Sunday, September 12, 2010

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

My 16 month old grandson was staying the day with us today. He had tuckered himself out running all over the social hall at church and fell asleep in his car seat on the way home. Jay carefully unfastened the car seat and set him in the easy chair in the living room to continue his nap from his throne. Paternally, Jay laid on the couch, keeping an eye on him as he slept.

My mission during this quiet time, was to create my summer red sauce -- homemade spaghetti sauce. Ripe red tomatoes, bursting at the seams, onion of course, zucchini cut in tiny 1/4 rounds, plus one cut up chicken sausage needed to be readied. I cut and chopped these ingredients, adding some shredded fresh basil and tomato paste, as quietly as I could, all the while waiting for the pot to boil for the spaghetti, then adding the spaghetti, turning the vegetables, stirring, adding, flavor, lid for the pot, pasta done, drain, rinse, so many details to all be orchestrated at once. There was a rhythm to my process though and I felt I flowed through it easily and gently from pan to pan, savoring the smells I was creating. I realized how much work it is to make fresh pasta sauce - and yet, I was so happy doing it, knowing how fresh it would taste, how my baby would wake up and something absolutely wonderful would await him, not to mention how much his grandparents were going to love it. So much effort, dishes dirtied, and yet...and yet, I love to do this. Is it the simplicity of it despite the effort, how delicious fresh vegetables in a simple sauce can taste? Is it something I have created, in a meditative manner, chop, chop, stir, slice, the partners in the dance coming together so easily and beautifully?

I believe it might be both of these things, plus the joy of eating it with those I love, a tradition that will go on and on through the ages. Hand made with love, you just can't buy that.

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