Do it for the birds

I set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier so that I can get up and feed the wild life.

“You know” my mother in law said to me “if you don’t feed them, they’ll starve.”

And so at 6:30, I feel around for my slippers and my sweater, dig through last night’s paper in the cupboard to find the bird food underneath, open the back door to my Arctic Garden and walk out to dump a day’s rations on the platform that sits at the top of my fence for the sparrow and starling brutes. For a second course I go all the way to the back with Fruit and Vegetable mele for the more timid cardinals and even though I have always worn a hat that says “Squirrels Get Out” what am I going to do, not feed them when there’s nothing to eat? I save them crusts and Ferdinand’s left over oatmeal.

Yesterday we ate like the farmers we aspire to when we sleep.

Rigatoni w/cavolo nero (black cabbage), slivered garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme and parsley with a side of sausage and a glass of red wine. It’s a bit like having the earth for lunch but it will keep you going until snack time.

Cook the pasta (8 oz) until al dente, saving some of the cooking water after straining. Meanwhile, pull most of the stems from a bunch of cavolo, cut roughly and braise in a pan of simmering water w/a garlic clove, a sprig of parsley and a drizzle of super good olive oil. If you were feeling overworked you could always cook the cavolo in the same water as the pasta. In a saute pan, add a drizzle of your super duper olive oil, 3 slivered cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of thyme and a few of parsley (no chopping needed.) Move this around over a low medium heat until the edges of the garlic begin to go golden. Add a few red pepper flakes. This is not meant to be rushed, so don’t rush it. Grate your best parmesan. When the pasta is drained, add along with the cavolo to the saute pan; make a clear spot and add about a 1/4 cup of the cooking water, the parm and another good drizzle of olive oil to combine. Toss with the rest of the pasta and taste for salt, pepper and parm.
Serve with any good sausage worth having on your plate.

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