Last night was date night for Joe and me. It consisted of a trip to the grocery store with a pit stop at Sur la Table. As a newbie aspiring chef, I love that store. Everything in it demands to be touched, caressed, and taken home. The first two things I can do with no problem, the last is a bit hard given our current financial situation and the fact that Christmas is not so far away. It’s the time of the year where thinking of others always comes first. It doesn’t matter if the baking stones are on sale or they only have one silicone whisk left in the color you love. But if you drop enough hints, your boyfriend might just take out his phone and start making notes. Maybe. If you’re lucky.
The plan all day long was for me to start making Joe’s mom’s red sauce so we can freeze it and have it whenever we want. She made some when she was in town after Joe had his surgery in May. We ate off what she made until August. Now it’s my turn, and I’m terrified. Joe has eaten the sauce his mom makes since he was little. It’s a recipe handed down for generations (at least a couple that I’m aware of) in a big New York Italian family. I come from a small Indiana German/English family. We don’t do red sauce. We do goulash and potatoes. Needless to say, I’m more than a little intimidated by the five cans of crushed tomatoes, the sweet Italian sausage, and the ground bison (My twist. I try not to eat too much red meat due to the high reading on my cholesterol screening this spring. His mom used bison in May and they both agreed it was just as good as beef. Go me!) in my kitchen right now.
My slight fear of the saucy ingredients in my kitchen just might have something to do with the reason that I’m currently lounging on the couch, watching Food Network, browsing my favorite blogs, and typing away on my laptop instead of in the kitchen making the sauce that has to simmer for several hours before it’s just. right.
Joe has confidence in me. After all, I made the perfect turkey goulash that even he (my little carnivore) ate without missing the beef, the pie he thought would be too rich but turned out perfectly, and the carrot cake everyone I work with raved about even though it came from a mix. I’ve been having good food luck lately. It must be the good juju coming my way from friends and family. But to make a sauce he raves about and has never had prepared by anyone other than his family? Too. Much. Pressure. I’m not sure I can do it.
Now The Next Iron Chef is on. It’s motivating me to get off the couch and get into the kitchen and make this red sauce. It’s also inspiring me to eat A LOT of chocolate. For some reason I don’t think the two would mix very well.
Did I mention I have to make meatballs? Even though I’ve never made them before? I’m in so much trouble.