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So January was a wash. I spent as much of it as I possibly could curled up in bed. I slept like a champion sleeper. I dragged my laptop into the blanket nest and worked on film festival stuff there. I read books in bed. I watched Netflix while working with yarn in bed. I looked at blogs in bed. I snuggled down with Man Cub and watched an entire season of Bob’s Burgers.*  I got intimate with a friend’s (really good) poetry manuscript while wrapped in my orange quilt. Mostly, I got out of bed to handle emergencies involving heating oil** and houshold chores, to play WoW, to go to yoga on Thursdays,*** to grocery shop, and to cook dinner.

But it’s February (white rabbits, white rabbits!) and I’m ready to emerge. I started out the month right yesterday with a delightful breakfast with the afformentioned author friend, and then off to run an assortment of errands. Today I’m going to spend some quality time binding books. February is looking up.

But what I really want to talk about is sauce. Did I mention that I spent a bunch of time in bed reading blogs? One of my favorites is Smitten Kitchen. I’m prone to go fangirl over Deb Perelman – I’ve served her recipes at the family Thanksgiving table for the last three years and it’s gone brilliantly, and her cookbook  is outstanding. Which is the only reason I attempted a sauce that I avoided because every description of it looked like clickbait.****

For serious – this sauce claims to be Something Very Special while being created from the mundane. A can of tomatoes, some butter, and an onion. There is no garlic, there is no basil, there is no stock or glug of red wine, nor is there any olive oil. You don’t even dice the onion. WTF. But Deb Perelman praised it, and that got my attention. She doesn’t publish clunkers.

And I have a new red pot. A Dutch oven, to be specific, but it’s a heavy-bottomed pot (emphasis on heavy – cast iron don’t fuck around, y’all) – Will Dearest gifted me with it after seeing me get wistful over a Le Creuset display last December. So curiosity piqued and red pot in hands, I went to it.

Holy. Carp. Something magical happened in the pot. So I made it again, this time with another brand of tomatoes. Slightly different, but again, freaking magic. When we went shopping yesterday, I bought no less than three cans of tomatoes and three boxes of pasta. The next two weeks hold serious promise. Here’s the scoop.

Three Ingredient Pasta Sauce – will feed four comfortably
(from Tomato Sauce With Onion and Butter on smittenkitchen.com)

1 28-oz can of whole plum tomatoes
5 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, halved

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So December by us is such a flurry full of celebratory business as to make the whole thing nearly overwhelming – actually, it starts in November, with the full family Thanksgiving and my family in town, and doesn’t really slow down until a few weeks into January, but let’s just concentrate on what’s going on by us in this fine month*:

Man Cub and I have birthdays, then Skipper Jane’s comes up. Hanukkah, Christmas, then Will Dearest’s birthday. Then right there, BOOM it’s New Year’s Eve. It’s a good thing I like cake,** I’ll tell ya. It’s a little zooey, and I joke that we hemorrhage money, but I try to take it one piece at a time, and it generally works out.  I’ve finally finished shopping for Hanukkah and the birthdays, and the Hanukkah stuff is wrapped, with just the rest of the Christmas stuff to pick up and wrap, and I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m even a little bit in the spirit of things \o/

Tonight we will sit down to a traditional Hanukkah meal*** of that pasta I made last week that was so yummy, and we’ll light candles and trade presents, and it will be lovely.

Which is to say, A Very Happy Hanukkah (or just a Very Lovely Evening if you’re not celebrating) from our family to you and yours ♥

Also, the Maccabeats have a new video out for the holiday!

(more videos under the cut)

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Have you seen the new Anthony Bourdain show on the Travel Channel yet? It’s called The Layover, and we at No. 208 have totes been enjoying the heck out of it. The premise is that Mr. Bourdain is in a city, ostensibly on layover for twenty-four-ish* hours, and he takes the audience to the places that one can go check out in that amount of time, dropping travel tips along the way. It’s pretty cool (and also, now I would like to live in Singapore at some point**).

So the last week was the show on Rome, and at the end there, he’s eating this pasta dish that looked pretty great, and which I neglected to write down the name of when I heard it. He did, tho’, mention what was in it, and much to my delight, it didn’t sound at all complicated.

I bought some fettuccine and some good cheese.*** I had the rest of what goes in it in the pantry already, and so was game to give this a shot.

OMFG. Dinner. Was. Amazing. Here’s how it went down:

The Approximate Pasta Dish We Saw Anthony Bourdain Eatserves 4

1# fettuccine
4 Tbsp salted butter
4 Tbsp raw sesame seeds
black pepper
Enough finely shredded fresh parmesan for each bowl to get a little heap

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todays

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