What You Can Learn While Making Lasagna

In honor of Friday the 13th, I posted the word PARASKEVIDEKATRIAPHOBIA at the entrance to the kitchen. A mash-up of Greek words, it refers to a little-known phobia, fear of Friday the 13th. When Thanos asked if we were going to watch the slasher movie and began giggling like Jason, I knew it was time to start the Lasagna lesson.

Everything went smoothly for about five minutes. Then, somewhere between browning Italian sausage and boiling big ribbons of pasta, we began to lose focus. Timo started telling jokes–”Two whales walk into a bar . . . .” Ryan cranked up the volume on the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Ouch! My ears! I begged for the Rolling Stones.

Then our powers of concentration really took a dive. Askani wondered whether she might be allergic to lettuce. Alfie got a call from the game Red Crucible–it wanted him back upstairs. Thanos blurted out that Beethoven was deaf! Or dead. Or both!

Our conversation was cooking! What are the dangers of BPAs in plastic? Can fennel seeds freshen breath? What’s with Mick Jagger looking so old? I hinted at my age, confessing I’d seen Led Zeppelin perform in the 1970s. Ryan told us a little bit about pretzel-making, which he learned in Bonn, Germany, and said he’d heard Bob Dylan sing in Aspen in 2007. Thanos one-upped us all: his uncle has seen The Grateful Dead hundreds of times! Timo finally brought us back to reality–and to food–by saying he was hungry, and wished he had a bite of his Dad’s “mean” grilled cheese sandwich, slathered with peanut butter! At that, I think Askani perked up.

In the end, our Italian dish took care of itself. Delicious, I’m told. But who cares? In my book, the rare combination of hearty laughter, good chemistry and engaging chatter wins out over lasagna any day of the week!

P.S. We really missed Logan, who really loves lasagna!

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