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Life comes full circle
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I have always worked. In my family, when you turned 16, you got a job.

However, until I was about 15, I thought when you turned 16, you got a car. Nobody told me that the car would require a job.

It didn’t take me long to realize if you want something, like gas to put in your car, you had to work for it.

I continued to work all through school. My early jobs in high school and college were as a bookkeeper, receptionist, student ambassador for my college, fashion show coordinator for the local mall and "prep assistant" for the college food science classes. And I wasn’t even a food science major.

Isn’t it interesting how life comes full circle sometimes?

These days, my jobs include planning weddings and events, writing a blog, selecting/tasting/adapting recipes and speaking about food and entertaining.

I’ve had some interesting jobs along the way, but I’ve got to tell you about one of my favorites. It wasn’t really a paying job. It was an internship.

In graduate school, I worked at an advertising agency based out of St. Louis. One of my assignments was to handle the print advertising for upcoming concerts

Remember, this was 1981 before the techno age hit. Things were still being mailed, printed and hand-delivered.

One day my boss came in and told me my new client was on the phone. I picked up the phone and imagine my surprise when I heard, "Hi Crevolyn. This is John Denver." Well, this job just got better.

We talked regularly over the course of the next few months. He was warm, engaging and kind.

The day came when my portion of the job was ending, and John made one last call. When I answered, he immediately started singing.

"You fill up my senses, like a night in the forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain." It was from "Annie’s Song."

Then he very graciously thanked me for all of my work on his behalf. What a great gift I received that day. That alone was payment enough! I’ll never forget it.

My daddy always said "a little hard work never hurt anyone." I’ll venture to say most folks feel a great sense of accomplishment after a job well done.

So let’s get in the kitchen, make this baked spaghetti and reap the benefits of some good work. This is one of our family’s favorites.

Baked spaghetti

 

1 ½ pounds lean ground meat

2 (24-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta

1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese

1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Crumble ground meat in a saucepan. Cook until no pink remains; drain off the fat.

Combine ground meat and spaghetti sauce. Simmer together about 20 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Combine the cheeses into one bowl.

Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan with a third of the sauce. Add a layer of pasta, then add a cup of cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the last third of the sauce.

Bake for 30 minutes. Top with the remaining cup of cheese, return to the oven and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly

Cut into squares and serve.

 

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook "Cooking with Crevolyn" available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at crevolyn.wiley@jandjfoods.com.

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