A Transcript of the Show


Hi, and welcome to Makeshift Kitchen!  I'm your host, Allison.  Here at Makeshift Kitchen, I will show you how to fix dinner in a kitchen that was built in the 1930s, and is currently undergoing some work on the countertops - rendering half of the already small space I have completely unusable.

With me today, as always, is Piper.  She adds her personal touch, by which I mean dog hair, to everything we make.

Today on Makeshift Kitchen, we'll be putting together some spaghetti.  Now, my father used to make excellent spaghetti, and it was typical a meal for special occasions - it was my requested birthday dish, and we ate it quite often for Christmas Eve dinner.  Tonight, we're celebrating the fact that I have ground beef in the fridge, and that pasta is delicious.

Now, for those of you keeping track, yes, I have been attempting Keto, and we know that pasta and Keto don't mix.  But I went off the rails a few weeks ago after eating a piece of pound cake.  It was spectacular.  Since then, it has been a complete gustatory shitshow, and I've eaten everything that isn't nailed down.  So, if I were doing Keto, I'd eat the sauce over cauliflower.  But here we are.  Tonight is a pasta night.

Let's get started!  The first thing we need to do is clear off some workspace.  The counter to the right side of the sink is off-limits.  If you tune into this week's episode of Counter Culture with Matt, you'll get to see the next step of his counter refinishing project.

So, I'm going to move the mail and Amazon boxes off of the stove - the boxes have some materials Matt will use later this week.

So, with the stove clear, I'm going to get one of my cutting boards and work on our vegetables.  I'll use half of a green bell pepper, half of a red bell pepper, and a quarter of an onion.  In addition to giving our sauce some texture and added health value, I get to use my knives, and that's is always fun. I want something in between chopped and diced, a rustic dice, let's say.

Once the vegetables are ready, I'm going to fill a stockpot with water and put it on the large eye of the stove.  No heat yet - just have it ready to go.

Ok, I'm going to preheat our skillet with a little olive oil and throw in my chopped vegetables.  I've given Piper a few pieces of bell pepper on the floor.  Amazingly, she loves bell pepper.  She's completely opposed to bananas, but hey - vive la difference!

Now that we've sweated the onions and peppers a little, it's time to add the ground beef.  I'm using a low-fat ground beef.  It's less greasy and incorporates into the sauce better - you can use whatever you like.  Some folks do ground turkey or chicken, you could use a vegetarian substitute, or even sausage.  There's no wrong way to go.  But I will say, I am not a fan of the ground turkey for spaghetti.  Sloppy Joes and tacos, sure.  You can also add other vegetables as you like.  I am not a mushroom fan, but there are people out there who eat fungus, and I say good for them.  Add tough vegetables early, fragile ones later.  If I use garlic, I always add it after the meat is cooked, to reduce the chance of burning it.  Burnt garlic is bitter.  If I have fennel seeds, I would add them here and let them toast a little.  My fennel seeds have gone missing in the counter work, and I am sure they'll turn up eventually.

Once we have the meat browned, it's time to add the sauce.  Now, my father made his sauce, and honestly, it's better that way.  But it's a weeknight, and I don't have time for that nonsense.

As jarred pasta sauces go, Trader Joe's original marinara is hard to beat.  It is low in sugar, a very clean and basic flavor.  It is not gloppy or greasy.  It is a base that you can doctor up to suit your tastes.

Sometimes I'll use two jars, sometimes a jar and a can of tomatoes, and sometimes just the sauce.  That's the plan for tonight.  Finally, I'll add green olives.  They are pretty, and the briny earthy flavor they add really elevates the profile.  If I have some cooking wine on hand, I'll add that, but I used it up on the last batch of sauce and haven't opened another bottle.

So, while that's simmering, let's take a break.  You'll notice that the kitchen is not like the typical television kitchen.  Here at Makeshift Kitchen, we believe in giving you the authentic experience.  No granite counters, no expensive Le Crueset or fancy Sur La Table gadgetry.  I do have an Instant Pot, it's five years old and desperately needs a little TLC.

I think it goes without saying that I am not a Contessa.  Or a Principessa, or even a Duchess.  I am a lady, but not a Lady.  I will go barefoot, but we're in that awkward period where sandals are still a few weeks away, so today I am weaing some hot pink slippers from Lands End.  A 2017 Christmas present from Mom.  My t-shirt is from Matt's chest of drawers, and he got it from a vendor.  Swag tees make the best cooking ensembles.

Well, we have some time to kill, so I'm going to start the water and go play with the dog outside til it boils.  When we get back, I'll drop the pasta, get the microplane and parm out of the fridge, and Matt will come open his packages from Amazon and preview his next show.

(Commercial Break)

We're back at Makeshift Kitchen, and let's talk pasta.  For awhile, we ate a lot of whole wheat pasta, then I found that Ronzoni, Barrilla and Kroger brand had all gotten on the "veggie pasta" bandwagon.  It gives the illusion of being healthy, but the texture of a highly processed wheat.  It's voodoo, but it's delicious.  Now, tonight, I will use Barrilla.  It was on sale.  It has a slight greenish cast to it, which may be off-putting to some, but I enjoy the flavor and texture.

Once Matt gets in the front door, I'll drop the pasta into the boiling water.  Hey, here's Matt now!


Hi I'm Matt from Counter Culture with Matt.  My stuff is here from Amazon, and I'm excited.  We have some German sandpaper, buffing compound and several buffer attachments.  These should really help restore the shine on the countertops we have been polyurethaning since January.  I hope you'll join us for next show.


Well, we're going to drain the pasta and have a little dinner.  Piper is excited because she loves pasta.  Don't you, girl?


Bark, bark, bark!!


Don't worry, doodlebug, you'll get pasta!   Hey, Matt!  Dinner is ready!   Well, folks - that does it for me here in Makeshift Kitchen.  Come back next time, we might take this thing outside and get to grilling.  Or I might microwave some potatoes and serve them with Wendy's chili.    You never know what's going to happen... on Makeshift Kitchen.

(Fade to Black)


Christopher said…
I would watch that.
It's also funny to me that Piper loves green bell pepper but not bananas. Our dogs go bananas for bananas. I don't think I've ever offered them any bell pepper, but they'll eat anything off the counter, and sometimes will help themselves. Maybe Matt could offer suggestions for dealing with that.