Friday, September 9, 2011

Armed and Frazzled

I was on a mission driving into a nearby small town on a recent sunny afternoon. I was armed with quarters, bills, reading material and plenty of soap. As I entered the building I stopped dead in my tracks. The $7.50 sign glared above the huge oversize washer that I need to use for my quilts.
Quickly calculating just how many quarters that would be I knew it would be close for my cash cache to cover three washers. I cringed changing a $10.00 bill into quarters. Do the math: two large washers @$7.50=30 quarters and a smaller washer @ $3.50=14 coins. My head was getting dizzy at how quickly these machines ate up my quarters and the worst is I still had to dry.
I poured soap into each dispenser but because it was so high up on top of machine which was sitting on a concrete block my short size hampered a good view for pouring. Finally I had all three machines humming along when I heard this WHOOSH of water like Niagara Falls! As each machine moved to the next cycle the water was draining from the machine into a trough behind all the washers. I began to panic when I saw a huge mound of soap bubbling and getting higher and higher in the trough. Seems I guessed wrong and had added too much soap into each machine. Looking in the window of the washer I could see it was still full of soap and the cycle almost done.
I was in trouble! Now I am out of quarters and all three quilts needed to go through a whole cycle again just to get the soap off. So leaving all this mess ran off to a nearby coffee shop begging for quarters using all my miscellaneous change. Then I ran the washers again but in smaller ones to save some money yet now I am still short on quarters for drying. The sign DRY $.25 is so misleading!! It takes many quarters to keep that machine going. At this point I am totally out of money with just a checkbook so went to another store and begged a clerk to cash a check. She was most accommodating giving me a roll of quarters. YEAH! I was back in business.
Needless to say when I had finished the quilts washing and drying I hadn't even touched the reading material I had brought in. I had wanted to finish this article The New Laundromat. It was interesting to note that the coin operated laundry industry has undergone a revolution these past years. Gone are dingy, unsafe, boring places but now places where there are snack bars, dry cleaning services and even video games. But the best part some don't even use coins, you swipe a card just like at a coffee shop. I wonder how long it will be before this town's laundromat catches on to this new revolution!
Since losing so many quarters in one afternoon sapped my energy I was happy dinner had been made earlier in the day. It was a new recipe with some of my own adaptions from a BHG publication called Best Comfort Food.
Baked Ravioli with Meat Sauce
  • 1 bag frozen ravioli 25 oz.
  • 1 can chunky Italian tomatoes with garlic and oregano
  • 1/2 can (1/3 cup) tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • grated Parmesan cheese 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions but al dente about 4-5 minutes
  • Drain
  • Spray a casserole dish with PAM
  • Place drained ravioli in bottom of casserole dish and grate Parmesan cheese over the top
  • In a food processor add tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, juice, spices and puree
  • Brown beef with onion salt and pepper, crumble and drain
  • In same fry pan add cooked drained beef and puree sauce cook on low heat about 15 minutes-uncovered
  • Pour sauce with beef over ravioli and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top
  • Bake covered 350 about 20 minutes

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