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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Trusting Instincts

I have dropped the ball lately. That's the understatement of the year, right there. I have dropped the ball, watched it roll down the steps, through the yard, down the street, and into the rush hour traffic of the nearest highway. 

Sadly, I have pretty much given up hope of a teaching job. Too many unemployed teachers, too few teaching positions, and years of experience that can't hold a candle to teachers other teachers. It's disappointing to say the least. So it's time to take a deep breathe and take some risks in other careers. In an interview yesterday, I was asked about my hobbies and what I do for fun. Cooking was my hands down answer. In all of the stress and uncertainty, I've lost track of the thing that I love and have the most passion for. 

That question made me think about all of the things that I've learned and how incredibly far I have come in my cooking skill. It's the first time I've felt a sense of pride in quite some time. I remember the days of throwing veggies in a screaming hot pan and thinking that the seared, still crispy veggies were a good thing and the awkward crispiness of the sauce was delicious. Sometimes you just have to take some time and sweat it out for an even better outcome. 

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.
The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.
Source: FoodNetwork

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