Sunday, April 10, 2011

From Kitty Litter to Moscato to Penne Pasta to a Vow to clean my Refridgerator

I'm not even sure where to begin this post. It all started Friday morning when I cleaned the litter boxes and took the dirty kitty litter out to the compost bin to dump it. At that point I discovered that the compost bin I had cobbled together last summer (heavy emphasis on the cobble) was coming apart and used kitty litter was spilling out all over the place. Yuck!

Undanuted, I set about fixing the bin. This, however, turned out to be easier said than done, so when CatMan called, it took him about 2 seconds to figure out that I was in a grump - how does he always know? Anyhow, he proceeded to tell me that I had built the thing all wrong from the get go - a fact that was clearly obvious, and one I didn't need to be reminded of.

Anyhoo... I fear our little "discussion" didn't do much to help my grumpy mood (nor did the scraped hands and smashed thumb) - and it ended badly Friday night with a run-in with a cheap bottle of Moscato.

Suffice it to say that I felt like crap yesterday. So I headed to the couch to lick my wounds, and commune with my television set and a big bottle of Tylenol. Here I happend upon a show called "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution". I'm sure most of you keep yourselves much less isolated from popular culture than I do, but I was heartened and excited that such a show could exist. Basically, Jamie Oliver is some popular British Chef, and he's on a mission to get people to eat real food as opposed to crap. So this was a reality show featuring his attempt to get the town of Huntington VA (which some government study had labled as the most un-healthy town in the US) to reform its eating habits.

Here's a link to video the of Jamie's TED talk about the show and his project in general: (I tried to embed it, but it didn't seem to work right)

Not being one to engage in moderation, I managed to find all 6 episodes on You Tube and spend the entire day watching Jamie Oliver battle the forces of USDA red tape, American stubbornness, and ignorance as he worked to make people more healthy. And after 6 hours of this, I found it impossible not to want to cook.

Sooo... I headed to the kitchen... I haven't been to the store in several weeks so the pickings were slim, but I decided to give it a go and see what I could come up with. And I created a delicious penne pasta dish with spinach and feta cheese. I was all set to write a wonderful post about how a battle with my compost bin had led me to a delicious meal when....

I began to feel not so good. I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that I think it's not a good idea to use up the half a package of feta cheese in your fridge if it's been sitting there for a month! I think I'm gonna live, but my poor little tummy still hurts, and alas, my wonderful creation is headed for the compost bin itself...

So maybe this is a post about how life leads from compost bin to compost bin? I dunno, but I do know that I'll be cleaning out the refridgerator and going to the grocery store today!

p.s. Here's the recipe - I'd advise using fresh feta though!
1 Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
About 3 ounces of Feta Cheese
About 7 ounces of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (7 ounces uncooked that is)
1 Bunch of fresh spinach
1 Can Black Olives
1 Can Great Northern Beans (or any white bean - Navy, Cannolini, etc.)
Salt, Basil, Thyme & Oregano to taste

Set the pasta to boil, meanwhile sautee the onion, garlic and spices in the olive oil. Smash and then chop the black olives and add to the mixture. Drain and rinse the beans and add them (it would be better to make the beans fresh and to use fresh olives instead of canned if you had been to the grocery store - to say nothing of the feta). Chop the spinach and add it until it's thoroughly wilted.

When pasta is done, drain it and add it as well as the crumbled feta. Mix it all together until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Top with a bit of grated parmesean and serve.


  1. Jamie is my all time favorite! I have some of his cook books!!

    He is doing his second season of the Food Revolution in LA now - well i think it is close to done.. but anyway, look for season 2! I read that the first one plays tomorrow (April 12) in the US. He is doing such a great thing!

    Hope that you get to feeling better! spoiled food is never fun for the tummy!

  2. The recipe sounds great, I especially like the addition of the beans though I'm thinking cannelini. It's a bit weird juxtaposing the recipe against a passage about getting sick -- somehow it makes the recipe less appealing.

  3. Fonda - I can't wait for season 2! Maybe I'll try to watch them one at a time this go 'round though.

    m - I couldn't agree more about the juxtaposition... it wasn't exactly what I had in mind either!

  4. I was looking for this. Thanks a lot.


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