Her Grandmother's tomato gravy
Mar. 31, 2011 9:28 am
Updated: Apr. 1, 2011 9:49 am
I know... "tomato gravy"... why can't he just say tomato sauce. The reason I say tomato gravy instead of tomato sauce is that my wife Fabiola informs me this is what it's called. End
of discussion when a 4'11" red-haired woman of Italian descent who is waving a wooden spoon in your face says it is so.
It's enough of an apple of discord that I now make the gravy her family says is "the best!" That somehow I took the tried and true recipe and improved upon it to the point where they like
mine better. That and the fact I won't tell what I've done really sticks in their craw.
They have history and pride on their side, what with the Italian heritage and having owned 3 restaurants over 2 generations. Me, I'm a reformed bartender who liked to sneak into the kitchen
to make his own meals when working. I started cooking at age 12 when my mother was ill with the flu one weekend. I had gone to check on her after dinner and she had asked, "Did Dad make you supper?" and I replied, "No, but we made Dad dinner!" Now I admit
it was only hotdogs and minute rice but it was the start of 40+ years of cooking for me and others.
Anyway, this is one of the items I'm allowed, no scratch that, required to cook in our house. There are a few others menu items in addition to manning the grill 365 days a year, which can
get tricky here in New England. And this is fine by me. My wife is a wonderful cook and while we have made major adjustments in our diet in the past year, lessening fats and carbohydrates while doubling up on fruits and vegetables, we have not really suffered
at all gastronomically speaking. Certain items no longer reside in the pantry, the most missed from my point of view being potato chips and peanuts. But the quality of food we eat has maintained a very high degree of smell, look, taste and texture. Most meals
can be considered restaurant quality as well as healthy and wholesome. Though our 9 year old son Quinn has his doubts about Mom's Eggplant Patsy and the substitution of soy crumbles for beef in the taco mix, he has basically embraced the change. During the
summer months all vegetables are local grown for as long as they are available through the CSA outlets.
So… I basically accept this arrangement, taking advantage of the occasional day trips she and Quinn make to "destroy the kitchen" as she likes to say. And I’m working on that "clean as you
go" thing as much as possible. Oh, I have a smoker that is strictly mine also… my wife’s view of outdoor cooking as being done by manly men in a manly way blah, blah, blah.
But I do get to cook occasionally and I will try to document some of those experiences here.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you all enjoy your kitchen!