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#CBWC #Sunday Stills: What’s in Our Italian-American Kitchen?

One great thing I love about Terri Webster Schrandt is that she makes her Sunday Stills challenges so sharable. For her Sunday Stills Black and White Challenge today, I’m using Cee’s Thursday Black and White Challenge topic of Kitchen.

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Cee’s Black and White Challenge

I looked in my archives, Cee. I really did. What I found was that I didn’t have much to share. Even stretching to outside of the kitchen – you know all the meals that most people remember to take pictures of before they take a bite? I can’t even do that well. I’m always hungry and I forget.

While I worked, I rarely ate at home. There wasn’t time and I was often on the road. After I retired, I began cooking more, but we still both loved to go out to eat.

After COVID 19, we changed like everyone else in the world. We stayed home and had fun cooking.

Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies for life. When recipes are put together, the kitchen is a chemical laboratory involving air, fire, water and the earth. This is what gives value to humans and elevates their spiritual qualities. If you take a frozen box and stick it in the microwave, you become connected to the factory.

Laura Esquivel

Even though I learned to enjoy cooking, I don’t take pictures of my mess. I’m still in too big of a hurry to eat!

After seeing Cee’s still life of her cat and food stuff, I thought, “What about all the stuff that goes into making original authentic Italian pasta sauce?”

Vince came in to help me set up for still life pictures, and I hope you enjoy the gathering of ingredients to make sauce as “Dad” (Vince’s) made it.

Dad’s Pasta Sauce

No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, and the wisdom of cookbook writers.

Laurie Colwin
First you make the meatballs.
  • 1.5 pounds of hamburger
  • 1 C Panko Italian Bread Crumbs
  • salt and pepper a dash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder if you don’t use real onions in the sauce.
  • 1/4 tsp dry mint leaves (that’s the secret).

Roll the meat into balls and cook them over a very low heat until they are evenly browned.

Cut the Spicy Italian sausage to make sure the juices come out and flavor the sauce. Brown the sausage slightly. Dice up about 1/2 onion and brown the bits lightly in either oil or butter.

While that cooks, make the sauce.

  • 4 cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 cans water
  • 2-4 cans tomato paste (missing because I’m out of it.)
  • 3-4 leaves of fresh basil (also missing from the picture)
  • 1 tbs dry oregano
  • browned onions
  • sausage
  • meatballs

Cook covered for about 2 hours or longer if you want thicker sauce. Uncovering thickens the sauce as well. Dad cooked his all day. Vince’s sister Cindy makes her sauce with 4 cans of water then cooks it forever. It is still thinner than mine, but that is what Dad did. (I cheat.)

Olive oil is essential for every Italian meal. In this case we put some in the water to boil the pasta so it doesn’t stick.

Don’t Forget the Red Wine

I come from a non-drinking family, but most Italians enjoy their wine. We have discovered Robert Mondavi’s Cabernet Sauvignon Bourbon Barrel Aged. The bourbon barrels take out the nasty bite that I don’t like in most red wines. Our neighbor has an app that rates wines and the highest she’d ever seen was a 3.7. This one rated 4.1.

That’s it for my kitchen pictures. Thanks for your help in arranging things, Vince. If you want to join the challenge fun, click the links at the top of the page.

Part of Entering Challenges Is Visiting

My Reading List from Cee’s Blog

Bigger than a Bread Box.

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Frank from Beach Walk Reflections will host this week’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge in which you use quotes to tell your story. Topic: Spring. Be sure to leave a pingback either in his comments or in your post connecting back to his blog. We will be sure to visit you.

34 replies »

  1. Your post made me smile, Marsha. I just finished telling my husband how I often totally forget about taking photos, until our meal is over. Like you say “I’m always hungry and I forget.” A wonderful quote from Laurie Collin. I had not thought about cooking in this way. I greatly enjoy how you incorporated the black and white in this post. The recipe looks major yummy! Thank you for sharing.😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m catching up on last week – sigh, holidays will do that to you – but loved this post so much. The story and the love in your recipe really worked well with the black and white theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL, Carol. My eyes must have been blurry. I scored Academic Decathlon essays and answered blog comments most of the day. Sorry! I still owe you. I had way more delicious meals in Australia at your house than you had at mine. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Australian pumpkins and pavlova, but you don’t need to buy me any meat pies or what’s that yucky brown stuff you spread on toast? Love you to pieces, Carol. 🙂


    • I loved it, Cee. It was a kick. Vince and I were pulling things out of the pantry at 10:30 arranging them first on the counter, then on the table. I suggested that we put Nutters on the table. He objected to that one. 🙂 Yours is cuter! 🙂


  4. I LOVE that you shared your recipes in black and white images, Marsha, what a great idea and reminds me of old cookbooks! I’m like you, I’d rather eat than take pics! Still living in the RV, we’re out-of-the-box eaters, or a run to Costco (5 minutes away from the largest one on the west coast), or takeout. You definitely know how to cook if the yummy lunch you served me last summer is any indication! I’m off to see what’s “cookin'” on the house today.

    Liked by 2 people




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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