Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I have a confession to make.

When I was in college lo these many years ago, I was complicit in a not so nice trick played on a friend's house mate. The housemate (we'll call him Jim) was quite full of himself. Jim was certain he was the best ____ (fill in the blank) at everything he did. Jim made sure everyone within earshot knew about his many accomplishments. Jim was convinced that he was the best looking fella on campus. Jim knew that all "the babes" were in love with him, a topic of which he spoke with great frequency. (They weren't.) Jim would leave home every day at the same time and go for an hour bike ride. Jim would return, go to the pantry and take out a can of tuna. Jim would then open his tuna can with great flourish as he expounded on the numerous virtues of tuna. Jim would then fix a tuna fish sandwich for lunch. Jim was absolutely convinced that his tuna fish diet would turn him into a lean mean fighting machine (which it didn't.) This bike ride/tuna routine happened every day...like clock work.

Well, my friend and I got a little (OK, a lot) annoyed at Jim's constant narcissism.

Back then, I don't know if it's the same today or not, I haven't checked lately, but back then, cat food cans looked remarkably similar to tuna fish cans.

One day during Jim's daily bike ride, my friend and I went to Star Market and bought a few cans of cat food. We then went home and with an X-Acto knife, carefully peeled the labels off the tuna fish cans and applied them to the cans of cat food...and put the cat food back exactly where the tuna had been before in the cupboard. Jim came home from his ride, and predictably, went to the pantry. Jim opened the can of cat food (with a tuna fish label) and fixed himself a sandwich, all the while delivering a sermon on the glory of all things Jim....and of course, the virtuous attributes of tuna.

Jim never noticed that he was eating cat food.

The reason for the confession is this: somewhere somehow, the universe remembered what I had done to Jim all those years ago. The universe decided that I needed a taste of my own medicine, so to speak. The universe played a trick on me.

What is undetectable in this photo is the spiciness of this particular batch of spaghetti sauce. My grave mistake in this batch of sauce was inadvertently adding cayenne pepper instead of chili powder. The jar was mislabeled. Even after adding more tomato sauce to the pot, it was still quite spicy. It's not the first time this has happened...though I do hope it's the last.

Sarah's Spaghetti Sauce

* 2 cans tomatoes
* 1 can tomato paste + 1 can red wine (with a little splash for the cook)
* 1 onion (grated or chopped)
* a few garlic cloves
* 2 t paprika (or a little more)
* 3 T olive oil
* 3 T brown sugar
* 2 t chili powder (NOT cayenne pepper)
* 1 T Worcestershire sauce
* 2 T ketchup

Combine all and simmer several hours. This, when prepared properly, (without cayenne pepper) is a family favorite.


James Everett Newman said...


Lis said...

i bet my spicy Mexican esposo would love this!!! :) his idea of good sarsa is taking chilis, limones, and sal and pureeing! i'm still not convinced....

Sarah Hazel said...