Round Midnight Pesto

Never watched the movie but I recognize the name and graphics from my time behind the counter of a video store.  You know, back in the dark ages when one had to actually leave the house to get a movie.

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The staff got an extra dollar an hour to work in that particular store, compared to the other locations in the small chain, because of the neighborhood.  I grew up three blocks from the store and most of the other employees were neighborhood folk as well.  We called the extra money combat pay and chuckled all the way to the bank.

It sucked being on my feet for an entire shift but the pay was decent and you got to not only watch movies while working but also take them home.  I watched so many movies during those days.  I’d try just about anything because it cost me nothing but a bit of time and I discovered some treasures along the way.

Can’t remember where I was working when Clerks came out but I do remember seeing it at York Square with a group of friends and us all damn near dying of laughter.  We’d worked as clerks in convenience, video and book stores and I’d not only done the aforementioned video store but also a newsstand and so had a couple of others.  Dealing with customers from behind a counter has a certain amount of universality no matter what’s being sold.

We all kept odd hours then.  The job of the month demanded it if nothing else.  Some of us found real careers, some had kids and got married.  Once we were inseparable and now I can’t remember the last time I talked to most of them.  It’s life, it happens.  But at that moment all those years ago, sitting in that theater, we all saw our lives up on that screen and laughed together.

Time shifts as you age. Or at least it has for me. It’s very odd.  Where once a summer off from school seemed to last forever, now I blink and a year has passed by.  How do you grab onto something when its moving so quickly it’s just a blur?

One constant is that I still keep odd hours so there I was the other night coming up with dinner after eleven at night.

Starting dinner that late I didn’t want anything too complicated so I ended up making a sorta pesto minus the bother of a true one.

Cook a pasta of your choice, I used tortellini, and when you drain the pasta reserve some of the cooking water.  Take some roughly chopped basil and add it to the cooked pasta with a generous amount Parmesan or Romano cheese and some of the pasta water.  Toss it all together and let it rest for a moment.  The cheese will melt in the pasta water and make a light sauce.  Add a splash of heavy cream if you want to.  If you want to get fancy include a side salad and some bread and dinner is served, even if it is round midnight.

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