10.16.2007

Comfort Food, Grandma Style, and a Funny

This is my Grandma Barbara and my Pa Ralph. I never called my grandpa "pa" growing up, but when Avery started talking, grandpas became pas and the name stuck. I love this picture of my grandparents. They look so happy and hip. I've always seen George and myself in this picture, if only we were hip and photogenic.


This is my grandma's spaghetti sauce. She learned to make it from her mother, and my mother learned to make it from both her mother and grandmother. When I found myself in the position of head cook for our family years ago, I learned to make it myself, putting my taste memories to the test.

A few weeks ago, my mom and I cooked up a huge batch of Grandma's spaghetti sauce for a family reunion of sorts. I learned from this experience that I make the sauce totally different from my mom, grandma and great grandma. Similar, but not quite the same. As we chopped, sauteed and stirred, I kept saying, "Really? That's how you make it?" (sorry Mom). Our dinner was delicious, but I think I will stick to my recipe, and in honor of my grandma, it will always be known as Grandma's Spaghetti. Here's the recipe, from my memory to your kitchen.

Grandma's Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb. ground beef
4 slices bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes
1 - 14 ounce can tomato sauce
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 can Italian style stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 heaping teaspoon each oregano and basil (or 1 very generous tablespoon if using fresh herbs)
1 bay leaf

In a large saucepan, brown ground beef and bacon. Drain fat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion softens. In a blender, mix one large can of whole tomatoes with tomato paste. Add to saucepan. Blend the other can of whole tomatoes with the stewed tomatoes and add to saucepan. Add tomato sauce, sugar and herbs to saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 hours (the longer the better). Serve over your favorite pasta. Freeze leftovers in quart size containers for easy suppers.

This afternoon while I was making spaghetti sauce, George was brewing beer and Avery was graphing pennies, Aidan found his own project. I found him laying on the floor, talking on the phone and studying the phonebook. I crept closer to investigate, expecting to hear the operator saying "Your call cannot go through", but instead discovered he was carrying on a conversation with a real live person! He guiltily handed over the phone and I had a nice little conversation with the FTD operator who said, "He was trying to order you flowers." Very sweet, but I'll be hiding my credit cards from now on. I guess we've moved on from daisies in thimbles. He loves me, he loves me not, he definitely loves me.

17 comments:

  1. I love photos of hip grandparents! Isn't that great?

    I need a spaghetti sauce recipe. I also need a blender... hmmm.

    And OH, MY!! Never underestimate Aidan. That is so funny.

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  2. Aidan cracks me up! He is amazing.

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  3. p.s. -- you and George are way hip.

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  4. Oh my gosh!!! That is the most adorable thing ever! What a doll, he is! Could be worse... a friend of mine woke up a few weeks ago to find her 7 year old bidding on eBay! NASCAR toys. Yikes!

    Thanks so much for the recipe. My family is going to love it!

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  5. It doesn't matter how you cook it, it's the concept behind the recipe that counts, along with the memories it calls up in your heart and mind.
    Aidan will fill up a large serving of those for all of us! What a guy!
    Sorry your parents don't have any "hip" pictures, as we are far from "hipness". If you post any pictures of us, I'll........

    Love
    Dad

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  6. That is too funny! What a sweet boy!

    That recipe looks so yummy. I'm saving it for our first genuinely chilly evening.

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  7. sorry... too much photographic evidence that U&G are the coolest, hippest couple, ever!
    Even more proof... Aidan's ordering you-all flowers! (Or maybe he read your september 6 blog)?

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  8. Mom/GrandmaOctober 16, 2007

    I'll give Aidan my credit card anytime!

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  9. mmm, definitely trying the spaghetti sauce! i haven't made chili yet because we've been hunkered down with a sick kid for a few days. i love new recipes!

    what a sweetheart to order you flowers. ;^) my older son once called 911 without my realizing it and i answered the door to find a policeman holding a gun -- yow!

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  10. First thing I noticed when I tasted the spaghetti sauce was it was different but delicious!
    grandpa and I sure spawned a group of smart great grandchildren (loving too) as Aidan proves!

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  11. that is THE SWEETEST mischief maker ever!!!
    i loved this post! i smile the whole way through (except at the word blender, i don't have one)...bacon in spagetti sauce??? that would rock so hard!!! very intriguing ;)

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  12. Ordering you flowers - how sweet. I am going to try this recipe, it sounds too good not to try.

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  15. You have such cool grandparents! I can't wait to try your grannie's recipe.

    ReplyDelete

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