We are coming to the end of 2020, and I’m not sorry it’s almost over. What a year it has been. My husband and I have survived Covid19 so far, but not all of us have been so lucky. This was our first year celebrating Christmas without Ken’s Mother.
In November, I found a pasta sauce recipe and quickly rescued it from a pile of papers that were being discarded when going through my mother in law’s things. This recipe could have been lost forever. She would call her Uncle Howard weekly, so it was a gift to find this scribbled down recipe. We lost her in late October. She fell in August and broke her ankle. Things went downhill after that. She never got Covid19, but was isolated and alone in an acute care facility where visitors weren’t allowed. We could stand at a window and wave to her, but she couldn’t hear us. It was heart breaking to not be close to her. We were lucky to have three days with her at her home where many of her family members could be by her side and say goodbye before she passed. Nilda died a week before she turned 90. Here’s a tribute to Nilda that my husband Ken made for her memorial.
330,000 American’s have lost their lives to the Corona Virus in the last ten months. Uncle Howard was one of them. He died of Covid19 in November at the age of 95 after contracting the virus at his retirement home. Sadly, his two son’s Robbie and Johnny never got to be with him when he took his last breath.
Many of my friends are in grief over placing their ailing parents with Alzheimer’s in elder care homes. I am always on edge, waiting for a call from a nurse or social worker at the Veterans Home where my Father lives. My parents have been blessed thus far, still healthy, and I feel grateful every day they are alive and well. And can we applaud the first responders, the nurses, the doctors who work tirelessly to nurture the sick back to health? Even my Mom is doing okay. She has survived cancer for the last seven years, so she has to be extra careful and stay home.
I’m thankful for these family recipes that will be passed down from generation to generation, especially Howard’s Pasta Sauce recipe. Howard was an excellent cook. Hoping you too will go to great lengths like my mother in law Nilda did, and write down these precious recipes so you can share them with your friends loved ones.
This week I will be driving an hour South to visit my 88 year old Uncle Joe (the man in the red sweater above) who also has Covid. My cousin David (who also contracted the virus, but is ok, and is in the center with a black shirt) has been caring for him at home. The least I can do is bring them some of our leftover lasagna made from Uncle Howard’s sauce. My husband made the pasta dough by hand and together we made 2 huge pans of lasagna. I will also bring them some homemade chicken broth to help Joe regain his strength. Luckily, I rolled and baked the last of the gingerbread dough yesterday and can send them a plate of cookies for them to enjoy as well. Here’s a tour of me in my kitchen talking about gingerbread cookies.
I haven’t been active writing my blog for several months. Instead, in October I acquired nine baby chicks. It’s been a great distraction to all the pain and worry we’ve all been experiencing in 2020.
I will write about the chickens in my next post. Until then, stay safe friends. Let’s put 2020 behind us, get the vaccination when it’s available and make time for family and friends when it’s safe.
Feel free to leave me any questions or comments in the space below. How has Covid affected you and your family? How are you coping during the pandemic? What wonderful things have happened this year because of the lockdown?
Thanks for joining in today and reading my blog. It means a lot. Follow along for more recipes and stories. I needed to get this sauce recipe written out because Michael Schenone’s daughter Sarah, Howard’s great niece wanted it. In the coming days I can write out our lasagna noodle recipe for your pleasure.
Uncle Howard’s Sauce
2 lbs Ground Beef
1 lb Mild Italian Sausage
1 large or 2 Medium Onions
6 cloves of Garlic
2 Large Cans (29 oz ea) of Hunts Tomato Sauce
Add water (doesn’t say how much) My guess is @ 4 Cups using the cans from the tomatoes
1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced
Dash Dried Ground Oregano
3 T dried Basil (Could be fresh. Doesn’t specify)
1 T dried Rosemary
2 Bay Leaves
Fry ground beef in olive oil in a heavy skillet in small batches until cooked.
Boil the Italian Sausage for 20 min to remove the fat, then chop into bite sized pieces.
Fry chopped onions and minced garlic on med high heat for 10 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
Put all ingredients into a large stock pot and simmer for 4-5 hours. Taste to adjust seasoning.