Monday, August 17, 2009

Lasagna Monday

We both stayed up very late last night and slept very late this morning, too late to do anything big on my last day. It was just as well. It was a very hot day today for Pittsfield, into the upper 80s-lower 90s, and more humid than it has been here. Lauren wasn't up until almost 11.

We hung around and did stuff online for a while before Mrs. Miller called us upstairs to ask if we wanted to help make lasagna. Heck yeah! I love Italian food, and Lauren loves lasagna. (And there's no big orange cats around here to steal them.) Mrs. Miller made the ricotta mixture. Lauren made the ground beef-tomato mixture and did the layering. I "supervised" and did the dishes after they'd finished.

Lauren and I went for a walk in her neighborhood while the lasagna baked. Lauren lives in a typical residential neighborhood about a five-minute drive from Pittsfield's downtown. It was quiet for a Monday in August. The only sounds were the droning of lawn mowers and the squeals of children playing in backyard pools or sprinklers. A few people sat on porches, but for the most part, the streets were empty. The heat must have caused most people to retreat.

We got home just in time for lunch. Lauren and I took our lasagna out to her back patio. She and her parents have a nice, big patio and a huge yard with a nice view of Mount Greylock in the distance. I sat in a wooden rocking chair and she sat in a lawn chair, and we traded stories about high school teachers and the differences between our high schools. The lasagna turned out beautifully, heavy with beef, herbed ricotta, tomato, and mozzarella cheese.

I needed to buy something for dinner tomorrow, so we headed down to the shopping centers a few minutes from her. Our first stop was Barnes and Noble to just browse. It was the one store we never got around to hitting on Wednesday or Friday that I wanted to check out. I just bought a new journal (the one my sister gave me on my birthday is a little more than half-done). Lauren bought two books of math games, two about geekdom, and one of humorous "tickets" for annoying things people do on the road and with cars that should be illegal but aren't.

We wandered around Price Chopper, Lauren's local grocery store, next. Price Chopper is HUGE, with a big liquor store, an elaborate deli with cheeses from around the world and a hot foods bar to rival Old Country Buffet across the street, and a separate section for organic foods. There was plenty to see, from random toys and games in the seasonal section to comparing produce prices to the Acme. (They have better banana prices, but we have better peach and strawberry prices.) She didn't get anything, but I picked up a turkey hoagie on a whole wheat roll and a bag of Pretzel Chips for lunch on the train tomorrow.

We're spending my last night here quietly, chatting and eating the yummy cake Lauren's dad bought from Price Chopper yesterday. Tomorrow, I head home.

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