Allow me to introduce you to the greatest road trip game of all time.
The GS and I did a LOT of driving over the last 2 weeks, between heading to Syracuse for my grandma’s 90th birthday party (#AllHaleTheQueen) and then to Long Island for a wedding this weekend, we clocked in close to 20 hours.
Given that I didn’t think he would want to listen to my Elin Hilderbrand audiobook, we stuck with music. I have the free trial of Apple Music on my phone, and we happily/accidentally discovered that they have playlists of the top 25 songs from each year. Basically the NOW! (That’s what I call music!) CDs.Hence, our game.
We started with 2002. I could picture myself sitting in our basement on AIM, jamming out to “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne, set to repeat on Kazaa. Trying desperately to be an angst-y teenager.
Rules of the game: set the playlist to shuffle, and the first person to correctly name the artist of each song gets a point. Naturally I got anything by Avril, N*SYNC, or Britney within the first 3 seconds. I also did alarmingly well with anything by American Idol winners (Fantasia Barrino was a one-hit wonder).
The GS was much more successful than I was with any hip hop/rap/R&B jams. If you could see a photo of him as a middle-schooler you would also find it hilarious that he can rap along with Eminem and Dr. Dre.
We ended up doing this for 1998-2005. Hours of entertainment. Highly recommend playing if you’re driving with someone who is around your age. I can imagine that if you have more than two people in the car it could get aggressively competitive, but maybe that’s just my personality.
I actually just sat here and stared at the wall for several minutes trying to think of a clever way to segue from our musical adventure into this recipe, but I’ve got nothing. Other than both the game and this recipe are worth sharing.
Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Sage
slightly adapted from The Kitchen
1 large butternut squash, chopped and roasted
1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1 large shallot, chopped
8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
salt and pepper to taste
Chop up the squash into bite-sized pieces. Roast at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides.
Cook your spaghetti according to directions. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook until translucent. Lower the heat slightly, and add the sage and garlic. It should smell heavenly. At the very end, add the chopped hazelnuts.
Add the spaghetti to the pan with your “sauce”- this way you don’t miss out on a single drop of butter by pouring it into another dish- and toss with the roasted squash. I also added a little bit of the pasta water- about 1/3 cup.
Top with Parmesan cheese for serving. I also made a roast chicken to go with this!
So many fall flavors! It’s easy (and inexpensive) enough to make for a weeknight dinner, but could definitely be served if you’re entertaining guests.
Speaking of entertaining- I would recommend the Pop Jams of 2000. Samantha Mumba and The Thong Song are in that list.