Last night, I made what I like to call "A Lazy Dinner".
It consisted of a box of Rigatoni noodles, a jar of store bought pasta sauce and a thrown together salad.
The only thing that was homemade was the green-goddess dressing, that we ate not only on the salad, but by the spoonful, too.
So gross, I know...
To me, when you have pasta of any kind, you have to serve salad alongside it.
My best friend, Alissa, would disagree.
When Alissa and I were young, we worked at a bank drive-through together. When we weren't cashing checks, making deposits, or hand-rolling sacks of coin, we talked aimlessly about all the things 18 year old girls talk about. You learn a lot about a person when you work side-by-side with them every single day, and I absolutely adored having her next to me.
Alissa is my complete opposite in so many ways.
For instance, I am a flip-flop girl, but I have never seen Alissa in anything other than beautiful high-heels. Her make-up is always stunning and her nails are always perfectly manicured. She has that golden, tan skin that every girl would kill for, and if she weren't so darn awesome, I would probably be insanely jealous of her.
My favorite thing about Alissa, though, isn't her stunning good looks. It's making her laugh until she cries. She'll daintily dab away the tears that are threatening to cause her mascara to run while her whole body shakes with laughter.
Sitting in that drive-through, night after night, not only offered Alissa and I the chance to talk about our favorite shade of nail polish and our favorite favorite 90's T.V show, we also talked about our families. Even then, long before I ever had a kitchen of my very own to cook in, I was fascinated by the meals that families ate together.
I cannot remember how it came about, (I would like to think it was the nightly phone calls we each made to our mothers asking what was for dinner) but somehow, in that tiny drive-through, Alissa mentioned to me that when her family ate spaghetti for dinner, they always had green beans as a side.
I sat stunned.
Then I started to laugh.
"Green beans with spaghetti?
Salad goes with spaghetti! (Maybe garlic bread!!)
But beans? That are green?
No, no, no..."
To this day, we still joke about the green beans.
I don't see Alissa nearly as much as I would like, in fact, instead of our nightly conversations, we only get the chance to talk every few months. In the years that have passed, there have been deaths, marriages, and babies born. Needless to say, a lot has changed in our lives.
But sometimes, out of the blue, I will get a text from her saying, "I'm making spaghetti tonight!", and I will smile because I know that hundreds of miles away, green beans are being served on her table, too.
Green Goddess Dressing Recipe
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves
1 Tb anchovy paste
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup parsley
1 Tb fresh tarragon
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Whiz everything together in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate for an hour before use!