We are in October people and it’s post season baseball with the Chicago Cubs and I legit can’t do it again. I actually don’t think I am fully recovered from last October. I think I need therapy to discuss all this, actually. I’m going to look into that.
Our family can’t handle it. CAN NOT handle it. You would think some of the pressure is off with, you know, winning the World Series last year. But that does not seem to be the case. It’s just as intense. As Mike so perfectly stated, ‘I just don’t want it to be over.’
Exactly. We are a baseball family. It’s what we do and love and watch and cheer for. With our boys not currently in season, all that baseball energy has been funneled into the Chicago Cubs. And boy is there a lot of it. Not to mention, they sure don’t make it easy on us. How about just nicely winning a series, does that even happen in post season baseball? Get a nice lead, keep the opponent off the bases, and win. No no, not the Cubs. They are totally pulling it off, but oh my Lord can it be painful to get there. We are losing games we should have won. We are winning games without our best hitters hitting. I don’t understand how it’s actually working. But I am oh so happy that it is.
Mike read somewhere it all feels so intense because we are just not used to it. October baseball is so rare in Chicago. We aren’t ‘seasoned veterans’. I don’t know if I buy into that. I’m pretty convinced even if we were here every year it would feel exactly like this. Yet this is coming from someone that can barely handle my five year olds rookie baseball game. Apparently I have separate issues that need to be addressed.
I can actually relate it best to watching a horror movie. I literally have my entire head under a blanket with one fourth of one eye sticking out hoping that somehow that will get the blessed third out and keep the opponents bases loaded from scoring. Again. And there is my eleven year old, who should have gone to bed hours earlier but this is a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ (we aren’t short on the dramatics here) so up he stays and basically thrashes around in my lap (all 115 pounds of him) the entire game.
We also have this thing where Logan and I secretly check the score ahead of our recorded game. Do not tell Mike, and do not judge us. We are not strong people in this manner. We are okay with this. We even have a code: if I rub his leg that means something good happens if I whack him (his idea, not mine) something bad. The problem with this system is that pretty quickly we catch up to the live game and Logan is all frantic with his eyes “MOM TELL ME SOMETHING GIVE ME A SIGN” and I’m like dude, we are live. We are in this together now. I am here for you. Please stop making our system so obvious so that your father does not divorce me. Goodness child.
I’m too old for this. I wake up sore. I wake up exhausted. I wake up with a legit clenched jaw. I am unable to chew gum. I worry about members of my family actually having a heart attack, myself included.
And now we have to do it all again against the LA Dodgers.
I don’t know what’s to come, but I know it won’t be easy that’s for sure. That I have learned. So I provide the only go to comfort I know that I can control. What is that you ask?
For twenty blissful minutes pregame we enjoy a little peace and comfort in something absolutely delicious. In my head, this is all helping everyones nerves and keeping things calm. In reality, we are all completely freaked out. But we are well fed freaked out.
Need something to help get you through the LA Dodgers series aside from the obvious answer….excessive alcohol? These stuffed shells are actual real pure magic. (I ate four, but wanted to eat fourteen). Not to mention they lean a tad healthier than your grandma’s original version. Well, as healthy as pasta and cheese can get of course.
Let’s do this Chicago Cubs! I’m so behind you. Gray hair and all.
HEALTHIER(ISH) STUFFED SHELLS
Recipe adapted from The Burlap Kitchen
1 box jumbo shells (go whole wheat, if you can find them)
3 teaspoons oil (olive oil, coconut or grapeseed)
1 pound italian sausage, casing removed (I used chicken)
Few big handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped up roughly
3 garlic cloves
1½ cup ricotta cheese
3 cups pasta sauce
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
freshly grated parmesan, for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook shells for 9 minutes, drain and set aside to cool.
While shells are cooking heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Saute garlic for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add sausage and brown, breaking up with wooden spoon. Season generously with salt and pepper.
While sausage browns, mix ricotta and eggs in a mixing bowl. Once sausage is browned, add in fresh spinach and cook another minute until slightly wilted.
Add cooled sausage/spinach mixture to ricotta mixture and mix well.
Pour 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
Stuff 24 shells with about 2 tablespoons of ricotta sausage mixture and place in prepared baking dish.
Pour remaining 2 cups of pasta sauce over shells and stop with mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes.
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