cooking with spirits

pasta with tomato and roasted capsicum sugo

i love cooking.  that may be a slight understatement. i really love cooking!  i dont often do it alone though. most times mary is there, looking over my shoulder, making sure i’m doing it right.  mary was my grandma, she moved on about 9 years ago.  i dont actually think that grandma was the best, most adventurous cook in my life, but i certainly have the most wonderful memories of her cooking and of me cooking with her.  grandma was a bit of a baker and she made awesome tomato sauce, tomato relish and worcestershire sauce.  she wasnt bad at marmalade and jam either!

so today, when my home grown tomatoes started to roll off the window sill as there was no room left for anymore, i decided to make a tomato sauce.  i didnt use a “grandma” recipe, only because she used a product called “saucesetta” in her sauces and relishes and i really didn’t want to add “fake” stuff.  instead, i pulled one my all time favourite cook’s books off the shelf and hoped that maggie was right there with me and grandma in the kitchen.  i have a habit of changing things around a bit so although the resulting sauce is definately mainly influenced by maggie’s recipe, there is a tad more than just a touch of sammie magic in there too!

little blanche’s tomato sauce – from “maggie’s farm”

5kg tomatoes, vine ripened

1 kg onions, peeled and roughly chopped

1.2 litres rain water

1.8 litres vinegar

25g garlic cloves

10g cayenne pepper

50g whole black peppercorns

30g whole cloves

100g salt

30g ground allspice

1.25 kg brown sugar

mince together all the ingredients (an old hand mincer is perfect for this) and cook in a stainless steel or enamel pot for 4 hours, stirring constantly.  strain through a fine colander and bottle.

note – as well as adding to the ingredients used in this recipe, i totally changed the sauce! i have no idea what quantities i used because measuring takes way too much time and i didnt follow the instructions in the slightest, but for me, it feels really important to have a cookbook open on the bench when i cook! it makes me feel as if the author is there with me, so thanks maggie, for the inspiration! i absolutely adore everything you do!

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2 Responses to cooking with spirits

  1. lori says:

    I change around recipes all the time to fit what I have on hand in the pantry. I’m going to try adding allspice the next time I make marinara sauce.

    Your grandma made Worcestershire sauce? Now that’s impressive!

  2. Since you’re using homegrown ingredients, come share your post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month! Full details at

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