I’ll be off the grid today because of pasta

image In case you were wondering why I was mostly absent from my blog yesterday, it’s because I spent the day at the fire station preparing for our annual Siuslaw Valley Firefighter Association’s St. Paddy’s Day Spaghetti Feed. And by “preparing for it,” I don’t mean stretching out my stomach and putting on pants with an elastic waist. I was cooking off 60 pounds of pasta and dicing up 30 pounds of tomatoes while Capt. Liz Iabichello cooked off 40 pounds of meat and diced 10 pounds of onions.

Today, we’ll finish the sauce, make garlic bread and prepare the salad for tonight’s fundraiser dinner, which is from 4 to 7 p.m. If any of you happen to be on the central Oregon coast tonight, stop in! We’re expecting about 300 people but I’m sure we can find you a table.

And we promise you’ll get your food faster than you would on Hell’s Kitchen.

In the meantime, I’ll be pretty scarce today too, on a rigorous schedule finishing my deadline here at Siuslaw News…


Then heading over to the fire station this afternoon…


And finishing some cooking…

If I'm reincarnated as an Italian, I want to be named Al Dante or Antonio Vermicelli
If I’m reincarnated as an Italian, I want to be named Al Dente or Antonio Vermicelli
I often pour olive oil on my bacon because life is a gamble
I always put olive oil in the water when I cook pasta. I even pour olive oil on my bacon because, hey — life is a gamble
I could LIVE on pasta! I would probably have to live on the commode, but still...
I could LIVE on pasta! I would probably have to live on the commode, but still…

So, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, come in for some great firehouse spaghetti prepared by Capt. Iabichello and myself…

She's the sweetheart on the left
She’s the sweetheart on the left

…and served up by other vounteers of the Siuslaw Valley Firefighters Association.

We promise to wash our hands first.
We promise we’ll wash our hands first.

Or you could go home to spaghetti with canned sauce like this…


We’ll return to our regularly scheduled posts tomorrow with The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance.)

Until then, bone appetite!




(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

42 thoughts on “I’ll be off the grid today because of pasta”

  1. No picture — or better still, a video — of the dicing of 10 pounds of onions? How disappointing…

  2. I cooked spaghetti and garlic bread (with cheese!) last night – along with a caesar salad. But it was for only three adults and two children. I couldn’t imagine making it for SO many people!! But it sounds like fun.

    (And I think it’s awesome that your chief is a woman!)

    1. Next year you should come here — we could use the help! And Caesar salad is one of my favorite things, so feel free to make that.

      And yeah, she’s really great 😉

  3. Oh, I wish I was in back in Oregon–I’d be there with bells on. Nothing I’d like better on Pretend You’re Irish Day than some spaghetti & meat sauce. I hope you sell out. Interestingly, the Del Grosso family (who filled that jar you’re holding) makes their sauce right down the road from me in Pennsylvania. I didn’t know they sold on the west coast. Sweet! They’re a great company, deeply invested in the regional community sponsoring fundraisers with the product and an their amusement park (they bought and saved and sustain a historic amusement park in tiny Tipton, PA) and other various philanthropic activities.

    1. Wow! That is so great to hear! And I was making fun of their sauce… now I feel like a jerk. Maybe I’ll send them some pasta 😉 I’ll save a seat for you next year!

  4. good luck to you and your fundraiser. i’m half irish and half italian so this is right up my alley, celebrating st. pat’s with pasta. my dad used to make his famous ‘irish spaghetti sauce,’ which was horrible jarred sauce with a bit of irish beer or whiskey poured in. it’s the thought that counts, not the taste so much in this case.

  5. My dear Ned, you even inspire me in the kitchen.
    I read your post yesterday and whipped up homemade meatballs paired with sauce using tomatoes from my garden. It was the most relaxing and therapeutic dinner I’ve cooked in a long time. THANK YOU!!! My family thanks you, too – they’ve been living on ramen noodles for about three weeks 😉

    1. That sounds absolutely delicious, Michelle. And if I could grow anything but blackberry vines I would totally start a tomato garden. In a way, with you all having spaghetti, it was almost like havng your family here 😉

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