Beth Siegalkoff

Who doesn’t love lasagna? That’s correct, you guessed it – today is National Lasagna Day.

A versatile and delicious dish and, in the earlier years, made of layers of pasta or noodles, vegetables and sauce. Then came along a more modern version of lasagna originating in Naples, Italy - a one-pot dish made with layers of pasta, sauce and cheese was added. Many theories exist on how lasagna became one of the traditional dishes of Italy. According to one theory, lasagna came to Italy by way of Greece. The word lasagna is close to the Greek word lasana, which means a trivet for a pot. Another theory suggests the dish owes its origins to an English dish called Loseyn.

Wherever lasagna originated, however, it is clear that the addition of tomato sauce to the dish did not occur until the late 1500s. It was only after Christopher Columbus reached America in 1492 that tomatoes were introduced to Europe.

My family recipe for lasagna changes every time someone makes one. Be sure to use a large baking dish: start with a layer of sauce. The sauce can be made with tomato sauce, tomato paste, or canned diced tomato (whatever you find in the pantry, add seasonings, mushrooms (optional) and a chopped onion to taste, or a couple of jars of your favorite premade sauce works too) and any leftover meat in the refrigerator (salami, pepperoni, ham, ground meat, etc.). Next, a layer of large flat noodle pasta that sometimes gets broken up into smaller pieces so it is easier to serve, another layer of sauce, a layer of cheese, mainly mozzarella, then again, any bits of leftover cheese gets added, and last, but not least, if you like garlic, add a layer of garlic powder over the sauce and then layer it all again, and top it off with lots of cheese. Bake it in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees.

Of course, I will admit that, if there are no lasagna noodles in the pantry, I will use frozen raviolis. Yes, raviolis, the cheese and spinach are the best. I got the idea from a big-box store in our area. It is easy and fast to make and it tastes really yummy. Add a tomato, cucumber and onion salad, and a loaf of garlic bread and you are all set for a delicious meal.

Are you hungry yet? Me too! I would say invite some friends to join you, but maybe another time when social distancing isn’t an issue.

This Friday, Don and I will be celebrating our 51st wedding anniversary. We were very blessed to celebrate our 50th with our family last year. It just goes to show, always celebrate the good times when they come along, or something else may take away opportunities – like a pandemic! Happy Anniversary, Honey Bunny!

Recipe of the day – Buffalo Wings; Flowers of the day – Angel Trumpets

There are 149 shopping days until Christmas. Where did the days go? We have been so concerned about self-isolating, masks, social distancing, our students’ distance learning and everything else that goes along with COVID that it has interrupted our lives and the shopping days have zoomed by. Yes, I meant to write zoomed. If you have been working from home on a computer, you know what I am talking about! Or have you been using the time at home to do that shopping online and, let me guess – you are done! Yes, that’s what I thought; you have been procrastinating just like the rest of us. It may be time to start making those preliminary lists.

There are no dates to remember since start dates for when schools were to be open may change.

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.