Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lost Lasagna

At 6:15 this morning the contents of the oversized pan slid into the kitchen trashcan at last. The red sauce of untouched lasagna coated the side of white plastic liner while the pasta and cheeses lay in a congealed pile at the bottom, still molded into the shape of the dish. The Italian sausage and seasoned ground beef lurked inside the bed of discarded ricotta and pasta. What a waste.

Last Friday I made twin trays of lasagna, one for a dear friend who lost her mother to cancer and another for my family. Easy comfort meals, both families were set for the snow-forecasted weekend. A tight schedule only allowed for assembly; they would bake closer to dinnertime in separate kitchens.  One settled into the fridge, the other hitched a ride for delivery.

That evening we stepped out to attend the premier gallery show of a friend. My teenaged daughter baked the lasagna as instructed and left it to cool. When we returned home, the kitchen was dark and cold with no hint of the warm tomato sauce and oregano.

Saturday morning I headed downstairs to start the day and feed the animals. The forgotten foil-covered pan waited on the counter. With sinking disbelief I reached for the smooth silver foil and peeled it back. How long did the food sit at room temperature? Ten or twelve hours? Somehow calculating the time might validate the lack of proper storage and render it safe for consumption.

Alarm bells should have started ringing when I carried that pan to the basement fridge instead of dumping it right then. Later in the day, I confess to a friend, Dawn, and ask her opinion.

“No way. Pitch it,” she says with no hesitation. I tell my family not to eat the lasagna.

For days I longed for a piece of  lasagna instead of the cold ham sandwich I settled for in its place. For days the pan sat ignored in the basement. Not forgotten, but not discarded either. I could not stomach my efforts being chucked out in vain. I don’t usually get attached to leftovers, but this lasagna never achieved leftover status.

Today marks trash day. The five-day old heartache has to go. With heavy feet, I carry the heavier tray up the stairs to the trash.

Check out the photography of local artist Tracey Grumbach at her new website here or now showing at Arts by the Bay in Havre de Grace.


  1. Awwwww! Thanks for the shout out! And darn! But look at it this made the day of two very grateful people...mine, for coming to the gallery, and your friend whose lucky kitchen found the second lasagna!

    1. Yes, Valerie made my day that day (and beyond) as the lucky recipient of Pan #1. And, it was the BEST lasagna we've had in ages! Additionaly, Val's dish size and cooking style for her family of five did this family of three quite well for days. Nothing like leftover lasagna as comfort food, when properly stored and un"molded"....-marcia (THANKS for the support)

  2. Thanks Tracey. While the lasagna will not live on, the beautiful new artwork will.