Monday, March 30, 2009

Quick Tomato Sauce

I saw this quick homemade tomato sauce made on America's Test Kitchen before I started regularly recording the show . . . I tried to find the recipe online and opted out of the "joining" thing. Lo and behold my May/June Cook's Illustrated features the recipe.

2 T. unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated onion from 1 medium onion
1/4 t. dried oregano
Table salt
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/4 t. sugar
2 T. coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 T. extra vigin olive oil
Ground black pepper

Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano and 1/2 t. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil; season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Preferred brands of crushed tomatoes are Tuttorosso and Muir Glen. Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

upside down saints and real estate update...

First looker Wednesday night, first offer Thursday. Done.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

More Catholicism, roots and selling a house . . .

Yes, this is my house and it is for sale. People, these are desperate times. It's been 45 days and nobody is interested in my house. Not one person has looked.

Let it be known. I am a micromanaging fool. I have lists and lists of lists and palm pilots and ticklers and reminders and HotSync-ing Outlook prompts. When a situation is beyond my control, I don't do well. DO.NOT.DO.WELL. The uncertainty of it all makes me crazy.

Stands to reason this has been the topic of conversation at my regular Tuesday lunch date with my Dad. You know, the lunch where someone inevitably refers to him as my husband and manages to tick me off to the point of no return. Sometimes, just sometimes, the Cheesecake Factory negates those remarks. I digress.

Tuesday lunch topic is Patti's inability to sell her house. And Dad remembers. He remembers being in a similar situation in Plantation, Florida. No lookers. And then one day someone tells him of The Legend of St. Joseph. Joseph, The Home Seller. I could not make this up. Read on.

Right now a 3" statue of St. Joseph is in my possession. He is "honored as the patron saint of married couples, families, carpenters and workingmen. March 19, his feast day, is especially celebrated by people of Italian and Polish descent.

Over the years a tradition arose of St. Joseph having a special power in real estate transactions. European nuns buried a medal with his likeness on property they hoped to acquire. Gradually medals were replaced with statues and the focus changed from buying to selling.

The reasons behind using this particular saint are his strong connections with families, homes and moving.

Today people of all religious denominations follow the tradition of using a St. Joseph statue to help sell their home. They bury it upside down with the feet pointing to heaven. Some face him toward the home; others face him away. Near the "For Sale" sign; in the backyard; in a corner; in flower pots (favored by condo owners). After the buyer has secured financing and the deal is sealed, the statue is removed and given a place of honor in the seller's new home."

Notice the quotations. I especially loved the "favored by condo owners" remark.

I am not Italian. I am not Polish. I am not Catholic. So I ask you. Shall I bury him? Upside down? Talk amongst yourselves.

P.S. My dad sold his house immediately after putting St. Joseph in the front window.

P.S.S. Next up, voodoo dolls.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I take pictures of meatloaf...

At Spago...

and Strawberry Shortcake

Here's to you on your birthday, Min. I'm toasting to you ...

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the patron saint of lost causes and other random things...

Don't ask me why my very Irish Catholic maternal grandmother has been stuck in my frontal lobe this week, but she is right there. She came to live with us when I was 13 and, can I tell you, I was excited. The woman could bake, an expert in all things eclairs and pies. All this AND she could play the piano by ear. You sang the song, she played the song. I digress.

Here's where my mind has been this week. When I had a particular need, something big happening, maybe a difficult final in college, my very Irish Catholic grandmother was on it. ON IT. It was her habit to dismantle her framed picture of a certain saint and put my picture behind his. Reassemble. Then she would pray as in 'shut the door, light a candle, take out a prayer book' pray. Dead serious. My memory tells me it was St. Anthony, that Patron Saint of Lost Things, but I'm not certain. I'm just hoping it wasn't St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. Wait, is one really worse than the other? Think about that.

See here. There's a patron saint for everything.

No segue.

Eight days ago I was on an errand with my dad following our regular Tuesday lunch date. Banking business. We sat down at the desk and my dad had his conversation. That's when the bank employee looked at me and told my dad, "I need your wife's license now." That's twice. It took a full eight days for me to even blog about it. Whatever.

No segue.

Last month (in Buffalo, NY) a man, his wife and their daughter were watching television in their living room. The husband got up, walked to their dining room . . . a plane hit their house. He died. They walked away. Eat dessert. I mean it.

No segue.

My StatCounter is amusing. First, it lets me know people from New England really want to know how to make those Gilchrist macaroons. At Christmas they want to remember how to make a Canadian pork pie. It also tells me that sometimes people come to my blog landing on "Nana's Hot Fudge" because they did a google search for "hot nanas." Dead serious. Twisted. And finally it shows me all those hits from my office. PEOPLE . . . my stuffing is touching my turkey and mashed potatoes. Work Patti and Home Patti mingling? NOT an option. I don't know if that's what bothers me more or the fact that I can't blog about drunk janitor or . . . never mind.

I have trust issues.

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