Y'all are about to get an eyeful of angry, 'cause I'm about to rant.
Not about cups or climate change or who is leading the polls, but about something truly near and dear to my heart.
I have written on this blog before about my love for lasagna. More specifically, my mother's lasagna. My mother makes dense, delicious, cheesy, meaty, saucy lasagna with love straight from the heart. When I slice into my mother's thick, hearty lasagna, I feel just about overwhelmed with tantalizing smells and happy thoughts. When I take a bite of this home made delight, I think of how loved I felt as a child. This meal needs no supplements; no Parmesan cheese or sprinkle of salt to boost the flavor, it's a culinary delight all on it's own. (Garlic bread is a permissible side. Salad is alright, too).
It's because of my experience with and love of my mother's lasagna that I hold all other lasagnas to a very high standard. I've tasted some lasagnas that were almost as good. I've tasted some that were good in their own way. Most, however, fall miserably short of my lasagna standards. The platter of which I shall now describe to you, dear reader, falls into the last category.
(Reader discretion is advised: I'm not gonna pull any punches.)
My mom was kind and considerate enough to pick up a take-and-bake-type lasagna from a place she happened to drive by yesterday and bring it to me. I have eaten dishes form this place before, and they were rather good, so I accepted her kind gift with a truly appreciative "thank you". Also, it was a lasagna; a meal that I have been jonesing for for quite some time now. From the very get-go, however, I had about me my usual wariness of strange lasagna.
A visual inspection of the dish appeared adequate. Plenty of sauce, a healthy sprinkling of mozzarella cheese on top, and I saw some meat peeking through in places, which meant that is wasn't one of those shady veggie lasagnas. (A travesty before God and man, whoever invented the meatless lasagna hated life and happiness). Feeling optimistic, I prepped the oven and baked the pasta.
Then it all went wrong.
Y'all, I nearly cried.
I glared at my plate. I dug around, hoping to find a redeeming quality in this abomination of my childhood dinnertime fave. I gagged at at the thought of accidentally taking a caper and artichoke-riddled bite of lasagna. I scowled as I declared the whole meal a travesty to my husband, and then I stormed to the kitchen and glared even more at the remaining pasta.
How DARE you get my hopes up like that, you wretched dish, and then dash them so completely! Sausage? Capers? Artichoke hearts?? I've had my lasagna with venison. I've had some with cottage cheese instead of ricotta. I realize there are ways to alter the traditional lineup of meat, noodles, and cheese that does not destroy the integrity of the meal. But this...this was unacceptable and churlish.
Okay, I think I feel a little better. If Stephan doesn't want to finish this...this..."meal", then I guess the dogs can have it.
Mother, if you're reading this, I appreciate you and your lasagna. Thank you for all the lasagnas you've made for your family. Thank you for passing on your recipe to me. I pledge to work at perfecting my lasagna platters until they reach your lasagna's level of deliciousness.
If you're reading this and you enjoy your lasagna with artichokes and capers in it, we can still be friends. We just won't eat lasagna together, and all will be fine.