The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

Festival Wrap-Up and Pappardelle Pasta in a Butter Sauce

A call was made to the sheriff’s office at 3:30 this morning, which would be me in an angry exhaustion due to the town thinking, for the second day in a row, that 3AM is a great time to get out the leaf-blower to clean the sidewalks and streets. I explained that my husband Greg gets up at 4:30 for work and that this is cutting into his much needed sleep. They told me that it’s for the Defeat of Jesse James days clean-up (duh) and that he feels for me. I thanked him, hung up and went back to bed to tell Greg. That’s when my smartass came out, as did the street sweeper (adding insult to injury).

The more I thought about it, the conversation seemed a bit patronizing. I understand clean-up but he stated that it was before the “morning grind”… mean the 3 people in town before 8AM? I woke up late this morning and in 3 blocks, 4 cars were parked. Stores don’t open until 9 or 10 and some aren’t even open on Mondays. That and the population is less than 20,000. So really 3AM is the best time? That wouldn’t make sense to a 2 year old. (No offense young ones.) They never seem to care about the dog excrement on the sidewalk, add horse to that and you’re going to need more than a leaf blower.

The fair that took our parking
The fair that took our parking
Junk food alley
Junk food alley

That’s how the festival ended…you can read more about this event here. We went to several garage sales where we bought 3 dvds, 4 books, hot peppers, glasses resembling those of Waldo (of Where’s Waldo fame) and a nice winter coat.

I was not prepared last winter for the extreme cold that Minnesota can hand out. There was some scandal with purchasing this coat. The woman selling it began by telling me she wore it once and never again because it was too big on her and went on and on about how large the coat was for her so I tried it on; she told me it fit perfectly- nice backhanded compliment there. The coat is a medium and is a bit large on me too but I don’t care about that. I looked past the whole thing when she said it was $5. Nice! The hot peppers are wonderful as well.

Saturday, I happened to look out the window and loe and behold, there was a kiddie parade below. I guess this is where kids can dress up and walk the streets with a parent or another adult…without a point really. Kids are cute, I get that. I don’t really get anything else, especially when most of the kids were crying or throwing a fit and the adult looked as if they would never do that again.

We then ventured to the farmer’s market (as usual on Saturday morning) and came across a rather large car show. We attempted to get in but for some reason we needed a button or $6/person. Looking back, that’s not that bad but you walk around drooling over cars that most of us will never have and then leave….shouldn’t they pay us? Kidding, I enjoy car shows but every car show I’ve ever been to did not cost a cent to get into and most of those cars show up in the parade anyway. (They were not here.)

The crafts fair was interesting. I enjoyed seeing the ceramics, canvas artwork and jewelry.

Much needed laughs across from the flea market
Much needed laughs across from the flea market

We had some fair food. Greg had an overpriced gyro that had a twinge of sweetness, not exactly what you’re looking for in a gyro and I had a small bowl of nachos that cost more than my energy bill but the cheese curds were delicious. Friday night we went to the Contented Cow, a favorite hangout literally a store away from our place. We bought a pitcher of ale for an arm and a leg and went out to the patio, the server told us to go back and have the “bartender” fill it up the way it should be because we had half of it as head. I’m sure we made friends that night.

There was a band from one of the colleges that had more money in their instruments than talent. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, unlike the other patrons but once they insulted the audience I turned too. (There was some mention about the audience not “understanding” them because they didn’t know how college went.) Excuuuuuuuuuse meeeeee!

The following band was great but we had left and went home where we could hear them with our windows open. We went to the beer tent but didn’t want to pay even more. Instead, we stood outside, listening to another enjoyable band that played mostly country music. We went back Saturday night to the beer tent but it was a different band- playing artists like Green Day (not really a fan anymore). We did get our groove on and had a blast…it was college night and it seemed like many tent-goers were still in the “make fun of other people” phase of life and stood around afraid to move. I didn’t know a single person there and still had a lovely night with my husband. We did make some friends with a few elderly gentlemen at a local bar who said they’d be looking for me at the beer tent. I don’t think they were there due to the large number of youth.

Sunday wraps it up with a parade and unnecessary closings of roads, blocks away from the route and line-up very far in advance. We made the mistake of doing laundry (like usual on Sunday morning) and came back to town, driving what I describe as a maze route, in the hopes of getting even slightly close to our apartment. We did not.

We leave Friday to go north this weekend and it’s a much needed getaway.

I wanted an easy meal last night so I created a little dish I call pappardelle pasta in a butter sauce. Pappardelle is a wide fettuccine noodle but you can use any pasta with this recipe. I have a few recommendations for substitute ingredients that I will list below.

Pasta in Butter Sauce
Pasta in Butter Sauce

Pappardelle Pasta in a Butter Sauce
Serves 4

10-12 ounces pappardelle pasta (or another pasta of your choice)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion
2 cloves of garlic
8 tbsp (1 stick) of butter (salted might be best)
1/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
1/4 cup mixed basil, chopped rosemary, flat-leaf parsley (or dill on its own would be nice)
6 ounces of tuna-optional
6 ounces of peas (I used frozen-steamed asparagus would also be nice to toss in at the end)
a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes-optional
grated/shredded parmesan or another cheese to top at the end

Make pasta as directed. In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, heat oil and add garlic and onion. Cook onion until translucent, then add half of the butter (be sure not to burn it) and stock or wine. Simmer for a few minutes and then add herbs of your choice, tuna and peas. Cover and cook until peas are bright green and tender. (You can also cook the peas ahead of time and add in the end.) Then, add the remaining half of the butter and salt/pepper. Toss in pasta and sun-dried tomatoes (if you are using them) and add grated/shredded cheese before serving. Buttered goodness.

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