Jopsrel's Articles Of Faith - The Fragrance of Fresh Sweet Basil

Writer Author  Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
Christian Column : Christian Living  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Nothing surpasses the fragrance of fresh aromatic herbs. Numerous are the days I lingered in Mom’s kitchen - and afterward, in my wife Maria’s kitchen - as they created the savory meals that include such herbs. From childhood, this writer’s favorite meal always has been the “from-scratch” spaghetti sauce concocted by these two incredibly gifted domestic chefs. As I often have informed Maria, it is my considered (not to say “unbiased”) opinion that no one in both our families - perhaps excepting our mothers – can surpass her in the culinary arts, especially the making of spaghetti sauce. The aroma of the sauce, long-simmering over a very low flame for three to four hours - with its other ingredients blending with the fresh sweet basil, wafts from the super-size cooking pot. Captivating the nasal passages, it offers no opportunity for lesser fragrances to compete.

And oh, those other ingredients! The meatballs -shaped from three different kinds of meats, ground beef, ground pork and ground veal - are combined with as many fresh eggs as necessary to keep them from disintegrating when browned in a skillet and placed into the cooking pot. They are expertly flavored with grated Parmesan and Romano cheese, Italian flavored bread crumbs, a small amount of fresh whole milk, freshly chopped parsley, and of course, a portion of aromatic fresh sweet basil, a dash of oregano, and finely-diced fresh garlic. When the mixture is completed, each meatball is hand-molded before being fried in imported extra virgin olive oil until slightly brown. Each then is carefully positioned in the cooking pot on top of the other meats, so as not to be crushed by them. The meatballs thus are transmogrified [how do you like that word?] into wondrous offerings to the taste buds. The other meats in the sauce formula include fresh pork spare ribs, fresh Italian sausage and cubed chunks of beef to further enhance the flavor of the sauce.

Since I have assisted where needed, this is the time when I seek compensation for what little labor I have expended. I sit waiting for the cook to have mercy on me; waiting for her to fully fry a couple of hamburger patties to slake my almost slavering taste buds. After several suspenseful moments for me, Maria teasingly points to a small mound of ground meat. She says, “Joe, I’m putting aside this amount of ground meat to fry a patty for you. I’ll add more sweet basil if you wish, but you’ll have to wait until I’m finished working on the sauce.”

“Oh, thank you, sweetheart,” I reply, “A patty with more sweet basil will be a delicious treat for me, but I really don’t want to interfere with your cooking. I can wait.” Despite my understanding demeanor, my mouth is watering and I really wish there was no need for delay.

Maria eventually completed her work on the spaghetti sauce. And, eventually, she added more sweet basil to the patty she put aside for me. And, eventually, she fried up the hamburger patty for me. And, eventually, I sat at the kitchen table, thankful that I did not need to share this succulent, mouthwatering fried ground hamburger, ground veal and ground pork patty (cooked to perfection with fresh sweet basil) with any one; not even with . . . Oh no! I’m not going there! I absolutely refuse to tell further tales on myself!

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State: New York
Country: United States
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