Not as it seems: Herbed Spaghetti Squash

Things are not always as they seem. And we’ve all fallen victim to items or people pretending to be something they are not.

When I was in college, my very smart roommate had neglected to fulfill her science requirement. And, suddenly she had just one semester left to do so. As a non-science scholar – she majored in Russian and International Studies or something – finding an easy class was her only goal. She certainly didn’t want to waste any of her brain space on sciency stuff. She just needed to earn the required 3 credits and be done with it.

Geology 101

So, since all of the football players did it…she elected to take ‘Geology’, otherwise known as ‘Rocks for Jocks.’

Taking Geology would not only fulfill her science requirement, but would also ensure that she would be surrounded by the tall, fit and fabulous members of the famed football team – yay. Two birds, one stone – pun intended.

Sure, we teased her about both the participation in ‘Rocks for Jocks’ and the calculated exposure to all of those giant ballers. But, to have the chance at a husky boyfriend and an A in science was all worth the taunting to her. In fact, she considered it a brilliant plan.

As the semester started, her hopes for an easy A and football boyfriend were high. She preened before class – you know, like wearing an oversized oxford, stretch pants and pearls – and even applied a little mood lipstick – the kind that started green and then turned bright red to reflect one’s sexy mood.

From the very beginning of the semester something wasn’t right. Maybe the footballers were just busy with practice or training or something and had to miss class. Or, maybe they had sent all of these seemingly geekier guys in their place. Either way, they weren’t there…This was not turning out as she planned.

Actually, nothing was. Geology was not the easy A she had counted on…why were they studying the tides and phases of the moon, landscapes, terrains. Why was Geology so hard?

The night before the final, she was cramming like she had never crammed before. Going in to the test, she was only toting a B average and couldn’t believe her Easy A was slipping away from her. How did this happen?

The phone rang. I picked it up. It was another friend who was also in her Geology class and cramming for the test…I listened as he asked if our friend was studying …He had some questions or needed some notes.

Then he told me something that confused me. I asked for more information. I asked if he was certain. After a little more clarification, he convinced me (almost) and I told him my roommate would have to call him back.

Still not wholly believing him, I went slowly into the other room.

I approached my roommate who was poring over the pages of her highlighted textbook. Beads of sweat forming on her forehead. Her left hand frantically scratching out snippets to memorize in her notebook.

I gently and quietly asked if I could see her Geology textbook.

Puzzled and a little angry – She looked up from her study bean bag chair.

I insisted and, finally, she handed me the book.

I closed the book and looked at the cover…twice to be sure.

Hmmm. I shook my head.

Geography Textbook NOT Geology

There it was…bold letters and all: Geography. She had been taking Geography all semester. All semester. Ah, that’s why it was super hard, they never talked about rocks AND there weren’t any footballers in the class!

My super smart roommate had fallen victim to the tortures of Geography all the while believing she was studying Geology.

One dish that can fool you into believing you’re eating one thing when you’re eating something entirely different is spaghetti squash; the squash that presents as a pasta.

Herbed Spaghetti Squash (serves 4)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

1. Very carefully hack a small spaghetti squash in two

Butchered Spaghetti Squash

NOTE: I cut the bottom and top off. Evening the bottom allowed for the squash to stand upright. Eliminating the top made the slicing in half more manageable

2. Place cut side down in a baking dish, add about 1/2 an inch of water, cover with aluminum foil and put into the oven

3. Bake for :45 minutes then flip the halves over so they are cut side up. Re-cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake for an additional :15 minutes or until the flesh is very tender

4. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

5. Remove the seeds and then using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the skin

Spaghetti Squash Forked

6. Heat a skillet with 2 tbsp of butter and add:

  • The forked spaghetti squash flesh
  • About 2 – 3 TBSP of Herbs: Chiffonade of Basil, Chiffonade of Sage, Chopped Chives and Chopped Parsley

Herbs: Sage, Basil, Parsley and Chives

Spaghetti Squash Heating Through with Herbs

7. Toss to combine and then transfer to a serving bowl

Herbed Spaghetti Squash

8. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

Herbed Spaghetti Squash Table Ready

These days, my super smart roommate is a bigwig lawyer living in the middle east. I googled her and that’s what it says on some oil company’s website. There she is in her lawyerly pose – The only woman on the company’s board of directors.

But, I’m  a little skeptical. She’s barely lived in the US since earning her law degree. And, did I mention that she speaks Russian? My other college roommates and I are pretty certain that she actually works for the CIA.

Perhaps she is the ultimate charade – fooling us all into believing she’s just a corporate lawyer, when really she’s heading up covert operations in the middle east. After the Geology – Geography incident, we all know anything is possible. And, nothing, not even a bowl of spaghetti is ever truly as it seems.

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