The sauce.

Oh, the sauce.

It consumed my entire weekend.  Even when I was at work on Sunday, all I thought about was the sauce and whether it was going to turn out OK.  If it would be everything Joe remembered from home.  If it would even be edible.  I probably wouldn’t have worried nearly as much had I known to not take the directions so seriously.

But they were directions.  From a recipe.  Given to me by the person who made it when Joe was growing up.

If I’ve learned anything about cooking in all my years, it’s that recipe directions, at least measurement amounts, need to be followed carefully.  Especially when baking.  But I wasn’t baking so I figured a little more of this or less of this wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.

Boy was I wrong.

It doesn’t help that I was wrong on the most important part of the sauce.

(At least from Joe’s point of view.)

The meatballs.

My directions said to break two pieces of white bread into a bowl and to cover with milk and let sit until the milk is absorbed.  So that’s what I did.  I set the bread aside and minced tons of garlic.  Measured spices.  Poured all five cans of crushed tomatoes (half of them are still on the white tshirt I happened to be wearing at the time.  Aprons, people.  Don’t forget them) and one can of tomato paste into my HUGE saucepan.

Checked the bread.  Milk still not absorbed.

Opened ground bison and sausages.

Checked the bread.  Milk still not absorbed.

Opened up the bread crumbs and cheese.

Checked the bread.  Milk still not absorbed.  In fact, it looks like the milk has somehow multiplied since I poured it over the bread.

I figure this is the best it’s going to get.  I have to put cheese and bread crumbs in this mess to absorb excess liquid, anyway.  This must be what it’s supposed to look like.  After all, I read the directions and followed them to.  the.  letter.

The bison goes in the bowl and I start mixing.  Still very wet.

The cheese goes into the bowl.  The tiniest bit less soupy.

A couple of tablespoons of bread crumbs go into the bowl.  Noticeably less soupy, still not able to form into anything resembling a meatball.

More bread crumbs added to the bowl.  Mix.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

By the time I decided I could make, if not meatballs, meat wads, I had dumped nearly half the can of bread crumbs into my meatball mix.  I was worried beyond belief that my meatballs were going to be dry, misshapen, inedible meat things in my sauce, and because of this I didn’t dare add any more bread crumbs to the mixture.  I rolled that meat into the closest thing resembling a meatball as I could, browned them in a skillet, and tossed them into the sauce to cook the rest of the way.  All the while knowing that the sauce was ruined and Joe would tell his family how awful I was at making sauce and he’d never ask me to cook anything again.  Ever.  The end.

After a day and a half of bringing the sauce to a boil, stirring, letting it sit to cook the meat all the way through, Joe and I mustered the courage to try one of the meatballs.

It was good.  Surprisingly good.  Juicy beyond belief and tasty as hell from the cheese.

The sauce was deemed a success and immediately measured into meal size portions and frozen.

I’ve learned from my mistake.  Next time I won’t drown the bread in milk.

Watch those meatballs turn out to be hard as little meaty rocks.


1 thought on “Saucy

  1. Pingback: And on the fifth night… « It's What Katie Did

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