Thursday, December 01, 2005


Last night, I yelled at Cooper for using more than his share of our Papa John's Garlic sauce. Silly, yes, and I was already cranky for other reasons. But upon further examination of my overreaction, I remembered that I really, really love sauce. I like condiments in general, but there's something about sauce, a certain je ne sais quoi, that gives it a special place in my heart.

Nearly ever meal I make involves some sort of sauce. I have a tendency to flood pasta and rice , turning otherwise solid dinners into soups. Multi-sauce meals, like the ones at Sascha's 527 on Charles Street, are almost more than I can handle.

When I was very young, maybe three years old, we had Thanksgiving dinner with my dad's parents. My dad's mom is an old-school housewifey cook - lots of heavy food, everything's fried, lots of baking. As we sat down to dinner, I delicately asked, "Where's the sauce?"

You see, we didn't have gravy in our house. My mother, obviously, used Julia Child as an inspiration most meals, and though Julia actually calls the sauce for her turkey "turkey gravy", it is nothing like the dense, floury "liquid" most closely associated with gravy. It starts with stock and ends full of savory flavor and while it's opaque, like gravy, it shimmers, like sauce.

My precocious (and, I imagine, totally obnoxious in the eyes of my grandmother) question has become a family joke in the years since. And, built on that solid foundation, my love and respect for sauces of all sort has grown.

Apparently, though, I need to keep that love and respect in check. After last night, Cooper might say it's crossed the line into obsession. And, really, it's just silly to be a sauce stalker.

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