Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me every. single. time….?
Obviously I’m talking about trying to lick sugar that I’ve just boiled into a golden amber creamy caramelly oblivion off of a wooden spoon. And saying to myself, “Oh! It can’t be that hot.”
Really. It can.
All 5000 times that I’ve done it. It can.
So now that I have blisters where my taste buds used to be…
…and am all hyperactive from the caramel I proceeded to successfully eat (taste buds be damned!).
Let’s talk about pasta!
Do you ever have nights where you just want to go home and get.it.done.
Cook dinner in less than ninety minutes. Watch five too many episodes of Whitney. And go to bed early so you can run 10 miles in the morning.
I had one of those on Friday! And so I made this pasta. Not only did it only take me 45 minutes (which means it will take a normal person at most twenty), but it had flavors coming at me from every angle – briny olives, toasted pine nuts, sweet plump raisins, salty capers, and so many shades of green leafy entities that I was beside myself with glee.
I am really sad I ate the last of it for lunch yesterday. Not only because it was delicious…but also because given the current state of my tongue…this flavor explosion in a bowl is probably the only thing I had even a prayer of being able to taste today.
I almost left my long run up to chance this weekend. You can do that with a shorter run, just throw it into your day on a whim. But 10 miles? 10 miles requires preparation. It requires you to eat the perfect breakfast, get the perfect night’s sleep, do each and every one of your tried and true stretches before heading out. It requires you to not go out with your roommate the night before. It requires you to not say “I’ll wait until Sunday, when the weather will be nicer even though I’ll have had a jam-packed Saturday full of standing and beer and pizza and a boy.” It requires a whole 24 hours of dedication.
And even then, with all these things done to perfection, something can go wrong.
Or not. Sometimes everything can go right.
The weather, which was supposed to be rain rain rain and cold cold cold might really just be misty and balmy and actually quite perfect (especially when you’re decked out in completely waterproof running gear). Your legs might feel better than they have since the half marathon you ran three weeks ago. You might come out of that 10 miles thinking, “damn. I could have run 3.1 more.”
Which…is a good thing considering that in a week and a half you will be running 3.1 more. I’ve jam-packed my spring with half marathons which means that training will be my life until June…when I have to start marathon training. So really. It will just be my life. Period.
But if we’re being honest. I thrive off of it. It gives me something to strive for. A goal.
I kind of love being able to say “sorry, I can’t. I have to run.” Even though it may be onerous and inconvenient at times. While I’m out there, in a zone, doing it. It’s worth it.
I’m pretty sure the same goes for any kind of exercise or hobby or thing that you’re passionate about (how often do I say “sorry, I can’t. I have to blog.” Often.) Moral of the story being, I think. It might take effort and energy and sacrifice and dedication. But you should always make time for the things you love. Always.
Pasta with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts and Raisins
Serves 4, adapted from Ottolenghi via Vegetarian Times April/May 2012
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 large tomato, chopped (1/2 lb)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 large green olives, pitted and sliced
- 1 tbsp capers, drained
- 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 8 oz whole wheat pasta
- 11 oz mixed greens (I used a blend from Whole Foods with kale, collards, mustard greens, spinach and swiss chard)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for at least 5 minutes or until raisins are tender and plump. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and saute for about 2 minutes or until starting to brown. Add the tomato, sugar, and salt to the pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the olives, capers, white wine vinegar, and raisins. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water. About three minutes before it’s done, add in the greens. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Add the pasta and greens back to the pot and stir in the sauce. Add in the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. Stir in the pasta water, a tbsp at a time, if the pasta looks dry. Season with salt and black pepper.