It only took me 43 and a half years, but I finally did it. I made the family recipe for sauce & meatballs. The same recipe that my Dad has been making for as long as I can remember, and my Grandma before him. How did it take me so long?
It's something I've been meaning to do - in fact, truthfully it was on my list of resolutions for this year under foods I wanted to make. I am never very big on New Year's resolutions, unless food is involved. And after watching Dad & my brother-in-law Terry make the sauce last Christmas & taking notes, I filed them away & waited. And waited. Waited for the right time. Maybe I'd do it when the little mister was out of town so he could avoid the meat-fest. But it didn't quite work out that way.
Just before Thanksgiving, we decided to have a post-Thanksgiving potluck, and I decided it was time to make the sauce. The mister also made one of his family recipes for fried cardoons. The kitchen was splattered with oil from the floor to the ceiling. We spent the better part of a day frying things and simmering sauce. Huge messes were made, and then cleaned up, and then made again as friends showed up. Parmesan cheese was grated. Plates were filled. The table was loaded up with post-Thanksgiving remnants from other people's feasts, like pie, stuffing, fresh crab, green beans, brussels sprouts. Bottles of wine arrived and were subsequently passed around and emptied. Nothing formal, in fact we ate on layers of flimsy paper plates. I barely remembered to take any photos. But that was ok. The most important thing to me was that the house was full of friends and I finally was able to recreate the taste of home, the scent of the kitchen I grew up in. There are few dishes that can summon that experience for me, in fact I can't really think of another one. This dish that I have somehow always taken for granted as being a part of our family fabric, has somehow also remained elusive, something that other people in the family made, but not me. I don't know why that has been the case in the past, but I'm happy it will not be the case any longer. Cause I made it, and it was awesome!
So thanks, Dad, and Grandma, and everyone who came before who made the recipe, and the experience of enjoying it, what it is.