Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Dappy Day

I promised.

I got all pensive and ponderous on those last two posts and and now I'm going to make up for it with the previously pledged clown car and a list of happy things.

Things that make me happy:

1. This clown car.  Except for Sinister Clown in the driver's seat.  I think he has parked on the foot of Hitchhiker Clown.  Look at their eyes.  Their eyes!  

2. Watching Cujo spin his dish for food:

3. Making Tuna Spaghetti:

I know.  It doesn't sound very attractive, but it is and it's easy.  A spouse can do it.  (Just kidding.  Really.  Well-meant joshing, is all.)  And you can probably find the ingredients in your pantry and in a big old herb pot out on the deck. 

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup olive oil but I wouldn't use that much olive oil even if I were serving ... olive oil. 


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Still quite a bit, but it is part of the sauce.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
1 sprig oregano (strip leaves from stem and chop fine.  In my world a little oregano goes a long way.)
3 1/2 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes. (Cut to the chase.  I used two 28 oz cans of good plum tomatoes (San Marzano), liquid sadly discarded; tomatoes chopped.  We have never in my recollection used fresh tomatoes.  Peeled?  Really?  No.  And yes, I know the boiling water trick.)
2  7oz cans water-packed tuna, drained and squished in the can by can opener-ing all the way around and then holding the can under cold running water and pressing the loose lid down into the can and squishing it back and forth until the tuna is rinsed, dried and subdued.  Everybody knows this trick.  But if you didn't it would make you happy to know.  I am happy to know it.  Then flake the tuna.  Flake it up.

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper.  (It adds a surprising amount of spice.  So follow your instincts.  I like spicy.  I used a little more...)

1 pound of spaghetti, linguine, etc. prepared according to package directions.  We were fortunate to have Ohio Pasta's fabuloso fettuccine which cooked in about 4 minutes even from frozen. 

Parmesan cheese, the best you can find and afford, to sprinkle on when done.


Warm up the oil over medium heat.  Throw the garlic in and watch it like a hawk until you can smell it and it starts to color. Do not let it brown.  And especially do not let it burn. This will take 1 minute at the outside.  Jump the gun.  You'll thank me.

Assuming you have your mis in its place, and I suggest you do, throw in all the ingredients right up to but not including the pasta.  Stir around.  Bring to boil.  Reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 15 or so minutes until slightly thickened.  (Figure that this recipe starts out pretty much ready to eat, don't be paranoid about timing.  You'll know when it's ready because it looks and smells delicious.) 

Put the pasta in individual bowls.  Plop on the sauce.   Grate on some cheese.

A salad and some nice bread would be nice but not compulsory,  Serves four. 

4.  Eating Tuna Spaghetti

5.  Having it be summer, such that the above-mentioned herb pot outside the kitchen door is full of fresh herbs.

6.  Reading Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novels at the rate of about one every 2-3 minutes.  I must have read some or all at some point but I don't remember any except  Death on the Nile because of the movie.   (SPOILER ALERT:  everybody did it.)  I always thought Miss Marple is this sweet little old lady.  That's what the people in the books often think.  I and they?  Wrong.  And wrong.

7. Thinking about putting my third, and most comatose, novel up for sale on Kindle.  Thus being my own *&^%^& agent and publisher.  I figure this is a fool's errand because any sentence that ends, "what have I got to lose?" usually signals: "about as much as the nothing you have to gain, you duffus.  This is one of those something-for-nothing traps."  But really, with poor, handsome, daring John Pritchard just languishing in an electronic drawer, and me having moved in what I consider a more marketable and more fun for me direction, what have I got to lose?  Plus, it's something new to blog about and you can learn from my experience.

8.  The new desktop video program that Billy found for me.  Right now there's a ferris wheel going around behind this post.  I hear calliope music and children laughting.  How delightfully dumb is that?  Soon there will be a beach.  And sandpipers pecking along at the bottom of my screen.  It's magic. 

9.  Meeting a bunch of ladies from my book group to see Eat Pray Love at the movies.  This afternoon.  A matinee.  The possibility of eating popcorn.  Praying for popcorn.  Loving popcorn.  And enjoying those ladies a lot.  The movie?  We'll have to see....

10.  Icy Hot.  When I rub it on my neck, my neck feels happy.  And I can keep sitting here at the laptop even though I suspect the laptop (or possibly the ferris wheel) as having caused the pain in my neck to begin with.  Ah.  Look.  A coral reef.  Much more neck restful.

11.  That in spite of it being overcast and my neck hurting, and no agent yet, and a number of other things less than perfect on this day, I could easily come up with 10 happy things.

Your turn.  


  1. I can attest that a spouse can make tuna spaghetti (even if we used fresh Ohio City linguini). We used 1/3 cup olive oil not the measly 1/4 Ann suggests in her post.


  2. As much as I enjoy (fresh) tuna spaghetti, I'm more enticed by item #7.

    Start the book in blogs -- you and your character, living The Lake E thing, that only you know so well.

    Use your Artist Way (yours not Julie Cameron's)to find a way for John Pritchard (?) to live and breathe.