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Spaghetti sauce: it’s a family thing

Posted on: April 16, 2011

The other night, I was making some spaghetti sauce for supper.  I’ve been using our family recipe ever since I moved out and started cooking for myself.  It is from my mother’s first pressure cooker recipe booklet.  I used to make it on the stovetop because I didn’t have a pressure cooker and it turned out quite well.  However, as few months ago, I spotted a pressure cooker on sale at Canadian Tire for about $64 so I took the plunge.

The pressure cooker I bought is a Lagostina so I figured that it was a good one.  Unfortunately, I’ve had dismal results: sometimes the steam escapes from the wrong parts of it, sometimes it burns the bottom (probably because I heat it on high heat – my bad!)…I figured I would give it one last shot and then was considering bringing it back to the store.  So I carefully put on the lid to make sure it was well sealed.  I heated on medium-high until steam started to escape from the right places.   It turned out okay so I guess this thing has a bit of a reprive (for now!).

So back to the story of my spaghetti sauce family recipe…It has now evolved to using tomato juice instead of water (a tweak my parents made recently), and I no longer use mushrooms, much to my chagrin, due to the fact that my five year old declared that he no longer ate mushrooms.  This is perhaps due to the fact that there is a mushroom farm in our neighbourhood and we once explained to him why it smelled so bad around there and how mushrooms grew (?).  Oops! 

But I think the part that throws people for a loop is the 1/8 tsp of curry powder that  is mixed in to the sauce.  At least, that’s what my sister-in-law admitted not too long ago.  She said that she did not like the spaghetti sauce when she had it the first few times.  Once my parents told her what was in it, she gained a better appreciation for it.

And, then, there’s my aunt who’s deathly afraid of pressure cookers, having seeing one of the early models “blow up” when she was a kid.  They use to have a little weight that would rock back and forth to regulate the pressure.  I guess what happened was that the pressure built up and then the little weight went flying and lodged itself in the ceiling.  Yes, I admit that would be traumatizing!  So everytime she was over and my mom made spaghetti sauce, she was always very nervous, understandibly.

I think that pressure cookers are much better made these days, and personally, I find that it really cuts down on the cooking time.  What more can you ask for when you’re a busy mom trying to get supper on the table.

The bottom line, though, is that spaghetti sauce, is just one of those recipes that is very personnal. It’s one of those recipes that you grow up with and that is a comfort food.  It’s hard to get used to something different, especially if it’s something you ate as a kid.  Unless, of course, your mother kept putting mushrooms in it, which you hate! LOL

If you promise to be sworn to secrecy, I can share my recipe…

Here is a photo to get your mouth watering. 😉

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