I got the ultimate compliment from my oldest child. He came home from work at around 9:30, sat down with a plate of leftover dinner, and during his third bite, asked me, "Did you make this?"
When I said, "Yes," he replied, "Mmm. It's really good."
Should I have said, "No, son, I bought it in Little Italy, came home, warmed it in on the stove to mess up a skillet, tossed it into a casserole dish to mess up another dish, and served it on dinner plates to make even more work"? Of course I made it!
But all I said was "thank you."
I'm sorry, my kneejerk reply was just a bit sarcastic, wasn't it? I am only saying that some people just need to learn how to give straight-out, honest-to-goodness, right-handed compliments.
I was really pleased, though, that he even said something. Often I have to suffice myself with knowing my family members have wolfed down the first plate and gone back for seconds. I'm sure I spend too much time wanting to be thanked, too much energy hoping for compliments from my crew, and too much self-pity when neither happens. I should have been really, really training them in gratitude when they were little.
Anyway, the recipe was my own, and I call it Mediterranean Mojo.
Before I forget, I'll jot it here for myself:
1 pound frozen bacon, put in hot skillet on low (covered) to thaw it (cuz I didn't have a choice)
1 bag baby spinach, rinsed
5 fillets of pollack (Aldi's bag) ...tilapia would work, too
prepared Mediterranean Mojo seasoning mix (got at BB's for 10 cents) I used only 1/2 of it
1/2 red onion, chopped
crumbled gorgonzola (blue) cheese or feta
1 pound penne pasta
Saute onion with bacon. When nearly crisp, remove bacon (reserving grease for later flavoring) to medium sized casserole dish.
Boil water for pasta.
Make up whole seasoning packet of Mojo, but only use half to start with. Pour Mojo mixture into skillet and top with fillets. Cover and steam about 3 minutes, then put spinach on top of fish. Steam both 2 more minutes. When fish is flaky, break it up in skillet, add other stuff back in. Cook till bacon's crisp. Toss in a handful of gorgonzola. (Easy does it.)
Meanwhile, cook pasta.
Taste the concoction. If needed, use some of that yummy bacon grease or a bit more of the Mojo you reserved or a pinch of cheese.
Drain pasta. Put in casserole dish. Serve to a hungry--really, really hungry--family and wait for the compliments! (Or pray God changes your heart not to serve for any recognition. You know, like me.)