It was only a matter of time but yes, Miss Arabella now has her driver’s licence. She was eligible to hit the roads some 18 months ago but just like Alfie’s belated birthday party, somehow there was just a lot of inertia about actually sitting the test.
About a year ago she asked me to book the test and so I did and then she forgot to turn up for it. And no, the RTA does not give refunds to people who fail to turn up to tests. Arabella completed her 120 hours with me being her driving instructor for most of those 99.9% of those hours but I felt we needed some professional help when it came to parking.
Last week I booked a couple of very necessary ‘finishing’ lessons and booked the test for the end of the week. She said the lessons were ‘great’. I had no reason to be concerned until the day of the test when as she was leaving, Arabella yelled out, ‘And I’m not going to pass, you know’.
And I was stunned, (because the RTA doesn’t give refunds for failures either). ‘What do you mean you’re not going to pass?’
‘I can’t park the car’.
‘But didn’t the driving instructor teach you how to park’.
‘He was teaching me other stuff’.
‘Why didn’t he teach you to park? That was the whole point’.
‘Mum, don’t get me stressed’.
‘You’ll be fine. You’re very capable. Good luck’. But those are the things mothers always say. What I was really thinking was, if you can’t park a car you surely won’t pass the test.
An hour or so later a text message came through. ‘After one year of not driving at all and two driving lessons, I’m a P Pl8er!!!!!!!!!’ I just had to call her. ‘So you can park the car!’
‘But you must have done a good park in your test?’
‘I didn’t have to do a reverse park. He got me to do a three-point turn instead’. I was confused. No bits were left out of the rule book when I sat my driving test. But yes, that was the olden days and these days the instructor will ask you to do one or the other. As luck would have it, Arabella wasn’t asked to show the instructor how she can’t reverse park and was rewarded with her driver’s licence.
A few days ago I was out on my terrace. The poor girl came driving home and I saw her trying to park the car outside our house about four times. I went down to render assistance. She threw open the car door, got out and walked away saying, ‘I give up’, and leaving the car on an awkward angle, I had to finish the job for her.
But do not worry about Arabella because she’s in good spirits. I’ve barely seen my car since she got her licence. It’s a good thing I have strong legs and a good pair of sneakers. Today she asked if she could take my car to a shopping mall. I asked, ‘But how are you going to park the car?’
‘It’s all good, mum, my boyfriend will do it for me’.
Recently I shared with you my Casa Barilla cooking demonstration experience with you. From the comments it seems a lot of you were very interested in the sausage and leek pasta so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
Casarecce with Leeks, Sausage and Salted Ricotta
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: This dish has so few ingredients that it’s inexpensive however, as I couldn’t find salted ricotta, I can’t factor that into the cost.
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- 200g Italian pork sausages
- 150ml dry white wine
- 1 small leek
- 320g Barilla Casarecce
- 120g salted ricotta
- 1 handful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
In a large saucepan, pour in the olive oil and heat. Remove the sausages from their casings and break into little pieces and cook in the olive oil until golden.
And the white wine and allow to evaporate.
Meanwhile, wash the leek and halve it lengthwise. Slice into 1/2cm pieces and add it ot the pan where the sausages are cooking. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the leeks are soft.
Cook the Barilla Casarecce in plenty of salted water, stir frequently and reserve some cooking water before draining your pasta.
Drain the pasta and toss it into the pan with your sauce. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano and toss it until it melts. If necessary, use some of the reserved cooking water.
Plate your Casarecce with grated salted ricotta on top.
I normally allow 100gms of dried pasta per person so this was a bit light-on for us so I increased the quantities. I had a lot of trouble sourcing salted ricotta so had to go with plain ricotta with a salt sprinkle. And it wasn’t quite the same but the pasta was wonderful nonetheless.
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