I’m back doing the Red Writing Hood meme from the wonderful Red Dress Club. You can read this week’s prompt here. I’m trying to get back into the creative writing thing, since that’s really what I want to do. As such, I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year (National Novel Writing Month). If you haven’t heard of it, the idea is between November 1- November 30 to write a 50,000 word work of fiction. I hope to finish (so I can get the certificate), but if not, I hope to get a good start. Anyone care to join me? C’mon, it’ll be fun! You can sign up for NaNoWriMo by going to their website. If you decide to sign up, let me know, I’d love to have some company.
As usual, thanks for reading and all criticism and critiques are welcome.
Spaghetti on Sunday
After church on Sundays my mom donned her school bus yellow apron and made spaghetti sauce. It was my father’s mother’s recipe. Mom learned to cook it for him when they were first married and living in a crappy apartment in Baltimore with the big bugs humid weather attracts.
She threw a couple of dollops of Crisco in the big pot and turned the heat on low. She chopped onions and bell peppers and scooped some garlic from the jar in the refrigerator. The smell of the sautéed onions filled the kitchen. She used a wooden spoon to mix in cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Then she added the spices. Oregano and black pepper. Enough to cover the surface of the pot, twice. Spaghetti was the one thing my mom made without measuring exactly.
Once the pot was simmering she started the meat. Her meatballs, made from some mixture of hamburger, sausage, and some other things she never remembered exactly, were supposed to be fantastic. I couldn’t say for sure, I never ate them. Neither did she. She rolled the sticky meat into golf ball sized balls and browned them in more Crisco along with some Italian sausage. Then it all went in with the spaghetti sauce to simmer.
The sauce needed at least an hour, but my mom let it simmer all afternoon. The sweet smell of oregano was inescapable. It hung in the air in front of the television where we watched the Sunday afternoon movie while Mom ironed. It crept under the door to the basement where my sister and I played Barbies. It floated up the stairs to the back room where we sat on our ergonomic chairs doing homework on our DOS based computer or playing The Legend of Zelda on Nintendo. My mouth watered in anticipation all afternoon.
Dinner was at five thirty, but at four, we started hovering, peeking in the pot to stir it every once in a while. I’d close my eyes over the steam and inhale, my first aromatherapy experience.
Once Mom got out the pot for the noodles, we started in.
“When the noodles are done. About five thirty.”
“You’ll live. Now go play somewhere else so I can finish this.”
Dinner was imminent when she poured the steaming pot of noodles into the colander in the sink. We set the table while she got everything ready.
We heaped piles of shiny noodles on our plates with the white plastic pasta claw and covered it with sauce. The green container of Kraft parmesan cheese was passed around, snowing on the sauce briefly before melting. Large glasses of milk, a couple slices of well buttered bread, and a little salad completed the meal.
For me, it marked the end of the weekend, a nice family meal before my dad headed out to Omaha or wherever he was traveling that week. It filled me, body and soul, until the next weekend.
For my mom, I think it was more simple. It was a fairly easy meal for her to make and it was the one thing we all ate without complaint. My pasta loving father, my meatball loving sister, and me, who didn’t eat much of anything. Except spaghetti on Sunday.