In my adult life, I’ve been a vegetarian, a vegan and an omnivore. Right now, I’m an omnivore because I feel healthier, but if you’re not, you might not want to read further.
Asking Jack, “What are you doing this weekend?” draws the most depressed reaction, he being so certain a task is forthcoming. I knew he would but I asked anyway on Saturday morning. His entire body drooped about 2 inches — head, shoulders, arms, knees. “Oh, no,” he said.
I smiled. “Did you know Fairway is having an Italian sale?” I asked. “Don’t you think it’s a good day to make your spaghetti sauce?” And then he smiled back and started making plans.
Every winter, Jack makes a vat of an incredible spaghetti sauce, originally based on his mother’s recipe, but that he improved upon years ago and refines a bit more every year.
He headed to Fairway with list in hand and was back fairly soon, taking over the kitchen, soon chopping fresh vegetables, sauteing ground beef and sausage, combining all with herbs and such until the kitchen looked like a bunch of tomatoes had exploded.
I puttered around once in a while cleaning up after him, directing him to different appliances, while he worked the sauce into the 16-quart stainless steel pot brought out annually only for this purpose.
Then the sauce simmers for 24 hours. But when he’s not looking, I taste. And I get in trouble if I’m caught because “it’s not readyyyyy!!!” And I always get caught. Even so, it’s good; it’s really good.
While the snow fell outside Saturday, we cooked — he in the kitchen and I, our Saturday meal, in a dutch oven on the wood stove. And we laughed to discover our “secret” ingredient was the same. We had a warm, yummy weekend.