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Lasagna is just spaghetti-flavored cake

October 18, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Next weekend is National Lasagna Day. Lasagna triggers many emotions in me; I'm more attached to it than Garfield, the cat, I think.

Tomorrow, it is 29 years since my mother left the earthly life for the next one. I'm dealing with it fine after this long, but how appropriate that it's on the cusp of National Lasagna Day that we mark her last day on earth and that we embark on our lasagna challenge.

My mother's lasagna was the talk of the town, and she regularly hosted fabulous dinner parties, progressive dinners, costume dinner parties and cookouts to entertain my parents' friends. The times she served her lasagna, it seemed like all the adults were at least 40 percent happier than usual.

Unfortunately, no one I have asked has admitted to having her recipe. It's possible she never wrote it down and wouldn't give it to anyone. It's not even that it was so fancy:?she used ground beef and cottage cheese and Ragu from a jar. I?never have figured out what her secret was.

In the process of highly scientific and definitely messy experiments in my kitchens over the years to replicate it, I might have made mine better. It's not better than the way I felt when I ate hers, but I?think that's the way with nostalgic food. It won't ever be as good as mom's or grandma's because you'll never feel the way you did when you ate it with her.

I've gone crazy, adding Italian sausage, and at various times fresh minced vegetables, fresh pressed garlic, and a ridiculous amount of various shredded cheese, all mixed in a bowl with ricotta and sometimes cottage cheese, too. I add water to the marinara sauce so I don't have to boil the noodles, because when?I try to lift them out of the boiling water with tongs, well that's a steaming hot mess no one needs to see.

They say it's unhealthy to tie food with feelings, because the habit of emotional eating can lead to problems. I guess I've found that to be true. My particular booty has not developed without a lot of pain, striving, and hard work.

This is actually a rework of a column from last year. I?tied lasagna to my play, "The Feast of Jovi Bono,"?because we'd just received a grant to put it on. And we did, in March. If you missed it, despite the lacks in time, helpers, and money, it was marvelous, and I?can't be more thankful to those who made it possible, especially the actors and crew.

Someday when it's not so hot, I?will try to bring my lasagna to the next level.



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