So, I got in touch with my sister, Lauren, who's recipe it was - she had shared it with Kim many years ago. Laur came through and I was in business!
Ok, so here it is, as Laur gave it to me:
Heat sauce pot
Put 2 TBSP of olive oil in pan and get that heated up
Add 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced into oil and sautee (yes, 6-8 - look, if you don't think you can handle that much garlic, make something else, OK? Kim's philosphy was 'if you can't stand the garlic, stay out of the kitchen!'
Add 1/2 cup of Vodka (now, people will ask me 'Vodka? will I get drunk? Well, the alcohol does burn off, unfortunately, during the cooking process, so if that is going to be a problem for you, just drink directly from the bottle as you are cooking to gain desired effect.) and bring to a simmer.
Add 1 cup of heavy cream and bring to a boil, stir it!
Add a 28 oz can of tomatoes (Laur recommends crushed ones, as it gets 'saucier')
Season with basil, salt and pepper.
Ok, there was a cooking show that Kim absolutely loved, called 'Sam the Cooking Guy'. Sam was great, because he wasn't a 'foodee' or whatever the Food Network chef's call themselves. He was down to earth, did the show out of his kitchen and was on PBS or the local network. He was 'one of us', using common ingredients he already had around the house. Kim loved when he was cooking a recipe and would say 'hey, could you add some corn to this recipe?', or some other ingredient. She would often quote Sam. So, in this spirit, I say "could you add some shallots to this recipe?" Absolutely. Two to three, chopped shallots taste pretty good in this recipe! Kim would always run the batch through her blender to make it all smooth and 'saucier'. There's a photo of Sam's cookbook above - watch for him!
The sauce is pretty easy to make and fast. But, would it pass the scrutiny of the bambini??
Yes! Bene!! The bambini approved of the Vodka Sauce!!
These guys love their pasta!! They all ate two bowls and then I got them out front to burn off some of their energy and they played with Mitch, Hadley and Alex. And now, Cody is at Alex's playing some video games...
Tonio brought home some nice pieces he's been working on in Art class at school:
The other day, Brian and I took Cody out through Fantasy Island. Cody has so much energy, it is so good for him to get out and do some desert biking. When we got there, Cody quickly talked Brian and I into going on a new trail he had done with Tom and his friend Dale, last time we went through. We agreed and Cody led us through with his usual torrid pace. He has one speed. Fast.
And as we went through, I remembered the beautiful day I had the chance to take Kimmy through...as we passed through a Mesquite grove, I remember her saying how pretty it was...as we approached the huge Palo Verde tree further down the path, I remember there was a huge, black bull just beneath it, about three feet from the path...and Kimmy never saw it! I remember her saying that she could not keep her eyes off of the mountain views, how incredible they looked! And I warned her not to look for too long, or she'd be wearing some cholla or prickly pair!
Then, Cody led us down the new path - the Fire Trail. He narrated each new dip and turn, telling us all about the Field Goal as we approached. It was a scenic, down hill, with a quick rise through two, perfectly placed saguaro cacti...no problem. Next, we approached the Elbow Jammer...an almost straight down drop, that had two quick hills at the bottom. Cody shot down the hill at break neck speed, negotiating the transition at the bottom and easing over both smaller hills at the bottom. Brian navigated the drop without a problem...I almost made it. As I hit the bottom, my left foot slipped and I instantly renamed the Elbow Jammer for a different part of my anatomy that I had jammed! As I regained my footing, I hit the first hill and instantly blew out my back tire. I wasn't mad or dissappointed, I was feeling pretty happy that I had survived! There was no way to repair my tire, so I gave my truck keys to Brian and told him and Cody to finish the trail and I'd hike out to Houghton road and meet them there.
I hiked out to the road and remembered...they had just installed a brand new, barbed wire fence. There sure is a lot of barbed wire out here - is Arizona the barbed wire state? There would be no climbing through it. I started following it until I came to a culvert and was able to slip beneath it. Rather than sitting and waiting, I started walking south on Houghton to meet up with Brian and Cody...Dan, I was thinking of you as I slipped beneath the fence, I spotted an old Mets scarf stuck in the barbed wire - I was tempted to salvage it, wash it and mail it to you in Iowa...! I hiked about 2 miles up Houghton and the guys picked me up...we'll try it again this weekend!
Tonight, the bambini's want to watch 'The Incredibles'! So we'll settle in soon to do that...another day has past - these guys seem to be doing better each day...school helps. Antonio and Autumn stayed after school today and Mrs. Schrantz and Mrs. Rudzena helped them catch up their homework - they always leave happy and feeling a sense of accomplishment....
And I tell them:
" God gave you shoes to fit you.
So put them on and wear them.
Be yourself, be proud of who you are!
Even if it sounds corny,
Don't let anyone tell you you aren't beautiful"