I'm so happy to say goodbye to this past week and more than ready to welcome a new one! Almost every single year I have started to feel sick on the last day of school and ended up with a nasty cold or bronchitis. My guess is that I just got it a bit early, so now I can finish off the school year with confidence, right? Enough talk of plagues and scourges. I'm so much better that I am feeling pretty chipper.
This coming week should be a great one at school. My Popular Literature students have picked their Literature Circle books and had an amazing selection of new YA novels to choose from. They checked them out on Friday, and I suspect that a good 1/3 of them will have them all read by our next class on Tuesday. They really do show me that teens will make time for reading, no matter how busy they are at the time. As with anything, it just depends on what you're wanting to do at the moment.
My other classes are doing projects and presenting them over Les Miserables and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, both books I adore teaching. I'm excited to see what they come up with in their projects and presentations. They always surprise me!
As for the home front, there isn't much to report. Life can be pretty routine, with flashes of grandeur. I think I'm doing the routine thing at the moment, saving up for the grandeur down the line. At the moment, the grandeur comes in the great things I'm reading. This past week I finished To Dance With Kings by Rosalind Baker. I really can't say enough good things about it. The grand, epic nature of the story about Versailles and the families associated with it were just all-encompassing, and I loved every minute of the story. Now it's that slight let down you get when you finish a great book and find yourself searching for the next great read.
Well, enough of all that! Today I finally started to get my taste buds back again, but had a fridge full of produce that was going to go bad if I didn't' cook with it. You don't anticipate getting ill when you buy food for the week, so I really had to figure out a way of utilizing it all before it spoiled. So, I came up with a quick pasta sauce that I could put all the veggies into like a paste. It turned out amazing! It really has a tanginess to it that deepened the flavor of the sauce, so I might be sneaking a load of veggies in again sometime.
1 lb Ground Chicken Sausage
1 1/2 Red Onion
2 Celery Stalks
1/2 C. Chopped Carrots
1 Red Pepper
1 Zucchini, chopped
6 Cloves of Garlic
3 12 oz cans of Crushed Tomatoes
2 C Water or Beef Stock
1 Tbsp. Basil
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1/4 C. sugar (optional)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Begin frying the sausage in a large pot to develop the caramelization on the meat. In the meantime, dice up 1/2 C. of red onion & set aside. In a food processor, blitz together the remaining onion, celery, carrots, red pepper, zucchini, and garlic into a fine paste. Return to the pot, stirring the meat until completely cooked & slightly caramelized. Add the diced onion and cook for several minutes until almost tender. Then add in the paste from the food processor along with the 2 C. of water or beef stock. Add in the remaining tomatoes and spices to the pot, turn down to a low simmer, and let cook for 1-2 hours.
*For more weekend cooking, go to Beth Fish Reads. You'll find all sorts of great food-related posts and recipes!