Yesterday, I drove to Saratoga Springs and back, a six-hour drive, to visit a friend and to go to a concert at SPAC featuring the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, a pianist, performing the “Egyptian” concerto by Camille Saint-Saens. Of the three Frenchmen involved (the conductor whose name I can’t remember, Thibaudet and Saint-Saens, the composer was the winner by a mile.
My friend asked me afterwards if I had played this concerto when I was sixteen because I had related how fond of the piece I had been. And I replied, “Yes, I played the record hundreds of times!” I remembered the record jacket and that the pianist had been Phillipe Entremont (another Frenchman, by the way!) On the way back to drop her off at home, I played the 3rd movement performed by Sviatoslav Richter, (my favorite pianist I think) – and for five rollicking minutes, the finale burst forth from the car speakers in a torrent of notes. Just wonderful!
Anyhow, to make a long story short, I got lost twice on the road between Saratoga Springs and the Mass turnpike while also getting stopped by a policewoman because the passenger seat headlight was out, apparently. Plus, it’s illegal to use a cellphone while driving in New York State. Did you know that? I didn’t. Mine wasn’t on but it was in full view as though I was getting ready to make a call (which I was!)
Despite these setbacks, I made it back home a little after 1 a.m. – which was a minor miracle time wise, but a major miracle in every other respect because I was going pretty fast to do that and relieved and so glad to be back home safely with my husband and in our own home. Even a little day trip apart makes the heart grow fonder!
So this morning, as a prayer of thanks to the Universe and the Helpers who were there to make sure I didn’t get in an accident in my rash haste to make it home, I decided to put together what I call a “gratitude lasagna.” It’s ingredients include whole wheat lasagna noodles, a jar of light tomato sauce with herbs that I had bought on sale at the market, half a bag of thawed spinach (water squeezed out) sauteed with some butter and scallions, slices of bella mushrooms sauteed in butter; whole milk ricotta, mozzarella cheese and aged parmesan reggiano cheese that I grated on the microplane. To top it all off, florets of fresh basil leaves from the kitchen planter on the back deck.
It’s in the oven now at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. In the meantime, here are some prep photos I took along the way. When the lasagna is baked, I’ll put a clean cloth over it until it’s reheated for our supper tonight.
I’m very grateful for friends, family, health, piano music and life itself! With so much to be grateful for, this “gratitude lasagna” may become a regular dish in our house!