you need to do is mince up 3 anchovy fillets and add then when you put in the garlic. And when you add the basil, add 1 tablespoon of capers, and 8 kalamata olives (chopped). And voila!

Oh, and don't let the peeling the tomatoes thing scare you into not making this. It's really easy to do, and is not time consuming.

January 7, 2002 • Monday

We don't have a dress code at work. It's sort of understood that your work wardrobe consist of outfits somewhere between business suit and old, paint stained clothes you'd only wear on weekends. At least that's how I interpret it.

My wardrobe consists mostly of sweaters and skirts and a pair of nice pants. And shoes with heels. But there is the occasion where I don't feel like wearing heels. Such as today.

The only meeting I had planned on going to was a video conference. Nobody was going to see my feet. So I could wear my low-top converse, and nobody would know the difference. And then, one of those spontaneous, impromptu meetings happened. We have to go over some stock photography photos with this nice, hip, scottish guy (with a very cool accent).

So when A and I go downstairs to meet him, he shakes her hand, and then gets to me and while he's shaking my hand, I swear to god, all he looked at were my shoes. Me and my grubby (but ultra comfy) sneakers. At least I wasn't wearing jeans (they're reserved for Fridays).

I'm pretty much over any embarrassment now. And I figure maybe he'll remember me better because of them...'the girl with the grubby sneakers'.

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