Inspired by Pizza Sauce

comments (2) October 17th, 2009

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Suz_A Suz_A, member
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Since we moved in during the middle of summer, we didnt have much time to get the garden going this year.  Still, you cant go without fresh tomatoes and basil.
Views like this are right around the corner from our new place.
Since we moved in during the middle of summer, we didnt have much time to get the garden going this year.  Still, you cant go without fresh tomatoes and basil.Click To Enlarge

Since we moved in during the middle of summer, we didn't have much time to get the garden going this year.  Still, you can't go without fresh tomatoes and basil.


The first time I tasted Mrs. Pike’s homemade pizza sauce, I knew we had made the right decision.  My uncle’s neighbors frequently bring him homemade food and fresh vegetables from their garden, and the matriarch of the large family is a world class cook.  She has had multiple offers to cook for fine restaurants, but declines and stays at home, creating these delights for her family and friends.  After relocating this summer to a rural county in the southwestern Virginia mountains, my husband and I have been spoiled by my uncle, and through him, Mrs. Pike’s fantastic cooking. 

He gave us a taste of her sauce on a piece of toasted rosemary bread he had made that morning.  We tried to guess what was in it.  It was obviously made with homegrown tomatoes.  Nothing else could be that sweet.  What else?  Definitely lots of fresh basil and parsley.  Fennel?  Something spicy…probably red pepper.  Oregano and garlic, of course.  When we saw the recipe she had written down, it was clear that anyone could add the same herbs and spices to the sauce, but it was the flavor of the tomatoes that set it apart.  She has been canning her tomatoes for years and makes her own paste.  We finished off the sauce and bread, which was just supposed to be an appetizer, getting every last bit from the bowl with our fingers.  I longed to be able to have food that tasted like that coming from my own kitchen. 

If all goes according to plan, we will eventually be doing just that.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be as good as Mrs. Pike in the kitchen, but we’re laying the groundwork now to have a plentiful supply of fresh and flavorful homegrown ingredients next year.  Our new home has a half-acre of flat land full of rich alluvial soil.  We’re getting the tiller going on it next week, creating a large vegetable bed.  I’m researching the best cover crops to plant for our area.  I’ve planted some blueberry and raspberry bushes and have the beginnings of an herb garden going.  After dreaming for years, our quest to become as self-sufficient as possible has finally begun.

A lot of the choices that have led us here have been philosophical.  We want to have a simpler life with minimal negative impact on the world around us, providing for ourselves what we are used to getting in packaged, processed form.  But I have to be honest, my intentions aren’t completely altruistic.  Just as much of the decision to live in the country and grow our own food has come from my stomach.  One taste of Mrs. Pike’s cooking with homegrown food is all the confirmation I need.  I can hardly wait until next summer!

 


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Comments (2)

Suz_A writes: Of course, I'll try. My uncle's out of town, so I'll see if I can get it from him when he returns.
Posted: 11:28 am on October 19th
wellbeing12 writes: Can you give us the recipe for Mrs. Pike's pizza sauce?
Posted: 5:40 am on October 19th
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