By Debbie Rogers
That’s what defines cooking for me.
I’m not a great cook, by any stretch. I have a few recipes that I rotate. The family loves them, they’re usually simple and they taste delicious.
What makes a good meal is having family around the table.
That started when I was a girl, visiting my grandmothers.
We baked with Grandma Jaworski. My favorite memory is rolling out real sugar cookies just before Christmas and spending most of a day decorating them.
Grandma Marcella welcomed the family for Sunday dinners. Her dining room table was decked out with the finest china — which my sister and I still put out for holiday meals. She served pot roast and delicious sides. My sister’s favorite was the buttery crescent rolls, mine was the half pears topped with cream cheese.
But the recipe that I still cook today is from my Grandma Dorothy.
Her pizza sauce is tangy and sweet, with just the right amount of spices. When she cooked pizzas, all the family would show up. There would be one pie after the other coming out of her oven, the family gorging themselves and repeatedly saying, “Grandma, you need to open a restaurant.”
I haven’t tweaked the recipe at all. Most of the time, I double it because it freezes very well.
One tip: I use a butter knife to mix it, to really blend everything together.
Also, I am a vegetarian, on a low-sugar, high-protein diet. This sauce will be spread on a cauliflower crust. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
In the summer, instead of cranking up the oven, I put the pizza on the grill and it’s done in a few minutes.
The family is also a fan of the 4-inch pizza crusts — non-cauliflower — so they can load up on individual toppings.
Longtime Sentinel-Tribune readers perusing this column may be doing so with raised eyebrows. This is not the usual cook’s corner format.
I’m sharing this recipe as a farewell column. I’m leaving the newspaper after 34 years, the last five as editor.
The past three decades have been filled with great stories, including an upteenth number of cook’s corners.
Thank you, readers, for sharing your recipes and, most importantly, the stories behind them.
Debbie Rogers | Sentinel-Tribune
Grandma Dorothy’s Pizza Sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 can of water, using the empty tomato paste can
1/8 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon parsley
Combine all the ingredients and let marinate, covered, for four-six hours.
Makes enough for two 12-inch pizzas.
This recipe can be doubled, and it freezes very well.