Almost the only thing I took into the cooking part of our marriage is my ability to make spaghetti sauce from scratch. It is almost a dump sauce, where most ingredients come from cans, and it is heavenly. My Mom taught it to my sister, who tweaked it into perfection and wrote it down for me.
So we started off our married life with me able to make spaghetti sauce and a plethora of casseroles, all cream soup based. The casserole phase has long since passed (I'm not even sure my kids ever tasted one of my tried and true classics) but the spaghetti sauce remained. It is the meal I make for special occasions, for romantic dinners, for Christmas.
This weekend I have one small, dairy free, nephew staying with us and I know he has eaten and liked spaghetti at our house before. While he is starting a movie, I throw the ingredients into the pan and leave it to simmer.
The secret of the sauce is the simmer. All those tomatoes, onions, garlic, black olives, mushrooms, spices, and red wine vinegar, roll around in an aromatic slow boil. The secret of the sauce is the occasional stirring during the simmer. A watched pot of sauce cooks the best.
All of which I forgot as I got sucked into "Horton Hears A Who".....I know, it would be understandable if I got immersed in "Shrek" but "Horton"? I was snuggled on the couch with nephew #4 and dog #2 when I suddenly remembered the sauce. Actually, I suddenly smelled the sauce, and not in the good way.
Scorched doesn't even begin to describe it. The sauce looks so lovely, but the taste. Oh, the horror! And the pan has suffered greatly too.
It's back to the drawing board for dinner! Meanwhile, little nephew has found that we have a bowl of Valentine heart candy......he's pretty sure that is all he needs!