When I was a kid I had absolutely no interest in being a Girl Scout. I didn't know what they did, except every now and then, they'd show up at school in their uniforms and apparently they sold cookies, though I don't think my folks ever bought any. (I made up for this in college by buying and consuming an entire childhood's worth of Thin Mints every year on the first day of sales. This was how I learned that eating an entire childhood's worth of mint extract makes my tummy feel funny. And by "funny" of course, I mean "rolling around on the bed moaning in agony while still shoving Thin Mints in my face." This may or may not have helped solidify my complete lack of excitement about Girl Scouts.) But anyway, what I really wanted to be was a Boy Scout.
My brother was a Cub Scout for about 30 seconds when we were kids. He
went to a few meetings, made a pinewood derby car, we went to a Jamboree
one year, and I think that was pretty much it for him. But we got
Boy's Life for years and years and I loved them. There was some kind of
comic about a burro and I'm pretty sure Boy's Life is where I learned
how to install insulation. You know... Like you do.
One of my greatest hopes for my boys is that they would want to join
the scouts when they were old enough and last week we went to my son's
very first meeting. He is beside himself. My little one is a grumbling
ball of jealousy. Fortunately, the second meeting he attended was the Blue and Gold Banquet which is for families.
My youngest was amazed by the theatrics, my eldest mostly wanted to run
around like a monkey with all his new friends, while I was mostly
sitting there bursting my goshdarn buttons.
Our den's offering for the banquet was spaghetti and seeing as how it was my son's very first one and how it was only our second meeting and how I was so goshdarn proud and all, I decided to make homemade sauce.
Blue and Gold Pasta Sauce
22 Roma tomatoes
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion (about 12 oz), chopped roughly
8 oz small sweet peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch rings (about 2 1/2 C)
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 C mixed olive tapenade (opt)
2 Tbs tomato paste
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 C sliced, frozen artichoke hearts (still frozen)
4 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp thyme
Cut X's in the bottoms of tomatoes and broil until skins begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can touch them. Remove peels and set tomatoes aside. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. Cook onion until slightly brown and softening, then add peppers and mushrooms. Cook until soft. Make a small well in the middle of the veggies and add garlic to the dry pan, heat until scent blooms and stir in. Stir in tomatoes and olives. Cook until tomatoes have softened, about an hour. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste and artichoke hearts. Heat a little more until hearts have warmed up. Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs. Makes enough to coat 1 16oz bag of pasta well.
My youngest, aka Mr. Idonlikeit, ate three helpings of this pasta at the banquet and hasn't turned his nose up at leftovers, either. When I was making it, I ate a solid cup of it with a fork before I even got the pasta ready. This stuff is serious, ya'll.