Covered-Dish Supper

Covered-dish supper: (n) meal to which guests contribute food, as casseroles.

 When I was nineteen years old I had no job, but I had a music group.

It was constantly brought to my attention that I could have a job and still sing and play with my combo on weekends.

I did not favor that idea.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I thought the only way to be a professional musician was to insist it was your profession, long before your bank account confirmed it. Money was infrequent and when it arrived, we were so hungry for it that often we blew it on a desire rather than what the bills might require.

Because music groups were plentiful in that time, no one wanted to offer hard, cold cash for playing songs—even if it stimulated great enthusiasm, joy and clapping. What was offered—and may I say, even touted by a sponsor desiring to schedule our musical abilities—was a covered-dish supper.

In other words, after we got done singing, we would go down into the basement of the church and eat the food that had been brought by the concert attendees for just such an occasion.

Certain dishes were pretty well guaranteed:

There was always fried chicken (even if you were sure it came out of a bucket instead of a frying pan.)

Macaroni and potato salads were plentiful.

Someone always experimented with a rice dish, putting in some teriyaki sauce to give it “flare.”

Brownies, cakes of all sorts, pies, garlic bread, four or five concoctions with spaghetti, and once in a while some grilled hot dogs or hamburgers would appear.

By the time we got done singing, we were hungry. Also, we were starved because during the week we had not necessarily been able to procure grocery money to satisfy our growling innards.

So we learned two very important procedures:

First of all, you get more food when you compliment the food. If we found out who cooked what, we could center our appreciation in on that person and pretty soon they would bring their pot over and dump the contents onto our plates to “make sure we got our share.”

The second thing we put into practice, which took some trial and error, was to ask the smallest (and usually feminine) member of our band to walk over and chat with the ladies, asking for recipes. Well, these fine women looked at the dainty, somewhat underfed waif of a girl and loaded her down—not only with index cards containing the ingredients for their delicacies, but also boxes of leftover everything.

So even though nobody ever gave us money, we walked out of covered dish suppers with full bellies and enough food to last for two or three days thereafter.

Now, some people might think this is a terrible way to live, and I certainly can appreciate their point of view.

But I, for one, think it is quite charming to have a remembrance in my life when I literally did live hand to mouth.

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Colander

Colander: (n) a perforated bowl used to strain off liquid

The key is in finding the secret.

For instance, the secret to good lasagna is the cheese blend.

The secret to good pizza is a toss-up between the crust and the sweetness of the sauce.

The secret to good sex is to make sure the woman has an orgasm before the man pursues his.

The secret to spirituality is to read less, be more.

The secret to politics is to tell the truth.

Which brings me to the secret for spaghetti. (You may not see any particular clarity in the path I’ve taken, but here we are.)

The secret to spaghetti is the colander.

Some would insist it is the texture–preferring al dente–but spaghetti can have perfect texture, but still cling to too much water, making the sauce ineffective.

The colander allows you to shake off the extra moisture, which puts the spaghetti on your plate drier and more able to make love with the cheese and tomatoes. Anybody who has ever tried to make spaghetti without a colander always finds that at the bottom of the pan is a whole bunch of liquid that hangs around to steal the taste.

Sometimes I wish I could be thrown into a colander and shaken around–just to get rid of all the extra meaningless residue. Of course, I would never fit into a colander, and the shaking would probably kill me.

So I shall not do that. I promise.

 

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Bowl

Bowl: (n) a round, deep dish or basin used for food or liquid.

“Just give me a small bowl of ice cream.”Dictionary B

I’ve said that many times.

Or maybe it was a small bowl of spaghetti, popcorn, candy or some other notorious treat.

My friends understand what I mean by a small bowl. It isn’t one of those little three-finger types that you use for mints at a party, yet it’s not one of those huge Tupperware varieties occasionally employed for displaying fruit.

Even in the realm of cereal bowls, there’s quite a variety of renditions:

  • There’s the cereal bowl suited for a small child
  • The teenager
  • And then me

Yes–my bowl somewhat follows the Goldilocks Theory–it has to be “just right.”

Yet you have to be able to call it a “small bowl” even if it’s very large, so to those listening, you appear to be temperate of the highly caloric treat, so they can testify on your behalf later on when the scales of poundage groan their disagreement.

After all…you just had a small bowl.

 

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Al dente

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Al dente: (adj) cooked so as to be still firm when bitten.

Even though I am not the type of individual to pursue conspiracy theories, I have to admit that occasionally there is great evidence of a conspiracy at work.

For you see, the minute I find something I deeply enjoy in life, it is only a short passage in time before it is revealed to me that this particular delight is going to kill me.

Perhaps it’s the only way God could ever get human beings off the earth–by creating pleasures that provide temporary satisfaction with terminal results leading to eternal life. Otherwise, we would hang around, indulging forever, and never be good dinosaurs, making our way to the tar pits of … in this case, carbohydrates. Yes:.

  • Spaghetti.
  • Fettucine.
  • And noodles of all types …

Are best eaten al dente.

Otherwise, they look and even taste like they’re waterlogged little swimmers, cast onto the side of the pool, gasping for air, requiring resuscitation.

Yet, as you probably know, the more you cook spaghetti, the healthier it is–and the less you cook it, the better it tastes, but the more insidious killer carbs remain.

It’s hard to believe this is not a conspiracy.

I sometimes wonder if the Creative Genius would have made sugars, salts and flours healthy if the end result would have been happier people, more contented, willing to sit down and listen to truth until sleep overtook them from their sugar high.

But it is a fact of life–a reality of our existence. So here’s what I do.

I don’t eat spaghetti very often, but when I do, I walk on the wild side: al dente.