Chicago’s weather prognosticators are a reliable lot. When they say it’s going to snow, it actually does. On the evening of this photo, I overheard some students talking about their weekend plans on the train. The younger one was all “Oh, I dunno. Hang out. There’s too much snow to go out.” The elder, sporting the ubiquitous acorn-sized diamond that signifies so much status among Chicago girls, mentioned that she was going to have a cooking weekend with her husband. I never thought that cooking weekends were unique to my humble abode, but I was curious about what was on their menu since Chicago Alpha Frauen usually have minimal cooking skills, if any at all. Their spotless kitchens produce, in my experience, things like cocktail weiners wrapped in Pilsbury biscuit dough or Mexican Seven Layer dip; things that won’t lodge food in their elaborate ring settings. Maybe it’s because I’ve only been to their parties, although I do hold that one’s party offerings are an excellent summary of one’s cooking skills. What do I know? I’m usually bumming smokes to and slinging fart jokes with their husbands outside. I’m sure they’re very nice girls.

At any rate, this weekend will be a red sauce weekend. I found an interesting presentation for manicotti, in lieu of cannelloni, that will totally rock with Jeff’s recipe. The tubes are stood on end instead of laid on their sides, then red and white sauce are poured over, which gives it a honeycomb look. (Thanks, Jamie Oliver!) Now if I could just find a way to take out the trash that doesn’t involve digging…

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