A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
I grew up in a neighborhood rich with Sicilian families, which meant I grew up eating very well. Mom was a fabulous cook too, but inclined more toward baking. Still, when it comes time to make spaghetti, it's Mom's recipe I use.
Nephew Casey makes it all the time for his young family. He made it last week, and Mitch, the middle child (age 4) said he needed to get a ladder before dinner started.
"What do you need a ladder for?" Casey asked.
"So Grandma can come down and eat with us." Grandma, as you know if you've read this blog, died in April, and we miss her more all the time. Mitch, however, continues to have a personal relationship with her that none of the rest of us understands, but all of us respect.
"Honey, she can't come down for dinner," Casey said. I don't think Mitch believed him, but he's a pretty polite boy and didn't press the point.
It looks like a wintery weekend, perfect for Grandma's Spaghetti and raising a glass of chianti to those who've warmed our hearts and whose love we carry with us always.
(By the way, the recipe comes from a 1959 copy of Be Milwaukee's Guest, a wonderful cookbook from the Junior League of Milwaukee, and is attributed to Barbara Froemming Dreazy.)
Norwegian Grandma's Italian Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1-1/4 cup chopped onion
6 strips chopped raw bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck--oops! Left out of original recipe
3 garlic cloves minced
4 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons dry crushed red pepper
2/3 cup chianti or other dry red wine
1 cup canned tomatoes
2 6-oz cans tomato paste
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
2 teaspoons oregano
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups sliced and sauteed mushrooms
Saute onions in olive oil and butter. Add ground chuck, bacon; saute. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer at least an hour. For best flavor, make the day before and allow the flavors to develop.
Serve on cooked spaghetti; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Add herb bread, green salad, and more chianti for a great dinner! Serves 8 (in my family, 4).