Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pastabilities

Okay, there is no Swiss anecdote, adventure, or nugget of information here. Since hearing the word recently, I just wanted to think about it some more, as I think "Pastabilities" is a truly brilliant combination of things that people truly love: pasta and choice. I also thought it would be interesting to imagine together how horrified Italians would be at the idea of mixing pastas and sauces so haphazardly. But mostly I just want to think about it some more because it makes me nostalgic for my college days.

At my dear college, and perhaps every college, there was a rumor that the cafeteria employed ex-convicts from the local prison. But no matter, we all loved our tattooed friends in the checkered pants the way we loved everything about our little college and its odd little culture. We embraced them – even the crazy one at the entrance zealously enforcing the "one piece of fruit" rule – learned their names, happily spotted them off campus, wrote them comment cards.... And on "Pastabilities" night, when the carbohydrate-enhanced euphoria was at its highest, all seemed right with the world.

Do I need to explain what "Pastabilities" night is? Maybe I still have that one Italian reader who can weigh in on the subject. It would be impastable to imagine on your own the sublimity of "Pastabilities" night, so I will explain. Imagine every kind of affordable pasta (tri-color fusilli, penne, farfalle), not one, not two, but THREE sauces, and a wide array of impeccably chopped fresh vegetables. Choose any combination of pasta, sauce, and vegetables and watch it cooked right before your eyes. It's the closest a college student will come to having a personal chef.

I have forgotten the most important part, which was the mysterious garlic oil used in startling proportion to sauté the vegetables, add extra flavor, and in general keep everything from sticking to anything else. If I could just get some of that magic oil sauce, I just know my cooking complex would disappear.

The "Pastabilities" line was unbearably long; I only rarely had the stomach for it. But still, I looked forward to the enthusiasm, the pure joy, brought to the cafeteria on that night. We were united together in our love of choice, our longing for control, our desire for the breadsticks available exclusively to those in the "Pastabilities" line.... Who cannot love this fusion of food and freedom into a meal event?

7 comments:

fi said...

Lightning took out my internet... Got several days worth of blogabilities to do now... Pastabilities sounds delish. My four year old daughter is pasta mad. Sometimes I run out of pasta and use up all the little bits left in the packets mixed up together (did you hear all those Italians fainting?) Anyway, South African bank notes are quite nice too (just not worth anything anymore) They are different sizes for the blind, and different colours for the dumb.We gave up on putting people on them and have "the big 5" instead, buffalo, lion, cheetah, rhino & elephant. On the back we have pictures of commerce that represents SA: tourism, mining agriculture etc. It then says South African reserve bank in english and two other of our 11(!) official languages - we strive to please everyone! I will shut up now...

Swiss Ms. said...

And I thought 4 official languages was crazy! Oh, I see (as I am listening to your national anthem) that having 11 languages means 11 names for South Africa! Or should I say Azania!

Are the languages on the currency Zulu and Afrikaans? Or Xhosa? I'm ashamed to say I don't know of Xhosa even though it is the #2 language.

I have so many questions! Want to drop by for coffee?

Julie & Captain said...

Other colleges had pastabilities??? Ours were on Tuesday nights and were delicious!

fi said...

Go here: http://www.southafrica.info
Click on "about South Africa" and find out all your little heart desires... I'd pop over for coffee but driving cross country through Africa is hazardous...

Swiss Ms. said...

Oh, this site is much better than the ones I was looking at... bakgat!

fi said...

Hee hee, bakgat yourself! Here learn another one: "Howzit?" which is how we say "hello! how are you doing?", not to be confused with "howzat?" which is what cricket fans shriek when someone does something (apparently) impressive...

Swiss Ms. said...

I love it! Another new favorite of mine on its way into my vocabulary is now-now. I'm officially adding South African slang to my list of languages I'd like to learn!