I’m sure growing up, everybody’s mum has told a few white lies to maintain a semblance of order in their home. My mother is guilty of telling us a few more than a thousand. The list of lies I have been told and unfortunately believed is endless. For starters, the majority of my life, I believed that it was illegal to turn the lights on in a car at night while someone is driving. Yes, I saw the meme and yes, I was one of the many victims, our drives to Durban from Johannesburg were filled with me trying to read in the darkest of conditions, this is probably why my eyesight is a solid -3.75. I don’t even want to go into the story of my mum telling my sister and I that our doll would come to life and cut off our hair, after we had a little too-much fun playing hairdresser with her. It is safe to say, that after that story, I have never been able to sleep if a door is left open. But the one lie that still confuses me to this day is my mum telling me that tomato sauce was only for children and when I was an adult, I’d have to kiss my dearest, red friend good-bye.
My love-story with tomato sauce goes way back. I can’t remember a childhood meal that was not steeped in tomato sauce. Anything that needed a sauce would be blessed with a generous dollop of All Gold magic. The possibilities were endless: chips – tomato sauce, burger – tomato sauce, scrambled eggs – tomato sauce, French toast – tomato sauce and on and on it would go. I must admit that I did have my limits, though; I’m not some sort of animal who pours tomato sauce on pizza or adds a lovely tomato sauce dressing to a salad. That being said, I was a firm rebel against the green variety of food so perhaps, I never gave tomato sauce and salad a chance. But nonetheless, I believed that our torrid affair would soon come to an end and that I’d have to give up my red companion so I’m not trying to be defensive or anything but I had to get my fill.
My mother had done it, she had managed to break my spirit and trick me into believing that tomato sauce would soon be a distant happier memory replaced by bland chips. But I do believe that there is a higher power above, protecting me from my mother’s lies that stepped in to show me that tomato sauce was not a luxury for kids.
It was my brother’s twenty-first birthday and we were having dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas. It had been two years since I last let the salty red goodness pass my lip, two years since I could honestly say that I was truly happy. Yet, there is a higher power and by some sort of miracle, a small bowl filled with something red accompanied my meal, to be completely honest, it was a meal that I had no palate to fully enjoy and I still rue the day that I had not savoured it. Back to my come-to moment, there she sat, glorious (Pomp and Circumstance, playing in the background) and I was transported. Perhaps they wouldn’t have called it tomato sauce but ‘a rose by any other name would still smell sweet’ and that my friend was the best tomato sauce that I have ever tasted.
So here I am, a bold twenty year old women, no longer naïve to my mother’s tales, on a mission to create an ‘adult’ tomato sauce. Fair enough to my mother, although sketchy in her methods, my life without tomato sauce has allowed me to enjoy the flavours of food without a salty-sweet altered taste but even the most the most sophisticated palate yearns for a childhood taste that opens a floodgate of nostalgia. So if you’re ever looking for me on a rainy day, I can assure you that you will find me with a plate of oven baked chips dipped in my umami ‘adult’ tomato sauce, thoroughly enjoying life.
I’m still trying to create my umami adult tomato sauce, so keep tabs to see when its posted!