The original mastermind behind the recipe I am going to share with you all stated that this dish looks like the inside of her car. Messy, unorganized, basically a chaotic mess…. I have to say, this dish easily applies quite well to our current state of mind too.
We have had a really challenging past few weeks, topping everything off with losing our beloved family pet, Bean cat, yesterday morning. She fell very ill and passed very quickly thereafter. We still can’t believe that she is actually gone, nor do I ever know if we will ever be able to accept the harsh reality of it all.
A gigantic ball of a mess.
I really like that this blog is positive and uplifting showcasing our experiences and the good memories of our life as we live and travel around the world. However, I feel that I, we, are in a really messy state of mind dealing with our loss. I’m not sure how this post is going to go.. I can hardly form complete thoughts from moment to moment, but typing or writing out things in the past has always been therapeutic and added a little peace.
There are still so many questions that we know will never be answered. Still so many things that race through our minds. All of the what ifs. All of the things we are beating ourselves up inside over. The guilt, the remorse, the anger of it all, not getting the chance to tell her goodbye.
Bean holds such a special place in our hearts. We adopted her as a kitten in our home state of Pennsylvania. From Pennsylvania Bean traveled and lived with us through all of our marriage monumental moments. She moved from our first home in PA, to our first apartment in VA, to our first overseas home in South Korea. Gosh she was such a brave spitfire of a cat! She was always with us, no matter what! Always there to greet us when we got home every evening, and always there to wake us up every morning (oh was she was good at that!) she kept us both company earning two Masters degrees with us (Trust us, she earned those two Masters degrees too, she put many hours sitting patiently in our office on the desk or chair alongside of us). When Mr. B would travel for work, or when he moved to South Korea for the first six months without us, she was there with me through it all. She kept us laughing, kept our spirits lifted, and rarely was bad.
Last night going to a place we call home, feels no longer like a home. There is such an emptiness in my heart and in this space. The silence is just so loud and feels so hard to deal with. This is the first time in over five and a half years that I have ever felt so incredibly alone. I know that I have a loving partner who is always there for me, a loving caring family, and amazing friends that are all over the world, however…I am so alone without her here. Everything we do reminds us of her. Any sounds that we hear from our neighbors makes us think its her getting into something or jumping up onto the table, but it’s not.. We went to bed last night so badly wanting to call her in to jump us with us… but we couldn’t.
It’s always such awkward feeling when you have a dear friend that loses a pet of family member. You never quite know what to say to them. You know that no matter what you say never is going to really help, but you offer those words of encouragement, blessings, prayers, etc. However, those words, thoughts, blessings and prayers were dearly appreciated. We truly are so thankful for everything from everyone and want to say thank you to the masses as best as we can. Knowing that you all were sending those prayers Bean’s way and for us meant the world. Thank you all so much.
As I said earlier, messy… perfect dish to sum everything up.
Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Bake
Recipe slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is.
2 cups whole wheat pasta, like ziti or rotini
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, chopped
2 ears of fresh corn, cut off the cob
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, or whatever you prefer
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare water for pasta and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta to cook. Drain when finished.
While pasta is cooking, heat a large pan on medium-low heat. Add in olive oil, then add in onions, zucchini, corn and tomatoes with salt and pepper, stirring to coat. Cook for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally, while softened.
While pasta and vegetables are cooking, heat a small saucepan oven medium heat. Add in butter and whisk constantly, stirring until bubbly and brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Turn off heat under vegetables and add in pasta. Drizzle in brown butter and add in cheese, stirring well to coat. Put pasta into oven safe baking dish. Pop the dish on into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or just until cheese is all melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, pop open a nice bottle of champagne or wine and please say a toast in remembrance of our dear Bean cat.