Things I’ve learned upon turning into a 40 year-old man
1. If you have children, everything you did as a child comes back to haunt you amplified times 7.
2. There is no shame in spending a good amount of time in Bath and Body Works searching for a pleasant smelling hand cream. No need to be nonchalant about it; it will make your day better.
3. The grass isn’t greener. It’s a mirage brought on by your terrible thirst.
4. The 1940’s and 1950’s never go out of style. Ever.
5. Many of the “good” people who married young didn’t sow their oats enough when they were young, so they succumbed to #3 and are now either miserable or divorced.
6. Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” sucks in every way and no one should play it ever again.
7. Human nature’s predictable repetition is a beautiful thing. I made it through 1980’s style, so its resurgence is a bottomless source of amusement and laughter for me.
8. Man-scaping is not necessary; it depends on what your partner wants.
9. On the whole, most people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, especially the overly-zealous religious ones.
10. “Violent antipathies are always suspect and betray a secret affinity.” -William Hazlitt
11. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Rush are that good. So is Neil Diamond.
12. Don’t trust farts.
13. Technology is my friend, but I’ve earned that friendship through the years: no garage door opener, no remote, Pong, Atari, cable switch box, 8 track cassettes, cassettes, vinyl, typewriters. I could go on for quite some time here, but if you lived through it, you get it.
14. Making a tape or even a CD for someone was a labor of love and an art form that cannot be replicated now.
15. Punch a bully in the nose once and they’ll usually leave you alone.
16. Check your pockets before throwing them in the washing machine.
17. The difference between pink and purple is your grip.
18. Buy American. They get everything from China.
19. There was only one Johnny Carson. Alas.
20. Making a light meatless pasta doesn’t emasculate me; it makes me even sexier and more worldly.
#20 leads into the recipe. And without further ado, here’s a pasta that’s meatless, sexy, worldly, and a 6 on the old Weight Watchers system (PointsPlus and 360° can fuck off wontonly). I admit, I double it and suffer a 12 because it’s so good, but that’s me. It’s one of their recipes that’s actually excellent and made by someone who knows how to cook, an often rare concept in the WW world. While this has a light taste, it’s filling and wonderful, and it’s beyond easy to make. Try it and you’ll see. You’ll also see that it’s a perfect get-laid-dish for a male (40 year-old or not) with few cooking skills.
Walnut Gorgonzola Fettuccine
Serves 4, 1 cup each
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese.
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. lemon zest
6 oz. fettuccine
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted lightly
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
1. In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta, chicken broth, and lemon zest until ’tis smooth.
2. Cook the fettuccine according to the package or to your liking. Drain it and return it to the pot. (Note: don’t totally drain and dry the pasta. A little of the pasta water is good to keep it all moist. Just don’t overdo it.)
3. Add in the ricotta mixture and toss it well. Add in the walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, and parsley. Toss it all again. Using tongs, grab a portion (1/4 if serving four smaller portions, 1/2 if serving two bigger portions) and twirl it into a bowl or onto a plate. Make sure you evenly distribute the walnuts and cheese as they have a tendency to settle at the bottom of the toss pot (British folks may laugh at this point). I usually will top each portion with the extra nuts and cheese.
Easy as turning 40.
Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.
©Jon Marino 2013