Every now and then when I look at my boys, I have one of those moments. My heart aches, my eyes gather pools and there is a thick sadness in my throat. They are growing fast. The oldest only has two more years at home and that thought panics me. I feel like I want them to live with me forever.
Down the street, there is an empty nest. My friend there is still working to cover college expenses but there are no stinky socks to pick up and no extra mouths around the dinner table. “Aren’t you terribly lonely?” I ask. “No,” she replies confidently and then goes on to explain how ready she was for her children to strike out on their own paths.
Nature is a remarkable conductor. Adolescence comes on in order to challenge those very things that have been the foundation for the home. This must occur in order for teens to become adults. Just as a three year old waivers continuously between yes and no in order to learn decision making, the adolescent takes issue with the parents and the lifestyle that they’ve grown up in. It’s what caused my friend to be ready for her children to venture onward. Yet, she admits, she can hardly wait for college holidays when they are home – opening soda cans, staying up late and playing loud music.
I felt a bit the same way this week when I opened my CSA bag. Ah, spaghetti squash – you are home again. Yes, I recall at the end of last season that I couldn’t wait to be done with you. Yet here I sat, holding your smooth firm yellow self and instantly began dreaming up ways to put you on my plate. That’s the issue with eating seasonally. We greet what is new and enjoy and explore and then when it comes on like a rush of teenage rap music, we work through it and can’t wait for it to be done.
Spaghetti squash is a terrific way to lighten up your summer menu. It has a little bit of a lot of different nutrients and is very low in calories.
Simple Spaghetti Squash
- 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
- 1 Tbs olive oil or olive oil spray
- 2 cups favorite pasta sauce
- crushed red peppers
- grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 395. Slice the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds from the center. Oil or spray the inside and place the two halves face down on a deep cookie sheet or baking pan. Place in the oven. After about 10 minutes, add 1 cup of water to the pan. Let it bake for 30 minutes and remove from oven. Cool it for several minutes until the halves are easy to hold. Alternatively, if it is too hot to turn on your oven, you can cook your squash in the microwave.
Scoop the “spaghetti” from the squash rinds into a large bowl. At this point, you can dress the entire batch or you can place into bowls and offer up various toppings. Romanelli’s Spaghetti sauce is really good. While not from scratch, they are a locally owned Italian deli here and I find their chunky marinara perfect over spaghetti squash. Since it’s summer, you likely have zucchini on hand. Whip up a sauce or a pesto as a topper. Try it with butter and various spices such as coriander and cumin. Want it Greek style? Top with chopped Greek oregano, crumbled feta and kalamata olives. Treat it as though it were pasta.
Do you feel like nature prepares you well for the next stage?