Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Fiction,
The Recipe



Welcome to Fiction Friday! This week it is being hosted by Karlene at her blog, Homespun Expressions. Make sure to head over there for more great fiction! If you are participating with your own fiction, be sure to link up with the Mcklinky at the bottom of her post.

My own contribution this week isn’t much of a story – but the recipe it’s wrapped around is real. My sons grew up on this Italian marinara, and it has become a tradition in our family, sometimes even making it to the holiday tables in lieu of more traditional holiday fare. This simple story is also a reflection of the time of year (harvest season), what’s on my mind (a garden full of tomatoes), and why I don’t have much time for such things as WRITING!!! If you try the recipe, I truly hope you enjoy it.

THE RECIPE

Stella smiled as she hung up the phone. They’d all be here in an hour or so. Sons and daughters-in-law chatting and laughing, squealing grandchildren running all over the house. Cats fleeing for hiding places unreachable by grubby fingers. There would hardly be room to move about the kitchen, which seemed to draw people like bees to pollen. All the more reason to scurry and get as much done as possible now, before they got here.

“Honey, could you bring up a couple jars of sauce from the basement? I’ve got to get the sauce going, they’ll be here soon!”

“Two be enough?”

“Yes, with the sausage and tomato paste, it will be enough.” To herself, Stella thought about all the ingredients already in her home-canned sauce. Dried oregano, basil and parsley. Sugar, salt and pepper. Garlic and onions. And of course, the most special ingredient of all, her home-grown tomatoes. She’d have to check the jars to see if they contained fennel seed. Sometimes she added it when canning, and sometimes she didn’t. It wasn’t in the original recipe, but it sure added flavor.

With a slight twinge of conscience, she remembered a promise she had still to keep. If she didn’t do it soon, the woman would think she had forgotten, or, worse, wasn’t the type to share her most special recipes. Well, maybe when she had the sauce cooking she’d take minute to make that phone call.

She grabbed the large cutting board, the French knife and a small paring knife. Garlic and fennel seed were soon sizzling lightly in extra-virgin olive oil. In went the tomato paste, one large can, before the garlic had time to burn, and then the two quarts of tomato sauce. She stirred in more basil and oregano, but the amount of salt, pepper, sugar and parsley already in the jars was ample for the spaghetti sauce. She already had sausage browning in a large skillet.

After draining the sausage on paper towels she added it to the sauce, and then added the final ingredient – two bay leaves. She’d let that simmer for about an hour before putting on the water to boil for the pasta. She knew what everyone would say when they arrived – “Wow, does it smell good in here!” They always said that, she thought with a smile.

The phone rang, jarring her from her reverie. “Oh, Dorothy, I’m so glad you called! You know, I was just thinking about you, and I wanted to give you that recipe you asked for – you know, for the spaghetti sauce? Are you ready to write?”

6 comments:

Stina Rose said...

Yum! Can I come to dinner? :)

Hoomi said...

Now I have a jones for home-grown tomatoes. I don't need them cooked or spiced or anything else; just a fresh, right-off-the-vine tomato.

Nice ambiance and setting, and you crafted a delightfully warm story with them.

Dee Yoder said...

Great story, and like Hoomi and Christine, it makes me hungry for spaghetti. Yum!

Karlene said...

Mmmm...it does smell good in here.
You made me hungry for that yummy spaghetti!

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

This was a fun way to reveal your recipe, through setting a scene and telling a story. Sounds delicious!

BethL said...

I can smell the sauce cooking now. IF you grow tomatoes, you definitely don't have time to write this time of year. (I miss home-grown tomatoes). I don't usually add fennel, but the rest of the ingredients are also in my sauce. :) LOVE this, Sherri!