Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Talking 'Bout My Generation


To the dismay of my 14-year-old-son, it turns out that Facebook is chockfull of 40-something moms.  Bummer.  For him.  The way I see it, FB was practically  invented for us.

Think about it.  Kids FB to communicate with the very same people they see all day long.  Adults, on the other hand, FB to keep up with scarcely seen friends, co-workers, former neighbors, old classmates, and your 6th grade boyfriend from Harborview Middle School, who along with you, was named "Most Likely To Succeed."  Hah.  Go ahead and toss that crystal ball in the trash.  But back to the story at hand.

As much as I embrace the idea of letter-writing, if my out-of-town family ever got a handwritten note from me, hand-delivered by the US Postal Service, they'd understandably expect the worst -- either I was communicating from beyond the grave or sending a request for ongoing financial support.  Neither bodes well for me.  Facebook is a far better means of reaching out and touching them -- if not as lucrative.

Facebook isn't the only takeover target for us acquisitive middle-aged moms.  Years ago, our kids claimed Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen, so I have no qualms about embracing Coldplay, Maroon 5 and Five For Fighting.  And you know, I don't think (lead singers) Chris Martin or Adam Levine mind one bit.  Who do you suppose can better afford their concert tickets -- me or my babysitting kids?  True, as childcare providers, the kids earn ridiculous money, but it's an easy win for me.  They can't drive.

And how about blue jeans?  I truly felt for dear Jessica Simpson when she wore those absurd high-waisted jeans.  Anyone from the Fort Johnson High School graduating class of 1980 could have told her that even the bendiest pipecleaner of a girl would find those things unflattering, uncomfortable and just plain stupid-looking. Why do you suppose we moms practically stampeded to buy the low-rider jeans of today's generation?  We couldn't wear our maternity jeans (with their comfy, stretchy, jersey front panels) forever.  Low-rider jeans are the new "mom" jeans.  Leave those silly high-waisted things to the young and ahem, visually- or at least, fashion-impaired.

Sure, the younger generation fights back.  I hear that there's a renewed interest in some of the more budget-minded food we ate growing up.  They can have it.  But I've got to ask, why resort to canned cream of mushroom soup, when you can make a version of tuna and noodles that could be voted most likely to succeed any night of the week?

Not Your Mama's Tuna and Noodles

3/4 pound angel hair pasta, broken into 3" - 4" pieces and cooked al dente
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (maybe more)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 cans tuna, packed in oil (not drained)
1 small can black olives, drained and sliced
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 lemon, juiced and zested
red pepper flakes
handful of parsley, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 - 1 cup of chicken broth

After noodles have cooked, drain well.  Heat olive oil in hot pan, saute chopped onion until soft and stir in garlic until fragrant.  When onion and garlic are soft, stir in tuna (undrained) olives, capers and lemon zest.  Heat through, and gently stir in hot, drained pasta.  Season with red pepper flakes, parsley, salt and pepper.  Stir in reserved lemon juice, and enough chicken broth so that pasta is loose.  Serve carefully, making sure everyone gets plenty of the "good stuff" left at the bottom of the pan.
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