inspired

Lately it seems that if a stranger were to ask me
                     so Sarah, what is that you do with your free time?
I would have to honestly respond with
                     netflix and knit
And that’s all I would be able to say! Now, while this isn’t the worst thing I could be occupying my time with, I can’t help but feel awfully boring because of it. Of course knitting is something I absolutely love doing and it’s a huge part of my life, but it’s definitely not the only thing! Or at least I’ve become more aware of my not wanting it to be the only thing.
A couple weekends ago on my day off I was, you guessed it, watching netflix and knitting, when I chose a new documentary that seemed interesting called Cooked.

 

If you’ve heard of it you’ll understand when I tell you that I was hooked. The things Pollan says about food and the way society has changed it’s views on cooking over the last couple decades really struck a chord with me. I am definitely one of those people who has come to rely on quick fixes in the kitchen, mostly out of a sense of intimidation and impatience.      
         What if what I make doesn’t come out well? 
          I’m too tired and would rather eat quick and relax.
          I don’t want to spend all that time and money if I ruin it! 
          Cooking for 1 is too hard.
Hogwash, I know. So after finishing this series (which is only 4 episodes, so easy) I was inspired. Inspired to get into the kitchen and make the time to cook and use ingredients that were simple and not processed to the nth degree. But what to make?
Last year my mother gave me a binder of recipes that she had typed up from her family cookbook. I pulled it out and immediately knew which recipe I was going to conquer. Spaghetti Sauce.
Growing up I always had fond memories of my mom making this sauce. She would spend an entire day over a huge pot on the stove, the counter covered with ingredients, the entire house smelling like tomatoes. It was a recipe that her mother made and her mother’s mother before that. Each family member adding their own personal touches to the sauce. I knew that if my mom was making the sauce there was something special going on. It was always an exciting time.
I turned to the recipe in my binder and skimmed the page. Paragraphs. No list of ingredients. No Measurements. No step-by-step procedure. This was a short story that I had to dissect for clues. I read, making a list of ingredients as I went and trying to imagine how much I would need of certain things. I wasn’t in need of 10lbs of sauce so I tried to cut things in half. I’m only 1 gal after all! I went to the store and prepared for my Everest.
To get in the mood I required 3 crucial elements

Frank to sing with
Wine to not overthink
and Mom to guide (it takes a village)
We began the process of making sense of my mom’s recipe, which was much easier with the lady herself on the phone, and making the sauce. There isn’t much in the world that truly makes me nervous, but let me tell you, the pressure of doing the sauce justice was high. By no ones fault but my own. I wanted to do my family proud!! I wanted to eat this sauce by the end of day! My mother encouraged me every step of the way. I was making sauce! And then, before I knew it, meatballs! Everything was going to plan! I was really doing it! After about an hour my mom said ok, you’re on your own now and I took the reigns. Stirring and tasting, tasting and sipping, sipping and stirring. I almost had 1 minor meltdown when I put my meatballs in the oven and quickly realized that I had forgot to put the breadcrumbs in them! This obviously required a frantic call to the mom
        I FORGOT TO PUT THE BREADCRUMBS IN THE MEATBALLS!! 
       did they start to get brown yet?
       NO!!!
       then put it in and re-roll them
      OK!!!!
      goodbye sarah
      OHMYGODBYE!!!! 
The drama was real people. 
I resumed my constant stirring and watchful watching of the sauce and meatballs until the time had come. Time to taste and see how the stuff came out! It needed a splash more garlic (something I can never get enough of) and it was perfect! I had made the sauce. Me! To say I was proud in an understatement. I was blown away by how easy it had been. All this time I thought I would be eaten alive by this sacred sauce but no. It was the sauce that would be eaten! ha! 

My kitchen confidence grew 3 sizes that day. And now after a week of eating spaghetti I think my waist has also, but oh well! I climbed this culinary Everest and feel like I can now take on the world! Ok, so maybe souffles aren’t in my near future and that’s fine by me…those things are tough!
I’m so glad I chased my inspiration and tried something new and challenging. I’m determined to start spending more time in my kitchen. There will always be knitting but it’s time to start making the effort to do other things with my time too. I can’t become a hermit at 29!
           Can’t I though???
           NO! 

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