Boys: Demented & Dangerous,  Let's Eat: Meals and Recipes,  Mom

Dog Food In The Dryer

It’s hard to write coherently when things are falling apart all around you. Finn has the flu and is pitiful to behold. A boy who doesn’t have the energy to taunt his younger brothers is sick indeed.

Last night I asked Porter to move the sheets from the washer to the dryer, add a dryer sheet and turn it on. When he did, an enormous rattling commenced. Upon inspection, I found a good handful of dog food twirling in the dryer with the sheets. The dog food was already dry. Using my well-honed CSI skills (I’ve finished Miami and am now onto New York, and why didn’t any of you tell me about that hot Danny Messer?) I deduced that Porter had dropped a pillowcase into the bag of dog food while making the transfer then thrown it in the dryer, oblivious to the kibble adhered to it.

Boys. Teaching them to be self-sufficient is a tine-consuming process. “Check the wet laundry and make sure no strange objects or dog food are stuck on it” has now been added to the laundry check list.

What started as a simple task well before dinner ended with Bill and the boys carousing in the kitchen, waiting on the Pasta Puttanesca to be served. It was a big deal when the Silver Palate cookbooks came out. My mom went nuts cooking dishes that relied on fresh, new ingredients instead of cans of cream of mushroom soup.

Pasta Puttasnesca was a meal that my sisters and I adored, and my boys loved it, too.


1 lb spaghetti
2 35 oz cans tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup drained capers
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
2 T salt

Boil water.  Add salt and pasta.  Cook until al dente.  Drain.
While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes and olive oil in skillet and bring to boil.  Add remaining ingredients one at a time, stirring frequently
Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook until sauce has thickened to your liking.
Serve immediately over hot pasta.

I use a large can of diced tomatoes and a large can of puree, as I have boys who pick out chunks.  I increase the red pepper flakes and use Greek olives.  I made this a day ahead so I just had to heat up the sauce and boil noodles on a busy night.

Speaking of self-reliance, it turns out that there is such a thing as teaching boys to be too self-sufficient.  I discovered this when both Drew and Porter brought home some sucky grades on their spelling tests.  I was particularly upset since I won the 5th grade spelling bee on the word “linoleum.”

“What’s up with this?” I asked.  “Why didn’t you tell me you had a test?  I would help you study.”

“Why would we tell you?” Drew asked.

“You would help us study?” Porter asked.

Then I realized that I’ve focused so much on having them do things for themselves that it never occurred to them to ask for help.  The last couple of months I’ve been on them like a flea on a dog asking about spelling tests, and I give them each a fake test.  They write the words they miss three times each and then are tested again.

They may not be able to spell linoleum but they are improving.


One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Albert Einstein Needs Love, Too


Don’t forget that this week’s Flashback Friday theme is Love, Look At The 2 Of Us.  For instructions on how to participate, see here.


  • Brandy Poole

    So sorry to hear Finn has been under the weather. My 11-year-old triplet nieces and nephew have been battling it as well, and, you’re right, it truly is a pitiful site to see. They’ve all taken on the appearance of limp dish rags and don’t have the energy to even throw insults at one another.

    I am sending you wishes for Finn’s quick recovery and for masterful grasp of all spelling words for the twins. Bless you all.

    Brandy Poole’s last blog post..Confession session: Trying a new "diet"

  • andrea

    Hmmm, you might have erred too far in the self-sufficiency direction, but I think it’s better to start that way and wean them off it–because then they’ll ask for help when they truly need it, and not just because they want you to do it for them. At least now they know you’ll help.

  • Karin

    I have offered my help to get ready for tests many times, but that has turned out to be a waste of breath. I insisted that all of us get flu shots this year, hopefully I got that right.

  • Alison

    I hope Finn starts feeling better soon. I’m sure it just doesn’t seem right to be missing the older vs. younger brother arguments.

    I wonder how long your laundry instruction list will get if you have to keep adding to it! At least they know about the dog food now.

    CSI:NY–Danny: yes, very yummy.

    Alison’s last blog post..What I Learned This Week

  • Bhamdining

    My 6-year-old learned about “showing initiative” in kindergarten, and has been getting into it wholeheartedly, which is wonderful — but sometimes leads to things like the kibble in the dryer situation. She decided to scoop out the kitty litter box the other day, but didn’t realize that just putting the scooped-out bits into the laundry room trash can (where the litter box is located) would not help the smell any!

    I love pasta puttanesca, it’s quick and easy and can be made with pantry staples. But I fixed it so often I overdosed hubby on it and now there’s a moratorium on it!

    Bhamdining’s last blog post..Root Vegetable Rhapsody

  • Keri (Auburn Gal Always)

    My word was ‘apparel’, and I was in 4th grade. I beat my brother who was in the 8th grade to represent our little K-8 school at the county competition and got my tail whooped.

    I’m struggling with the opposite issues. My 8 y-o, Sissy, slammed into a wall of “can’t do it alone in less than 3 hours” last week. And it’s driving me to drinking – well, at least to chocolate.

    Hope Finn is better soon and no one else gets it!

    Keri (Auburn Gal Always)’s last blog post..Tired

  • Sir Nottaguy-Imadad

    I had several classmate snicker when I took Home Ec all four years in high school. I had my reasons:
    1. A class full of girls, how could you go wrong with that?
    2. You get to eat in class. What teen age boy could find fault there?
    3. If I ever lived on my own, I could be self sufficient.
    I love the response from women when my wife tells them that I do our laundry. Their eyes get big and they say in a wistful voice” He does laundry?”

    BTW is it legal to post Flashback Friday on Thursday?

    Sir Nottaguy-Imadad’s last blog post..Sign of the Times

  • OkieDokie

    I’ll definately add kibble removal to my laminated laundry “How To” list. You may want to add “Look for forgotten chapstick in the pockets” to yours. Unfortunately it doesn’t give the handy audible warning or tidy clean up that kibble does.

    Yes, a man who does laundry is a treasure to all who know him. (Or share his laundry hamper!)

  • KHR

    Thanks for the perspective about tests! My 5th grader never tells me about test, but now I realize it is because I have raised him to be self-reliant! Yea for me–and I didn’t even know it until you pointed it out! Hope Finn is well and tormenting the twins again soon.

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