Sunday, June 21, 2020

Ina's Lemon Spaghetti {102 Days Inside My House and Counting...}

Today marks 102 days inside my house. I hung in there with the first 90 or so and I am not ashamed to say I am coming undone. 

I cannot handle the TV, the phone, or dealing with leaving the house. The new normal? That's a big no thank you for me. It makes me feel a million different ways, none of them good.

I am thankful I'm able to stay home. Trust me, I'm not taking it for granted. However, I'm also worried about my job and the kids from school. Will we have school in the fall? How are my students doing during the protests and riots? How do they feel about everything going on? Are they ok? Have they lost anyone to Covid-19? Can we do school safely? Will the kids wear their masks? How can I keep them apart? Will we get corona regardless? Will I lose someone I love? What if school is only online? How can I do online better? Nothing but anxiety. Massive anxiety.

I'm starting to feel hopelessly restless, completely unable to devote my attention to any one thing for very long. Is the whole world on fire? It sure feels like it. 

Even cooking, something I feel passionate about, is no longer enjoyable. A handful of ingredients is all I can be bothered to deal with. 

Pasta, butter, lemons, salt and pepper and maybe some basil (Mom would be screaming at me that the basil needs a haircut so basil is a great addition here). You can do this! Does this recipe have way too much butter? Yes! Can you cut it in half? Sure. Did I? No. Did I maybe wish I did? Yes, but that's ok. Pour off whatever butter you don't need for the pasta and save it for another day.

This is delicious. This is rich. This is fresh with the lemon and the basil. This is comforting. This is easy. This is summer indulgence at it's best. This speaks to me. I can do this.

Burying your head in the sand or watch the news. Join a protest or don't join a protest. Go to work or enjoy unemployment. Wear a mask or don't wear a mask. Enjoy the new normal or stay in. Gain weight or lose weight. Do your house projects or ignore them. Read a book or watch TV. Laugh your head off or sit and cry. Share your feelings or keep them to yourself. Say your prayers or send good wishes. Do a little bit of both or do none of them. However you chose to deal with 2020, do it. Do it apologetically. When we come out of this, we will all be stronger. I am anxiously awaiting that day.

Lemon Spaghetti
Recipe Adapted from Food Network
by Ina Garten
Makes 6 servings

salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
zest and juice of 2 large lemons
1 lemon for garnish
basil, for garnish, if using*

Add two tablespoons of salt to a large pot of boiling water. Add the pasta and cook just short of package directions (it will finish cooking in the butter sauce). 

Meanwhile, heat a large 12" skillet, add the butter, and heat until the butter is melted. Add the zest and juice of the lemons. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste, and swirl the pan to combine.

As soon as the pasta is cooked, lift the pasta out of the water with tongs, allowing some of the pasta water to drain back into the pot, and add all the pasta to the sauce. Cook for one minute, adding pasta water to the sauce with a ladle just enough to keep the pasta moist. (I'm a little confused about these directions as 2 sticks of butter keeps the pasta overly moist -in fact it could do with a little less - so use caution with the amount of water you add as you don't want it to get to watery).

Transfer the pasta to a serving platter or individual plates and garnish with more lemon zest, salt and pepper, basil, and maybe a little squeeze of lemon juice on the top. Serve hot.


  1. It's hard to be sheltered in place for months while the world is raging out of control, at least that's how it feels at times. We're all anxiously waiting for that day to come. We're in it together! Meanwhile, stay strong, be well and keep on bringing your fine dishes. Nothing is better in a pasta than butter, basil and lemon.

  2. Girl, SAME. I'm having a lot of similar feels. My husband goes back to work (2 days/week) this week and I'll have to start back mostly like usual July's a lot. Pasta definitely helps!

  3. I know how you feel, the new normal terifies me, even though I am a stay at home mom I worry about how school is going to be , public transport and a health care worker for a husband. So far here in my country the numbers are coming down but is it really gone is the question? will it ever go. online classes is driving me and the kids crazy. hOpe things are ok where you are.
    Spagetti looks good by the way . Simple and easy is the way to go these days

  4. It is certainly a very different world out there. I retired in December, big plans to get the RV out and see the country, visit our son in Omaha. Visit the western states as we always had a dream to move out of Florida. Nope.

    I get what you mean about the world splintering at the seams. If you'd given me the news headlines and a glimpse of the world today back say, 15 years ago, I'd have thought it was a sci-fi novel. We use masks and shop for food early in the mornings, and much fewer times than we used to to shop. Then we stay home.

    Ok, I have to say this pasta dish has my attention as it looks like one I could whip up with the pantry items. Comfort food at its best. Hang in there, Kim!


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