Sunday, October 19, 2008

You say tomato, I say I'LL MAKE SAUCE

Surely Jerry's Italian ancestors would be bursting with pride, I thought as I sampled my first-ever attempt at homemade tomato sauce.

And, if I do say so myself, it totally kicked ass.

A little zip, majorly chunky and I used olive oil. Yep, I officially earned the "i" on the end of my married name.

So what if I used canned tomatoes? And a jar of roasted sweet peppers instead of doing it myself? No one else has to know. I mean the gigantic mess in my kitchen speaks for itself -- especially the tiny splotches of red all over the stove.

The point is, I didn't just open a jar of Prego.

Since it was hours before we planned on eating and I couldn't wait that long to brag about my awesome sauce, I delicately carried a warm spoonful up the stairs to the office where Jerry was playing with Alli and Toby while talking on the phone to his friend.

"I MADE MY OWN SAUCE!" I said upon entering the room, practically willing all of them to burst fourth with applause.

"Hold on a sec," Jerry said into the phone. "Wow Kelly, that's great!"

It was the perfect response. He was just the right amount supportive and not overly enthusiastic to the point it could be construed as forced.

So I lovingly placed the spoonful in his mouth.

Then he gagged.

And coughed.

And sputtered how fantastic it was.

"Wow! It's, uh, got some bite! I wasn't expecting that," he choked out. "But it's really good! I think it just went down the wrong pipe or something."

Maybe those Italian ancestors wouldn't be bursting with pride after all. Maybe my tastebuds were overpowered by my innate feeling of accomplishment.

Unfortunately, the only thing I did manage to get right is quantity. So now I have a vat of gag-inducing semi-homemade sauce fit for the mouth of the garbage disposal.

Now where's that jar of Prego?


Jennifer Suarez said...

Oh it couldn't possibly be that bad! Could it?

bronxbombette said...

Did you let it simmer for a while? That could tame it! My godparents make some kick ass Italian dishes!

Anonymous said...

Hahaha My boyfriend and his family are from Sicily.. His mom taught me how to make their sauce.. You peel the skin off of the tomatoes (sort of like how you do for Alli with grapes!) and then cut the peeled tomatoes and put garlic, salt, and sugar in it. It's pretty easy...But then again they don't use peppers haha Good luck next time!

Linda said...

I'm Italian and I still mess up sauce once in a while. It happens. You just have to keep trying. My grandmother always tells me how she didn't know how to cook one thing when she got married, and she's the best cook I know. I repeat that to myself a lot when I'm forcing my occasionally-crappy food down my throat.

Ray said...

You'll get it right the next time. Try a new recipe maybe? ;o)

LeslieAnn said...

Oh man, I totally know how you feel. My boyfriend's mom is 100% Italian and I'm barley allowed to open the refrigerator, let along use the stove/oven. He doesn't trust me at all because he's the Italian one and the only time I get to cook without a hawk over my shoulder is when he's away. I can't make his mom's sauce on my own but a few days ago I did make a mean vodka creme sauce that he loved. Woohoo! One small step for a half Mexican - half Irish/German who can't cook.

I'm sure you'll make something fantastic soon. :D

Anonymous said...

I'm went down the wrong pipe...The sauce was fantastic!!! No lies.


Anonymous said...

My mom attempted to accomplish the same back when she and my dad were first married. Her Mother-in-law made AWESOME sauce from scratch from a recipe passed down from her ancestors. She gave my mom the recipe and, once it was ready, my mom let my dad taste it. His response..."What do you think? I mean, it's not bad. By the way, have you heard about that new sauce out? Ragu...or something? Maybe we can try that sometime." ;-)

Lioncloud said...

Don't _peel_ the tomatoes. Drop them in boiling water for a minute and then plunge them in cold water. The skins will come right off.

I am not advocating the use of animal products but I have heard several Italian cooks say that you have to have a little piece of pork cooking in the sauce to make it taste right, and a little sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes.

Annie said...

Kelly, try adding a bit of red wine and carrot(use like a microplane...). The wine gives it a richer flavor and the carrot cuts the acidity of the tomato without having to add sugar. Also, lots of basil, not as much oregano...

the plainsman said...

I can not imagine any home made sauce tasting bad, unless some strange ingredient fell into the pot, like say, corn. Peppers are fine. If things out of balance, there are fixes, a little more sugar, perhaps. A shake of the crushed red pepper does wonders if one likes hot, (like me). Most of the store brands have way too much corn syrup or sugar, though.

Kriston said...

Oh you are going to get so many suggestions because there are so many personal sauces out there! Sauce is personal and that is what makes it wonderful. Find something YOU think is good and let that be Kelly's sauce. I think I'll go blog my sauce story so I won't take up your space and if you are curious you can come check mine out.

You might want to steal it a little bit and then change it all around until it's something you like and really doesn't resemble mine at all. :)