meal prep

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meal prep

the boxes of dried pasta
in my pantry are harbingers
invitations to improvisation
promises that dinner can
be something even on nights
when I don’t know what to cook

set a pot of water to boil
and then open the fridge and
find what wants to be cooked
leftovers whose time has come
mushrooms garlic baby spinach
last night’s chicken some peppers

salt the water drop the noodles
heat a sauté pan on another burner
as the pasta softens the sauce
turns fragrant and promising
the last of the white wine and
a little butter brings it home

I learned to drain the pasta and
add it to the sauce while it’s still
in the skillet and let it all sit
so the noodles can soak up the
sauce and everything meld
all that’s left is to get a big spoon

the way to get ready for a good
meal is never leave the pasta aisle
empty-handed to shop without
a list and listen to the foods that
know you that will wait for the
chance to make dinner a memory

Peace,
Milton

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