Monday, January 4, 2021

T Stands for Hope

Hi everyone. Happy new year to those of you who only stop by for T.  It is our first T of the new year, and I  look forward to all the T adventures we'll have in 2021. 

I have to say I am not usually someone who gets very excited about a new year's arrival. It was like that with the start of school also. I liked it better once it got going a little bit. 

This year however, I was very excited to wrap up 2020 and start the new year. I feel like there is hope for something better ahead. Maybe not right away, and I do hope the winter isn't too long this year.  I'm not sure things will get back to what they were as soon as I want them to get there (as that would be right now), but maybe at least we can all be a little less covid overwhelmed sooner rather than later. 

I am hoping to reach a point where I can comfortably go into a store  again, that I can go when I feel like going to the store and not have to plan  to go during a not so busy time.  I live too rural  for grocery store delivery, but I have done online ordering for other items that require me to go into the busier stores in the cities near me.  I want it so I can back shopping in general. It would be nice to visit a museum and meet my friends  and family inside. Some of my friends and family I haven't seen in months. Although I may not be able to travel overseas yet,  maybe I can at least travel out of  New Hampshire or even out of New England without worries.

I was so excited on New Years Eve to see 2020 depart,  I went through a whole bottle of wine.

No, I didn't drink it all.

I made a baked rigatoni dish that is sometimes called (in my area) a Northender or an Italian Pie ,depending what restaurant you visit. I added meatballs and sausage. At a few restaurants in my area they also add some chicken, but I figured for the 2 of us we didn't need any more meat. The name Northender is homage to the North End of Boston where there are some amazing  Italian restaurants.

That is something else I hope to do again in 2021, actually go out to eat. We do get take out every now and again, but what I am really missing is going to breakfast in my favorite hole in the wall restaurant. I haven't done that in what seems like forever.

This recipe for my baked rigatoni called for 2 cups of red wine in the sauce, so I used what I had on hand. I had a bottle of Trader Joe's Merlot, which for $3.99 a bottle isn't a bad wine. 

My husband and I finished the bottle with dinner. We had a toast to the new year.
The wine is my ticket to T this week. Stop by  Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog  for T.

One of my friends posted this photo on Facebook. I don't know if she took it or if she found it somewhere, but it made me laugh. The look of the sign with the old car next to it reminds me of a restaurant in Portsmouth (NH), but I may be wrong about that.

With all my holiday baking I did I think I am well on the way to being the chunk! (smile).

Since I stuck on the word hope right now, I hope everyone is having a great start to the new year, and that you have a great T day too.


Kate Yetter said...

Oh wow! This pasta looks delicious and the perfect way to bring in the New Year. It makes me want pasta right now. Love the sign as it has a lot a truth in it.
Happy Tea Day,

Linda Kunsman said...

Ah yes, to the New Year and doing the things that used to be normal for so many of us!
Had to laugh at your last funny photo cuz I found that recently on Google (looking up funny memes) and texted it to my hubby while he was on his lunch break for his first day back to work after a nice holiday break:)
Happy New Year and happy T day!

kathyinozarks said...

Hi Erika, I think allot of us just want things to be back to more normal-so we can put away our fears for one. I am just thankful I am retired and do not have to deal with all the rules going to work.
we have always lived rural too and I find ordering allot of things online is really nice and I can compare prices easy too and look for free shipping.
Your italian dish looks delicious, and I love a red wine.
Happy T hugs Kathy

Valerie-Jael said...

Your food looks so good. Chunk is probably the fate of many of us after Covid. Let's hope for a better new year! Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

Covid overwhelmed is the right phrase. Turn on the news and that´s all you get, more or less.
You sure made me laugh over that bottle of wine! Hmmm, that dish looks very, very yummy! And a beautifully set table, too.
Cry or laugh about the sign, I think I need a glass of.... beer!
Happy T-day! Hugs and thank you for the smiles.

Jeanie said...

Hope is mine, too, and I've seen it elsewhere. I view that as promising -- that our blogging community has a lot of hope for the year. I "hope" we are right. I'll feel a lot better after January 20.

Your dinner looks to die for -- really delicious and beautiful, too. I'm not a big shopper but I miss the ability to shop -- to go get what I need when I need it instead of either waiting for it to come or for someone to get it for me. It's so simple. Who would have thought....

Mae Travels said...

Your list of what's missing in your life and ours really ticks all the boxes-- eating out, traveling, going to museums, and above all seeing family. I wish you a good year in 2021 -- and may we all do better than we did in 2020!

be safe and well... mae at

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Wow, you really know how to make a person hungry. It looks wonderful, even if it IS filled with meat. When I was in CA and shopped at Trader Joe's it was called two buck chuck. Now it appears the price has doubled (grin). Seriously, if there's any wine I would NOT drink it's Merlot. Using it in the Italian Pie was a good choice. Thanks for sharing this Merlot and delectable food with us for T this Tuesday, dear friend.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Forgot to mention. When COVID is over, I'll be a chunky monk!

Divers and Sundry said...

I love Italian food, and your dishes look delicious. I'm glad 2020 is gone, but I agree any real improvement will be a while coming. At least we can be sure it's coming :) Happy T Tuesday!

Eileen Bergen said...

We share many of the same hopes for the new year, Erika. I think post-COVID, I'll be more of a monk f- or a while at least. I'm an introvert and have enjoyed the extra time for art. But, boy do I miss shopping and eating out!

Your New Year's dinner looks delicious.

Wishing you the best in 2021 and a Happy T-day today! Hugs, Eileen

Dianne said...

I'm with you...don't get too excited about New Year's Eve. but this year we surely need some hope for improvement! Your rigatoni looks delish, and love that true! Happy New Year! said...

Hi! your rigatoni and red wine look yummy ~ I like the sign and I'm trying to work off the chunk I added back on in 2020 this year! Remain hopeful and Keep crafting :)

Let's Art Journal said...

Loving that Italian pie - yum! Looks like you had a lovely celebration, I like merlot too šŸ˜€. The sign made me smile, I'm on my way to being a chunk šŸ˜‰. Happy T Day and wishing you all the best for the New Year! Hugs, Jo x

DVArtist said...

Ooohhhhh that dish looks soooo good. The wine, hey it was New Years, so a whole bottle is OK. I love the covid sign and I think it may be true. LOL Have a very nice day.

Lowcarb team member said...

Yum! Your food looks delicious!

All the best Jan

Neet said...

That pie looks mighty tasty. Bet it went down a treat with the Merlot.
Slopping about in comfortable clothes I hadn't realised just how much weight I had put on over Christmas - I can put weight on so easily but struggle to move it. So I guess I am a chunk! Love that sign.
Hugs, Neet xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh for things to be 'normal' soon! We had plans to revamp our balcony last Spring but don't feel inclined to buy things online. Clothes I can manage with while we aren't going out - a lot of them are too big for me since I have lost weight but as no one is seeing me I can at least get some wear out of them. Your rigatoni looks fabulous - bet it smells delicious as well as being tasty!
Love that sign - I hoe no has crashed while laughing at it! Happy T day, Chrisx