8.28.2008

Grumpiness, Defined


If hunger makes you irritable, better eat and be pleasant.
-Sefer Hasidim


Grumpiness is defined as “surly or ill-tempered; discontentedly or sullenly irritable; grouchy”. In my family, it’s normally reserved for toddlers, crotchety old men….and me. It wouldn’t be irrational logic to assume that I’d be offended by someone lumping me into the same temperamental category as those two groups. It wouldn’t be presumptuous to think that I’d bristle every time someone purses their lips at me and murmurs “My, my, someone is grumpy today”. Yet I am a proud grump. On the days that I wake up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed (which in our household usually means the dog started barking too early, the cat was wailing for food even though her dish was full, or my husband simply stated “Get up” as opposed to a gentle back rub to rouse me from sleep), I’m almost filled with a sense of satisfaction that it gets to be a “grumpy day” for me.

Crabbiness takes its toll on me in a way I haven’t seen in those around me. My five year old nephew refuses to let anyone look at him or speak to him, lest he release an ever-decibel-increasing lament of “Dooooooooooooooooooon’t” that will leave you feeling stripped of your skin and zapped of your energy. My mom and sister both dish out snappy remarks at the most innocent of comments, usually which leave me rolling my eyes and slowly stepping away. I, however, become the complete opposite of those. I become quiet to the point that my husband thinks I’m sad….and I engulf the chance to tuck into myself and avoid others. I sit and stare into space, unable to focus long enough to complete a thought. Shopping, crossword puzzles, and tv shows sometimes lift the fog, but the only true thing that gets me out of the funk is food.

In Italian, grumpy translates into “scontroso”. There are some words that when translated, leave a sense of wonder at how they are even close in definition or origin. Scontroso is a word that rolls off the tongue and actually makes me feel its meaning. How appropriate that Italian food would be on the top of my list when I’m having a bad day.

It’s a pretty small leap that pasta is one of the most infamous of comfort foods. It brings about a sense of warmth, fulfillment, richness, and flavor that even the most cranky person cannot ignore. For me, Southern foods also help to extract me from the foulest of moods...so it stands to reason that the two combined serve me well. Barbeque spaghetti is one of those combinations. Sweet and spicy barbeque tossed with perfectly cooked spaghetti lifts my spirits with one bite...not to mention how quickly it can be thrown together.

Barbeque Spaghetti

Spaghetti or Angel Hair, cooked according to package directions
Precooked barbeque in sauce (I use Lloyd's)

- Prepare pasta and toss with barbeque. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with toasted Garlic bread.




4 comments:

chetsdad said...

i hear you about being grumpy. my wife could certainly write an entire blog entry about it.

cook eat FRET said...

that right there?
QUITE the dish!!!

Any Little Reason said...

cook eat fret: So what's your favorite Nashville meal? I know, loaded question.....

cook eat FRET said...

my favorite nashville meal... as in my fave restaurant?

city house wind for me hands down

and when laura at ombi is in the kitchen cooking for me. she's a wonderful chef...