Lorraine Rice's Journey In Life
Food for the soul
The weather outside is cold, snowy and inside I am wrapped up in a cocoon of blankets on the couch. It is that time of year when I start to feel that bit lower about myself and life.
I try to motivate and stay mentally well, but it is a challenge. Thought's of my Mam often pop up, and I remember how she was at this point in her final months. By the start of Dec 2003, she was very much terminal, having gotten experimental treatment and gone to alternative spiritual healers, she was despondant by the month of December. She had lost so much weight, her skin was paper thin and pale and every smile was being forced through an array of physical and no doubt emotional pain, I cannot even being to imagine.
It is at times when I feel her loss more, that I dig deep to try and cling to something that will pick me up and drag me over the slump. So, to feed myself and feed my soul, I am going to cook something that always helped to comfort.
Some dishes my Mam used to make, like her sausage, ham and onion quiche, goulash (Hungarian beef cassorole) or coddle (traditional Dublin dish - sausages, rashers, potatoe, onion, carrot stew), all take too long to prepare and cook.
So, I will go to the basics of her repetoire and make pasta and egg. It sounds so simple, because it really is.
Pasta and Egg Receipe:
Dry Spagetti (40 grams per serving)
2-3 eggs per person
1 onion chopped finely
1 rasher cut into small pieces
Salt/ ground pepper
Butter and oil to cook
Cook enough spagetti for yourself and whoever is eating. (approx 40 grams uncooked per person).Bring a pot of water to the boil, then gently holding the pasta, allow it to soften into the pot - this means you dont break it, and will have long stands of pasta. (Mind your hands, dont get burnt ;-)
It will take about 10-12 minuntes to cook the pasta to a soft, but textured consistancy. When cooked, empty into a colander and drain off water.
While pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the meal.
Chop up a small onion (2 or 3 if for more people), put some Olive oil into frying pan, and put in the onion to fry slowly, stirring ever 30 seconds.
Cut up the rasher (1 per person), and pushing all of the onion to the side of pan, put in the rasher, and cook till pieces are crisp. Should take 2-3 minutes, stir frequently.
In the pot that held the pasta - put in a dollop of real butter (Kerry Gold) and allow it to melt in the pot. Throw the cooked, drained off pasta back into the pot and coat as best as you can with the melted butter.
In a bowl, break the eggs, and whisk with a fork. Grind in 3 grams of black pepper and a small pinch of salt. Mix together.
Lower the heat under the pan, and pot and put the eggs in on top of the pasta, stirring continuously with a spoon. The egg should coat the pasta, and turn into a scrambled like substance on it. It should be like bread crumbs on the pasta. Use the spoon to make sure pasta doesnt stick to the pot.
Once egg is cooked, and the pasta looks coated (there should be no sign of uncooked egg), but due to the butter, there will be a glossy shine, put the onion and rasher into the pot.
Mix all together, then serve immediately, on preheated plates or in bowls.
Pasta and egg, a dish my Mam used to make for us when life got low. It would pick us up. Now whenever I eat it, it reminds me of her and brings comfort and warmth to my soul.