Junk Drawer Days
Saturdays are a unique kind of day. We look all week, Monday through Friday, to that day we can ignore alarms and pray the dogs sleep in, or the kids entertain themselves as we linger an hour or two longer with our dreams.
As we slip from our beds, the reality is, this day of luxurious rest will be filled with errands, shopping, soccer games, dance lessons, cleaning, washing and meal making. Saturdays have not changed that much since my childhood or that of my children. Even in retirement, Saturday’s seem to be that, ” junk drawer day.”
We start out on Monday planning a rest filled weekend ahead and by Friday we find that we have managed once again to only make a “junk drawer” of our Saturday. All those little nagging jobs we didn’t get to on Tuesday, we moved to do on Saturday. Wednesday’s rain kept us from stopping and getting that extra gallon of milk, we’ll do that on Saturday! Not picking up the dry cleaning on Thursday was an oversight, not to worry, we’ll get on Saturday! Friday is a given, to rush home and decompress. What ever we needed to do or meant to do, we’ll do it Saturday!
I remember chasing all around town with mom, as she picked up extra food for Sunday dinner. Stopping at the cleaners to pick up and drop off. Early Saturday baths with hair washing and curling for Sunday church. Often there would be a pot on the stove simmering with a delectable scent filling the house. It wasn’t a pot filled with left overs, but a delicacy each household member looked forward to on Saturdays, especially in the fall and winter months.
Mom worked her magic with a bit of ground meat, tomatoes, a veggie and pasta. Usually macaroni. We began to call it our Special Saturday Satisfying Supper! A pot of goulash fit for royalty!
With hair wrapped in torn strips of rags, to make the “banana curls” mom liked me to have and clean jammies, we would enjoy our dinner and talk of plans for next weekend when we would not have so much running to do and perhaps have time for just fun things!
With fresh linen on the beds, mom would tuck me in and turn on our radio for me to listen to as I drifted off to sleep. I heard her cleaning the kitchen, which included her mopping the floor before she would allow herself a well deserved hot bath and a time to rest. Mixed with the scents of the fresh bed linens and the freshly mopped floors was the lingering delightful smells of mom’s goulash. We had such wonderful “junk drawer” days that I prayed they would never end.
Every time I make mom’s special Saturday supper I know our special “junk drawer days” have not ended and never will! We are only human and we all have a junk drawer or two somewhere!
Recipe for mom’s Special Saturday Satisfying Supper:
1 – pound ground meat
1 – yellow onion diced
1 – green pepper diced
2 – cloves garlic minced
Small container of white mushrooms, cut up
1 − 141/2 or 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 − 4 oz can of tomato paste
1 – cup frozen corn or vegetable of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 – beef bouillon cubes
A pinch of sugar to taste
2 – cups dry pasta (macaroni, shells, twists) Cook pasta according to directions.
While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet brown the ground meat. Drain off excess grease. Return to meat to skillet add onions, peppers and garlic. Allow onions to become opaque and pepper slightly soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add can tomatoes, undrained and tomato paste. Mix well. Add bouillon cubes and about a 1/2 cup of water. Stir. Add mushrooms, stir and season with salt. Add cooked pasta, stir well. Cover and turn burner to a low simmer. Simmer about 20 minutes. You can add more water if you want your sauce to be thinner. Taste sauce and if too tomatoey add about 1/8 teaspoon of sugar to cut the tomato taste.
Serve with a nice salad and fresh crusty bread. I always have enough to freeze for a second meal during the week.
Enjoy this hearty filling and satisfying meal any day of the week and continue to plan for those wonderful weekends. Enjoy your “junk drawer” days too!