Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Supper Time

I approach cooking more as an art form than a daily necessity. I like trying new dishes more than whipping up old favorites, and my cupboards are well-stocked. There's something therapeutic about chopping and mincing, grating and slicing. Rubbing dry herbs between my fingers to release their flavors. Filling my house with delicious smells. I particularly like to cook things that need several hours of simmering, building anticipation for the meal all day.

Which brings me to tonight's meal.

Yesterday I ate a frozen dinner for lunch. Linguine, pasta sauce, shrimp, spinach and mushrooms. Sounds more appealing than it looked or tasted. For a frozen dinner it was ok, but as I ate the watery concoction I thought I could probably do better. Made fresh, it would have been wonderful.

I went online (to my favorite recipe site) and found a recipe for pasta sauce. After work I stopped at the grocery store and liquor store (for the dry red wine) and zipped home to throw it together. This particular recipe is supposed to simmer for 3-5 hours. Which means I probably should have waited for the weekend to make it, but I'm impatient like that.

I'm cooking it up tonight, and will eat it for supper tomorrow.

After getting everything together in the pot, I glanced (one more time) at the directions. Because I'm a faithful follower, particularly with a new recipe.

Bring to a light boil.

Ummm...the only liquid in the pot was the half cup of red wine.
So it was thick. Very thick. And my dutch oven was three quarters full. Of very thick wonderful red sauce.
As soon as it started bubbling, the pot nearly leaped off the stove from the force of the boil. It produced big red pasta sauce bubbles.
Bubbles that did not stay in the pot.
A bit of a stir and the sauce calmed down, and with some experimenting I got the temperature just right. Hot enough to simmer (sort of) without popping big red bubbles all over my kitchen.

And now I wait. First I'll wait until it's done simmering. Then I'll wait until it's cooled enough to refrigerate. Then I'll wait until suppertime tomorrow, and hopefully it will be fantastic. Good enough to justify the bottle of wine. Red wine, which I don't usually drink. So either I'll be making a lot of pasta sauce, or indulging in a glass or two.

I'll let you know tomorrow how it turned out.

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