Lo’s Kitchen: When Love (read: Lasagna) Wins.

July 23, 2012

I was feeling lethargic and irritable today, and not up to grappling with fractions and the lack of comprehension that continues to pervade my cooking classes. This meant going basic.

Lasagna was a shoo-in. Economical, easy, and reasonably edible in even its bare bones state. I chose the cheapest sauce, the cheapest noodles, and…ricotta and generic white cheese (because there isn’t much selection here and it’s all expensive). I didn’t even buy spinach or ground beef.

As I walked home, arms full of grocery bags, I was hit with a twinge of guilt. Lasagna was so boring, it was borderline embarrassing, and with such mediocre quality ingredients, it would be less than inspiring even if I was trying to stay within budget. I could already picture the blog title–“Lo’s Kitchen: Lasag…SNORE.”

Visions of the frozen variety and all the ways other versions have gone wrong passed through my mind. I broke out in a cold sweat. I hoped the kids wouldn’t stone me. I felt the bottom lip of my standards quiver (because you know, last week’s hot dogs wrapped in pre-made empanada wrappers really ranked up there), but since the ingredients had been purchased, there was no room for turnaround. After all, we were still making it from scratch. That had to count for something…right?

I don’t think I will ever cease to be amazed by the food that emerges as the ultimate crowd pleasers in these workshops. Just as the kids LOVED the mind-numbingly simple Pigs in a Blanket, they also showed similar starstruck awe over the layered pasta dish. It was like a hazy spell had been cast over them.

After I recovered from my own shock that none of them, in fact, had ever consumed lasagna, we forged on. As I demonstrated how to layer the different elements, they, unusually docile when normally argumentative, gushed about the simplicity and were effusive in their praise.

“Omg, it smells even better than the guy I have a crush on!” one girl enthused.

Ah, yes, the magic of lasagna was all coming back to me now. Romance at its finest. I can only aspire to the day B compares my beautimous scent to Italian food…

On second thought, one of my favorite food memories of all time is sitting across from B in a cozy, warmly lit ristorante on a chilly evening in Rome, and watching the waiter place bubbling clay vessels in front of us. They turned out to be the best lasagnas ever to pass through our mouths. Still to this day, I salivate reminiscing on that romantic, delicious night.

Maybe the kids were on to something, recognizing a good thing when they see it.

When love (read: lasagna) wins.

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