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July 15, 2009

The Secret to Popularity? Sausage and Friends!


Most people would agree that the most important thing in the world to be is popular. We are a world ruled by the idea of celebrity, which is just a ramped-up version of that. Things do not change as you move from high school to college to the thing everyone calls The Real World. They simply get bigger and go pro.


Some pursue popularity through excellence on the job. For reasons unknown, it is a popular notion that working hard will return to most people the reward of something other than hard work.


If you are willing to scale down your ambitions of popularity, you may find that attaining popularity is not really all that hard. All that is required is that you become known for something. If you wish to put in the minimum effort for this, it is as simple as the appearance of creativity in cooking. Fortunately for you, this requires no real skills themselves, but only the embrace of a simple concept take two seemingly disparate things and put them together.


It is with this simple concept in mind that you take a rope of smoked sausage, cut it into half-inch sections and begin boiling it in water that covers it about halfway. Once the water and associated juices leached out by the cooking process cook down to where it is nearly dry, add minced garlic, diced onion and a little oil.


Cook until the onion is translucent and the sausage sections are cooked all the way through. Add more water and collard greens. Boil the greens until they are soft, which will take about 10 minutes.


Add some stewed tomatoes, canned black-eyed peas and enough cayenne pepper so there is a hint of heat without it overpowering. Blend thoroughly and cook for a few moments. This will allow a reunion of what are good and old friends.


Do not let this cook too long, for you will soon add some rotini pasta directly to the dish. The tomato juices will create a nice, savory broth in which to cook it. Plus, you will not want the reunion to last so long that an outsider ingredient is made to feel out of place. Such a thing upsets food.


You will need to add some water when you add the pasta. Add as little as necessary to cook the pasta, which will take about 10 minutes from start to finish. You will want to cook down the broth to a thick sauce that clings to the pasta while also not cooking the rotini so long it becomes limp and soggy. If you exercise forethought and control, you may attain this.


If not, you will attain only failure. Your failure one ruined meal may not seem like a large failure in the small picture. Back away, however, and look at this through the prism of your larger agenda. Failure is not an option you should accept.


2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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