I loved it.
I lived in old, adorable, slightly crusty houses with my best friends. Original hardwood floors, seven layers of wallpaper that we determined MUST come off the walls before we could settle there, and yards perfect for laying down under the stars. Once a month, we had Family Dinner. We invited our circle of friends, (and their friends) to come over, enjoy a simple meal, and hang out. It usually ended with candles, guitars, original music by our crazy talented friends, lots of ridiculous jokes, and sometimes riding out a tornado warning in our ultra-creepy basement.
We were lucky. Our group of friends just WORKED. Compared to many of my other friends’ college experiences, our group of friends experienced very little drama. Even from the beginning, we were determined to have fun and do great things and live like bohemians. And we did. Kind of.
15 years later, we are still friends. We lost a few friends early on, gained a few spouses, a couple of kids and dogs, and somehow all ended up on the West Coast within just a few hours of each other. It became clear to us when we landed here that we are no longer friends.
We are a tribe.
In the interest of transparency, we work each other’s nerves sometimes. We bicker occasionally. We get angry and shut each other out. We drift and pull apart.
But we always come back together.
House buying, baby making, parents passing, marriage failing, business thriving, seasons changing…all of it. When it all comes together or falls to pieces, we are usually the first ones to know and always the safest place to land.
A couple of years ago, one of our tribespeople was offered the use of a beach house. We filled up the house for a long weekend in July. Last year, we did it again. And this year I’m writing this post from the same house.
The long Tribe weekend is vital for me. I can’t speak for the rest of them, but I can say that for myself, I NEED it. Each family takes a turn cooking dinner, and we eat and drink and laugh and relax after a long day of beach-combing and hiking.
We are lucky.
This year, I chose one of my family’s favorite dishes: lasagna. This year has seen some really dramatic circumstances in our tribe, and we needed to feel hugged from the inside out. What better to do that with than noodles and sauce and cheese? NOTHING, that’s what.
And even though this is exactly like your mom’s lasagna, she didn’t make it. I DID. And I’m a mom. So maybe I should rename this post “I’m A Mom Now Lasagna”?
- 2 quarts red sauce (for my recipe using fresh tomatoes, click here for the Green Child Magazine article)
- 1 box uncooked, gluten free lasagna noodles (I prefer Tinkiyada brand)
- 24 oz shredded mozzerella
- 12 whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 lb ground beef, browned
- In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Transfer beef to paper towel lined plate.
- Pour a tablespoon of the ground beef drippings into your large glass casserole dish, and use it to grease the sides and bottom of pan. Discard the rest of the drippings.
- Heat sauce slowly until warm in skillet, and add meat.
- In your large, greased casserole dish, layer noodles, sauce, ricotta, then mozzarella IN THIS ORDER. You should have three layers.
- Sprinkle parmesan on top, cover with foil, and bake at 400 for 90 minutes.
- Remove foil, and broil the top of the lasagna for 2 minutes on high.
- Serve immediately with salad and box of your best wine.
You already feel hugged from the inside, don’t you? I do. Well, maybe that’s because I just ate two helpings of it. But whatever. The Tribe liked it and that’s the thing that matters. But since you’re a part of our extended tribe, I’m pretty sure you will, too.
PS ~ In case you missed it, here’s a screen cap of the red sauce recipe I made for Green Child Mag.