As you all know, unless you have been in a cave for the last few weeks, Winter is officially here. We, in the Midwest, are experiencing some freaky low temps. Poor Mr. Gravy went to work and snapped a shot of his temperature gauge showing a -12 degrees. Then, he sent it to me, in a text message, which I received, while curled up in a big chair, drinking freshly brewed coffee. I know, sometimes life is unfair. For those of you lucky enough to live somewhere that never experiences such temperatures, let me tell you, it is damn cold! There really is a difference between 32 and -12. Both are cold, but the latter is dangerous.
Back in the day, you could run out, start the car, run inside, and finish getting ready for work. I drove an old Volkswagon Bug back then and kept a brick in the car to hold the accelerator down, just to keep it running, to warm up. Can’t do that anymore. Some cities have ordinances against an unattended running car. Also, in today’s world, it’s an invitation for someone to abscond with your car. The news had reports of a few cars stolen this week while warming up unattended. Just one more reason to live on a tropical island.
Every January is pretty much the same around here. I still cook, but I am cooking simple suppers. Lighter fare. Soul warming soups and maybe a pasta dish or two. A few meatless meals round out the menu. Since there is not much experimentation going on in the kitchen, we have been trying some different wines with our simple suppers.
Tonight, I made a tomato sauce for spaghetti. Sauteed up some onions and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, added some (lots) garlic, a couple squirts of tomato paste, two cans of crushed tomatoes, a swirl of sugar, tossed in some basil and a few shakes of parmesan cheese. Viola! Yummy tomato sauce. I learned this “recipe” from my Italian friend. She’s the one who says I am more Italian than she is. We joke that my ancestors came from northern Italy…..far northern Italy…..Scandinavian northern Italy.
Our wine for the night was Apothic Red. I was pleasantly surprised. This wine sells for less than $10 and proves that less expensive wine does not equal less quality. I am proud to serve this wine. The flavors were bursting with each sip. Rich berry, dark cherry and plum flavors, low on the tannins, big on every flavor. Nice. Not too big for a bowl of spaghetti. It is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s like they took the best flavors of each grape and combined it in the bottle. It really is good. It got me thinking of barbecuing outside. Brisket and ribs and…….okay, it’s frozen tundra outside and I am so far from a tropical beach I can’t even pretend to smell the salt air. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Disclaimer: I almost forgot to tell you, Apothic Wines did not pay me to describe their delicious wine. In fact, they do not know the Gravy Company and the only contact I have had with them was linking their website to my blog and drinking their wine. I would like to add that just by tasting their wine, I’m pretty sure we could become best friends whether in the kitchen, at the table, or on the veranda.