I’ve committed a grievous offense against the Italian cooking gods. Perhaps it was eating home-made tomato sauce and meatballs with pasta while watching the Superbowl. Or perhaps it was not paying 100% attention while removing said sauce from the refrigerator today. Whatever offense I committed, I can ask only that I somehow manage not to commit it again. Because the penalty was far greater than giving 5 yards to the other team or making poor use of a time-out.

I dropped the plastic container with the leftover sauce and it shattered, causing the majority of its contents to splatter on the floor and in the refrigerator. I was in shock. I think if I hadn’t been so surprised by it I would have cried.

In The Callahan Chronicals, Spider Robinson explains an Irish belief that spilling or otherwise wasting alcohol is a mortal sin. When you die every drop of which you’re guilty is gathered in a container of some kind and you’re suspended upside down in it. “And if you die, to hell with ya!” It wouldn’t surprise me if Italians have a similar belief regarding tomato sauce (or gravy, the term preferred by some). If they do, my soul is in mortal peril. I spilled enough today that another mishap could cost me an eternity of eating macaroni and cheese that tastes like cauliflower.

So, it seems most wise to make some attempt at appeasing the Italian cooking gods, just to be on the safe side. Perhaps it is time I repent of my recent pasta-avoiding ways and eat more of it, preferably with garlic. Perhaps I must attempt my mom’s sauce recipe by myself (and blog about it, of course). Perhaps I must resist the temptation of cream cheese and jelly sandwiches and re-dedicate my efforts to advancing the culinary arts.

I pray that the Italian cooking gods will guide me in this quest. (Suggestions from readers are also more than welcome.)

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