Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cheesy Baked Penne Rigati, Chemo Style

I keep thinking any day now I'll be able to write again about the fluff and funny stuff, any day now I'll add "lightness" for you faithful instead of "weight," making you people work so hard thinking about your life.  Not much of that material just yet, 4 days after chemo.  Maybe by the weekend if you can hang in till then, I'll come up with somethin

When you have a few hours reprieve feeling good you get all cocky and think yeah baby, I'm home free.  Remember the ice cream and cakey cake song?  You start singing that and do the Pee Wee Herman dance.  You get all excited and you start thinking about making a big fat baked penne rigati.  Nothing like Italian comfort food when you need major comfort.  You start pulling out pots and pans like a fiend; you get the bolognese sauce bubbling and spitting, the big pot of salted pasta water steaming, talking and rolling and you are in this sacred space in your kitchen thinking life is good.  You rip open that bag of penne rigati and just about to pour it in when...

Holy crap, I'm gonna be sick.

Go Robin.  Run upstairs and get Mommy's magic bag of tricks.  Remember Felix the Cat?  I have the pink breast cancer edition.  Hurry Boy.  That boy can scramble up the staircase and into my room like lickety split, grab that bag and hurdle the stairs like an Olympian on the way down.

I sit down.  Zip open my bag.  When in hell did I start taking so many different medicines?

No, not that one, no not that, not that one or that one and not this preparation H.  Ah, here it is.

I pop my magic.  Swallow.  Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

I get up slowly, throw the pasta in the boiling water, give it a good stir and sit my seasick maiden's ass back down.

Deep deep breathing really helps when you feel your diaphragm pressing on your lungs, and your stomach morphing inside your solar plexus, growing a claw that reaches up your esophagus and into your throat to gag you just so you are clear "we mean business bitch."

The magic pill and the deep breathing and the desire for baked pasta of any kind allows you to get up, stir your pasta and cook until al dente.

When your pasta is done, you drain it, not all the water, leave some dripping and throw all of it into your bolognese pot.  Fold and stir, then take your container of ricotta cheese and start folding that in.  Incorporate most of it but cheesy ricotta lumps are fine.

Get out your casserole dish, pour all that meaty creamy saucy penne in, then get your fresh mozzarella and grope it, arranging chunks of it all over the top of your pasta.

Oh baby.

While the penne is baking, you wipe the sweat off your brow, put your feet up, have a popsicle if you need it and wait.  Wait for the casserole to cook and the nausea to subside, whichever comes first.

After the pasta is all bubbly and the cheese is soft and melted, I like to broil it just a bit to give some great color to the top and then she's a done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When you feel better, then you can eat.  M-m-m yummo.  A whole new meaning to comfort food.


I'd like to see Bobby Flay with a chemo port and Rachael Ray with a bald head cook like that and try to throw me down.

Bring it on.  California girls are a lot tougher than you ever thought baby.


Now clean your plate.

1 comment:

The Bandit said...

Dear Kissin' Cousin,
I am in! I just finished reading all of your blog entries! You continue to be an inspiration to me. You are one amazing person! All of us here in San Diego are rootin' for ya! Hugs and Kisses from the Bandit!

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