I think I’m starting to find the balance in my new schedule, however today’s quest threw another monkey wrench into my plans. Today was one of those days that didn’t give you much to work with in regards to celebration. It was National Pencil Day, National I Am in Control Day and National Doctors Day, but all those are not easy things to celebrate. I actually had my annual physical scheduled for today which would have been a perfect way to celebrate Doctors Day, but I had to cancel my appointment because of my schedule change. Had I gone to my appointment today, I think that if I showed up with cookies and balloons for my doctor, it would have made the ol’ “turn your head and cough” portion of the program even more awkward than it already is. I wonder if she’d let me Instagram that? When I headed into work, I saw that it was National Take a Walk in the Park Day, so that’s where I kind of landed in regards to how I could celebrate the day. I even asked Lola if she wanted to meet me after I got out so we could stroll through the local park. That was the plan, but then after my shift, things started to change. It was sunny out, but it wasn’t particularly warm. In fact it was chilly. We were both tired too. The final straw was that there are no real parks in Portsmouth. There’s Patriot’s Park, but that’s not very big and is more of a historical marker than an actual walk through park. There’s The Glenn, but as far as I know, they are not set up for walking trails, etc. We were going to head to Colt State Park in Bristol, but it was late in the day so the gate to the park would likely be closed. It seemed like taking a walk in the park was not going to be a walk in the park. In the end, we decided to skip the walk so, after feeling like I finally got a hold on my new schedule, I suddenly found myself at 7 pm with nothing to celebrate.
In these moments, I look to what things are being celebrated during the month so I checked the list and it turns out that March is National Noodle Month. That I could do. I had celebrated National Noodle Day back in October and on that day, I made a noodle soup and also made some ramen for dinner. For today, I looked at what we had in stock and we had a box of Angel Hair pasta just waiting to be cooked. Angel Hair is perfect for noodle day because it gives you those long strands that you think of when you hear the word noodles. To go with it, I had some jarred sauce in the fridge, but I also had some chili that I had bought at Clements the other day. Perfect! I would make chili spaghetti (well, chili angel hair).
Putting chili on spaghetti is a Cincinnati thing that we learned as part of the education that Food Network has given us. While actual Cincinnati Chili is actually made with a meat sauce and not actual chili (it looks similar but there are slight differences), I knew we could just make ours with real chili. We’ve made this before. It usually comes the week we make a big pot of chili and we have nice big bowls of it for two or three days in a row. Then, we get tired of it, so we look for something to mix it up. That’s when we will make spaghetti, put it in a bowl and top with with some heated up chili. Naturally we top it all with cheddar cheese and sour cream too, just like you would chili. The pasta adds another dimension to the whole thing. You still get the meaty and spicy flavor of the chili but along with the starchy soft bites of the pasta. It turns that last portion of chili into something special.
I was excited for this. It’s always one of those surprise favorites of mine. The angel hair cooked up fast and I heated the chili up on the side while it cooked. The chili at Clements is actually pretty good too. Sometimes I will pick some up for Lola when she is looking for soup but they don’t have any other varieties that peak our interest. She likes it, especially on cold winter afternoons. She also likes it on pasta too, so I put our dinners together in no time and it came out looking delicious.
Simple and easy, just like a Noodle Month meal should be. When we usually make this, we normally have it with spaghetti because it’s thicker and holds up well against the chili. The angel hair, which is actually one of my favorite pastas, worked fine. It was a little lighter which made for better eating. I’m not sure if it picked up as much of the flavor from the chili as usual, but I think that also was a factor of the type of chili I used. Adding the cheese and the sour cream adds in some good flavors too with the cheese giving it that creamy boost and the sour cream toning down the heat of the chili. Really, this is always a home run and the perfect thing to make when you want to use up the last of your chili (especially when you are celebrating noodles).
In the end, this day turned out to be a pretty tasty celebration, albeit one that I kind of pulled out of my ass at the last minute. Still, I was pretty excited that we had a whole month dedicated to celebrating the noodle and I’m glad I got my celebration in before the month ran out. We used noodles today in the way that they are so great – cheap, easy and comforting. I reached in to our cabinet and the angel hair was there and it was the perfect answer to our what to eat dilemma. That’s why these kind of foods deserve their days or even months – because they deserve to be honored for what they give us. Noodles bring us joy and let’s not forget that no matter if they come served in soup, in sauce or even chili.
Next Up: National Tater Day