I generally don’t like to complain, because if you stop and think about it, complaining serves no purpose whatsoever. If you can change something, do it. If you can’t, work around it and move on.
That mindset has worked out quite well for me, until recently. I am faced with a dilemma that I HAVE to complain/vent about, because I can neither fix it nor work around it. My gripe? The school system. Here’s the situation: Sabrina’s graduation ceremony is at 8:00 a.m. on a Thursday. I have to get her to the school by 5:45 a.m., so she can attend the senior breakfast, then the entire class boards a charter bus that will take them to the ceremony site – which happens to be about 25 minutes from the school.
That, however, isn’t where the problem lies.
The problem is that Alexander naturally wants to attend his sister’s ceremony. It’s an epic day in her life and he really wants to be there to commemorate it with her. Side note: The realization that she’s not going to be at the school next year hit him hard about two weeks ago. She has a potential plan to attend college in Indiana, and Alexander was genuinely upset, concerned about her ability to still have dinner with us every night. She just looked at him like he’d fallen out of the sky and said, ” I told you that you’d miss me someday!”
I gritted my teeth and took another sip of wine, because at that moment I realized she might actually move away this summer. Is it too early to start turning her room into an office? I’m kidding, I’m kidding…
Anyway, due to a school district member’s clever planning abilities, the rest of the high school students have final exams scheduled for the day of the graduation. And they thought that was a good idea? Why on earth would they plan the graduation ceremony on a day when the other students have finals that they obviously can’t miss? Why not have the ceremony in the afternoon? Or early evening? The other high schools in the district are scheduled for the following Saturday. How did we get the short end of the straw?
Oh – and one more thing: we (the family) are supposed to be at the ceremony site at 7:30 a.m. Again, no problem. Except that Alexander starts school at 8:45 a.m. Last time I checked, I was unable to be in two places at the same time. So I have to drop him off at 7:00 a.m. in order to make it out to Cedar Park by 7:30 a.m. Ok, I can do that.
Then I made the mistake of saying, out loud, that I was going to go into the school office and see what could be done about having Alexander attend the ceremony. Surely I can’t be the only parent with this complaint? Sabrina put her hand out , looked straight at me, and said, “Mom, stop. Don’t be confrontational.”
Me? Confrontational. I think that’s a compliment.
Cacio e Pepe Pasta Pie – adapted from Food and Wine
I learned a very valuable lesson while making this – don’t judge a recipe by the simplicity of the ingredients. I am probably going to make this again for Sabrina’s graduation dinner – it’s equally delicious hot, or at room temperature.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 6 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- 6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- Butter, for greasing
- marinara sauce, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a pot of boiling water, cook the spaghetti until barely al dente. Drain well.
In a bowl, mix the milk, Parmigiano, eggs, pepper, and 1 1/2 cups each of the Fontina and cheddar. Add the hot pasta, and mix well using two forks or tongs to get everything blended together, and that the pasta has a chance to absorb some of the liquid. Pour into a buttered 9-inch springform pan, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup each of Fontina and cheddar on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the ring, cut the pie into wedges and serve with marinara sauce.