Everyone’s a Critic

You would think you could catch a break when offering to cook for people – not this family! Thank goodness I could dial up {Aunt} Loretta and get confirmation on the recipe and my methods….

Here’s how it went:

I had {Dad} call {Aunt} Mary Jo and invite her over for dinner (Spaghetti and Meatballs with Grammie’s Sauce)..She was coming at 7:00 p and questioned wondered how long I had been cooking the sauce for (okay I admit it, it was cold and took me all morning to get the “oompf” to get to the store and get what I needed and we didn’t get back until 4:30…) So, the sauce was simmering for 2 hours having been prepared to the exact specifications of the recipe which read as follows:

1 Pepper
1 c Tomato Puree
2 c Stew Tomato
1 c Tomato Paste
——–> 2 paste cans of water, 1 of wine
Sugar to taste
Italian Seasoning

The tomato paste cane was 6 oz. so in my brain I accepted that she must have just meant to use one can. It never dawned on me that all those “c”s could mean can and not cups. (That’s what happens when you are semi-formally trained and aren’t used to a home cooks shorthand!)

Then what should have been the easiest part of the meal: Pre-Made Meatballs from Wegmans.…wouldn’t cook all the way through, so at the others suggestion I popped them in the microwave for 2 minutes. Oh well, dinner was served!

My sauce was too sweet. The peppers should have been in strips not chopped. Grammie used whole tomatoes not stewed. Are you sure it said to use wine? Grammie never had wine. Plus that wasn’t a good wine to use. Need I say more?

Thank goodness {Aunt} Loretta came to my rescue. I had already realized the whole can/cup mistake and verified that. BUT she assured me that YES she used stewed tomatoes. YES she used wine (or Sangria!), usually a sweet wine. SOMETIMES she did the pepper in strips, but she also threw it into the blender with the tomatoes too. (I used an immersion blender) However, she never used sugar despite the fact that she lists it in her recipe “to taste” (Her taste = No sugar)

I’m not posting a recipe for this yet. I’m going to go ahead and have a re-do with this, and share the details with you.. of course you can go off of what I wrote above. I do however, have this to say about sauce. I think it’s a very personal thing and allows for a lot of variation among cooks, so don’t be afraid to experiment because even though my version wasn’t “right” it tasted DARN good to me!

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3 Responses to “Everyone’s a Critic”

  1. Mary-Jo Says:

    My recipe says:
    1 large can crushed tomatoes
    2 sm cans tomatoe paste
    3 cans water (use tomatoe paste cans)
    pepper and onions browned
    salt and pepper
    1 1/2 lbs hamburger browned
    garlic powder and parm cheese
    boil and then simmer uncovered

    However, I did substitute wine and used fresh garlic and sometimes hot peppers.

  2. Suzie Says:

    And let me add… yes everyone in this family is a critic 🙂

  3. Suzie Says:

    Yes, I will also confirm the use of wine and stewed tomatoes.

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