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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Spaghetti Supper....

Spaghetti Supper

Okay, I think itís about time that you learn to cook! We will start with something easy and fun Ė spaghetti! It is impossible to eat a food as silly as spaghetti without a smile. It is something that anyone can fix quickly and also makes a great meal for unexpected company. You only need three ingredients to make spaghetti: noodles, sauce, and ground beef. Some people leave the meat out, but what kind of meal is that?

We will start by cooking the noodles. Use your largest pot so it wonít boil over during cooking. Here is a trick Iíve learned for cooking long spaghetti. First, bring the water to a boil. Then insert the spaghetti noodles and let them soften on one end to wind them around in the pot and avoid breaking them in half. You are on the way to being a gourmet chef already.

Next, unwrap the hamburger. I hope you bought the lean beef or you will end up with a big pan of grease. Crumble the meat into a hot skillet and brown it. Drain off all the extra grease. Oh no, you got the cheap hamburger, didnít you? Look at all that grease! NO! Donít drain it in the sink! Too lateÖ Well, maybe it wonít clog the drain.

Okay, now open the jar of spaghetti sauce and add it to the browned meat. Turn the heat on low and let it simmer. Some people make their own spaghetti sauce, but that is definitely too advanced for a beginner. I canít imagine why anyone would want to spend hours making spaghetti sauce anyhow when we have Ragu.

By now the noodles should be about done. The only way to know for sure is to remove one and test it. It should be tender, but not mushy. They are all stuck together? Havenít you been stirring them? Well, try to get that blob separated. Next time use a little olive oil in the water and it will help with this problem. At least we used the big pot and they didnít boil over, well, at least not much. We can clean it up later.

Remove the glob of noodles and place them in a colander to drain. What do you mean, what is a colander? It looks like a bowl with holes in it. You donít have one? Great! Well, drain the water off the best you can. Maybe the boiling water will help unclog the grease in the drain.

Rinse the noodles in hot water. Why do you have to rinse them when they are already wet? It gets rid of the extra starch. Donít argue with me! Just rinse the noodles and drain them. You will never learn to cook at this rate!

Okay, we need to make a decision at this point. Do we want to serve the sauce over the spaghetti or do we want to stir them together before serving? I like to stir them together as it gives the noodles a chance to absorb some of the sauce. Also, it will give the noodles a chance to finish cooking since you didnít let them get quite done.

What is that smell? The spaghetti sauce! I told you to turn it on low! LOW! Donít you know that tomato sauce burns easily? I donít know about you, but Iím about feed up with this mess. Cooking class is closed. While I go take the battery out of the smoke alarm, throw that lump of noodles in the garbage disposal and letís get out of here! Does the Olive Garden take reservations?


Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

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