There have been a few times when, in a weaker state, I would have opened the second Spotted Cow, but I was able to remind myself that I really did want to enjoy each bottle during a significant moment.  That’s a lot of weight for a simple beer to carry, and to then add on top of that the weight of writing about each time I enjoy one creates an even larger burden.  Chapter 2 has suffered a little under that burden.  After enjoying the second Spotted Cow I waited a couple days to write about it.  When I sat down to write I couldn’t find the words I wanted to use, so I put it off.  The result is that I don’t remember all of the details.  Please offer me grace as I may need to fabricate some of the details.

The start of any school year forces life back into the rhythm that was lost throughout the freedom of the summer break.  Three weeks ago Lauren began her fall semester and that rhythm began.  She has classes four days a week.  Her Monday and Wednesday classes allow her to be home a little bit before I get home from work, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays she had a class that keeps her on campus until 8:15pm.  The first few weeks of this new rhythm can be awkward because it takes a while to get used to the amount of time that it takes to get from home to school, class to class, etc.  And while I feel like I’m speaking for Lauren right now, I can attest to the fact that there is a new rhythm for me too.  My rhythm doesn’t involve bus and class schedules, but it is different from the summer.

It was on a Wednesday during one of these first weeks that I decided to try a new recipe for a “Mediterranean Chicken Pasta.”  I was a very simple recipe-chicken, penne pasta, spinach, roasted red pepper, parmesan cheese, garlic, and that’s about it.  I substituted tofu for the chicken but other than that I kept the recipe the same.  Like I said, it was very simple.  Cook the pasta according to the box.  Add some ground black pepper and salt to the tofu and then seer it and set it aside.  (I used “firm” tofu and boiled it for 10 minutes to firm it up a little more.)  Pour some olive oil into a hot pan and add the crushed garlic, pepper, and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts.  Then add the tofu and pasta to the pan and let that cook for a few minutes.  Spoon into a bowl and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top, and serve.   The deep green of the spinach and the rich red of the peppers offer wonderful color to this dish.  I cooked some sweet corn to serve as a side dish.  You can’t go wrong with sweet corn this time of year.

I could think of only three things that would make this meal complete.  The first thing is quite obvious.  I needed to share this meal with my best friend and wife.  Check.  Second, we would need to sit and watch “The Last Comic Standing,” since it was a Wednesday night.  Check.  And third, we would need to share a Spotted Cow.  Check