Spaghetti and meatballs.
Oh I thank God all the time that I have my parents and they're around a lot. I could not do without them. For example, this evening. Between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. I needed to supervise homework-accomplishing, get Alex some new shoes, and make dinner. That's like nothing! Totally doable! I didn't even have to do the soccer-practice run tonight!
But then, Eli's toe. Oh dear Eli's toe. Poor baby dropped a Stanley "FATMAX" industrial-strength tape measure on his own poor toe sometime this afternoon.
(Seriously, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.? FATMAX? That's honestly the best your branding people could come up with?)
His toe, it was okay with ice on it but then he tried to run and it hurt too much and he sat down on the floor and cried. He put his blankie over it and wouldn't let me see it. He flinched when I touched it. He asked his grandma to kiss it to make it feel better so she kissed it and asked if it felt better and Eli said yes but you could tell it did not.
While I figured out what we should do, my mother made meatballs.
I did not want to go to the ER. In my experience, when a person has a broken toe, the ER doctor looks at it and goes, "yeah, it's broken" and then tapes it to its neighbor toe and then you have to pay $300. Not Worth It in the extreme. My mom agreed. Our pediatrician's office, open for a crucial four more minutes, confirmed that unless the toe turned interesting shades of black, tape would take care of it (tape and a stiff shoe! Who knew?).
While I taped the one toe to the other toe, my mother busily browned meatballs and Italian sausages.
Then my mom and I took Alex to get shoes, Josh went to practice, and my dad stayed with the newly-taped and feeling-much-better Eli. ("I think his toe feels better," my dad remarked when we returned. "It's pretty hard to make him sit down." Tell me about it, Dad. Tell me about it.)
See? I couldn't manage without my parents.
We got back from the shoe store in time to make a quick tomato sauce. It's not as good as one that simmers for several hours, but it's pretty good anyway.
Quick tomato sauce
One can good-quality whole roma tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbsp. minced garlic, more if you like
1 medium onion, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
Browned meatballs or Italian sausages, or a combination (optional)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Put the tomatoes in a pot, squeezing them through your hands until they're pretty well squashed up. Add the remaining ingredients except the butter and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or longer if you have it. Remove from the heat, remove the onion pieces, and stir in the butter. Tonight, I also added a large bunch of oregano and basil from the garden, removing it before serving. I have made the sauce without any herbs and it's just as good.