Did you miss me?
OK, time for true confessions. I've been off being lazy and partying all through Mardi Gras and the parties that followed. It all started with the bo-bo finger and just slid into all out sloth. But, hey, it's LENT and now I'm back! Time to fess up and get back on the 'straight and narrow' (whatever the heck that means).
So, last Sunday was one of the great events of the year in my family: the Old Metairie St. Patrick's Day parade. We used to ride in it when I was a child with our great friends (might as well be cousins) the McGregor family. My dad, Red Brennan, and my parran, Mr. Mac, would lead the party which usually resulted in my Dad rolling on the floor - literally - of our homemade float and all of us "rolling on the floor" laughing. Great times.
My parents also used to have a great St. Patrick's Day party, here at the house in which I live - in which The Brennan family lived. There would be plenty of booze and food and live Irish music by 'Nick Benninati & The Leprechauns.' Picture Louis Prima singing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." Capiche?
So, Friday, we're throwing a big "St. Patty meets St. Joseph" party over here. It works out because Friday is actually the day AFTER St. Patrick's and the day BEFORE St. Joseph's. It really works because Italian food is much tastier than Irish. Oatmeal or Lasagna - you decide.
Actually, I was going to do Shepherd's Pie for the party but then my husband pointed out that it's a Friday in Lent so, no meat. Nevermind. So, I'm going to make my Mamma's Baked Spaghetti, a nice green salad, garlic bread and cheese pizza for the kids. Everybody eats well, and nobody has to go to confession.
Mamma's Baked Spaghetti
1 pound of boiled spaghetti
Milk (or cream if you want to be decadent)
grated cheddar cheese
My mom would make this with leftover spaghetti and it was awesome. It's great on its own with a veggie or as a side dish to something like sliced roast beef with rich brown gravy or anything in red sauce. Anyway, take a large oven-proof casserole (9x12 at least), spray with cooking spray. Now put the spaghetti in and spread it out evenly. In a bowl, crack the eggs and add milk to double the egg volume. In other words, same amount of milk as your eggs. Whisk that all together. Now add your seasonings. My mom kept it simple with salt and lots of pepper (the way I like it!). I always add a pinch or two of nutmeg - not enough to really taste but enough to give it depth. You can also add your favorite seasoning blend and/or herbs. Dill would be delicious! Whisk again. Now pour that all over your spaghetti till it's almost to the top but leave some room to put a layer of cheese. First, take a spoon and make little holes here and there throughout the dish and 'poke' some cheese down in those so you get cheese throughout. Finally top the whole thing off with another layer of grated cheese over the top. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes - checking it once around 30 minutes. You want the custard to be 'set' but not dried out.
So our party's on the 18th of March - smack in the middle of St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) and St. Joseph's Day (March 19th). It's no wonder Irish and Italians party together so much! And it's a good match: we've got the drinking thing covered and they've got the food.
We'll think of you all on Friday night: The McConnells, The Brennans and The McGregors - when we're singing along with Bing Crosby or Louis Prima, dressed in our finest shamrocks with a glass of green beer in one hand and red wine in the other!
Questions? Comments? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pray for the people of Japan.