There’s this blog in the world called The Burning House. Basically people take pictures of the things they would want to be sure to grab if their home was on fire.
The photos are usually very artful and beautiful, but what I especially like about the blog is the diversity of people who submit their own photo and list.
People of all ages, professions and from all corners of the world submit posts, which goes to show the fear of a burning house, and thoughts of what you would take with you, is something that really unites us as humans.
(That’s another reason I love food blogging. Everyone has to eat and cooking something over fire or heat is an ancient ritual that has withstood the test of time for most of society.)
And what people pick on their burning-house lists is so interesting! Some people are very practical, such as Sweedish student Zina Shareef, and choose their shoes and sunglasses, and other people are more sentimental such as Brazil journalist Jessica Fiuza who includes a bottle of whiskey and a tattoo machine in her list.
Anyway, I’ve never submitted anything to The Burning House, mostly because gathering all my favorite things in one place to photograph seems like too much work, but here’s my list, assuming that A.J. is not injured, and I have arms free for things. (Sidebar: if he was not able to walk, I like to think that I would become one of those women who gets superhuman strength when someone they love is in danger, like the moms who can lift cars off their children.)
- Our cat and his favorite possession a broken basket that he sleeps in.
- A cookbook that my mom made for me containing about 50 handwritten recipes from her and my childhood and an apron my mom made for me that I wear every time I cook or bake.
- Two quilts that my mom made of my grandmother’s clothes and my soccer jerseys
- My Macbook, its charger and my electronic hard drive
- My phone and its charger
- A “You did it card!” that was the last thing my grandma ever sent to me
- A poem that A.J. wrote and framed for me for my birthday last year
- A bell ornament that A.J. had engraved for me from a famous Mt. Pleasant glass cutter
- A flask decorated with graphics and articles that I wrote for my college paper, The Maneater, that my friend made for me
- My engagement ring, my green coat and a pair of socks and shoes that I’m presumably wearing
- A leather bag that I use every day that my dad bought for me
- And if we’re living in fantasy land where I have unlimited strength and time, probably my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, my food processor and some cash
So now I’m totally curious what’s on your list. Leave a comment below and tell me! Do it!
If I had a way to bottle and preserve this roasted red pepper sauce, I would do it. We would have cabinets full of roasted red pepper sauce. And I would consider hauling that out of our burning apartment too.
What I’m trying to say through a poorly executed extended metaphor is that this sauce is so good. So good. It’s such a surprise sauce, because it looks sort of bland but it’s absolutely bursting with flavor.
The key is roasting the red pepper. Do not skip this step. Roasted red pepper is a whole lot better than regular red pepper.
To roast, I halved and seeded the bell peppers and poured some olive oil over each of them.
I put them under the broiler (my broiler has two settings, and I set it on high) for about 20 minutes, until the skins blackened and the peppers were soft. (Don’t just set the timer and walk away, every broiler is truly a different temperature, so watch your peppers.)
After they had come out of the broiler, I paced them in a brown paper lunch bag and folded over the top to allow them to steam for another 20 minutes.
Steaming them in the paper bag allows the skins to peel off a little easier.
I chopped up the bell peppers and added them to a sauce pot with a small chopped onion, some minced garlic, some chopped fresh basil and olive oil.
When everything had sauteed and softened, I used my immersion blend to blend it until it was smooth. You can use a food processor or a blender, too.
I added some half and half, butter and Parmesan cheese to the mixture, and put it back on the stove, brought it to a boil, stirred until the butter melted and then reduced the heat to the lowest setting to keep it warm. I tasted as I went and added salt and pepper to taste.
I served this sauce over some frozen ravioli that I boiled for a couple minutes until they floated.
ROASTED RED PEPPER RAVIOLI SAUCE (adapted from Your Homebased Mom):
3 red bell peppers
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat broiler (on high if there’s two settings.) Cut and seed peppers. Place cut side down on a baking rack and pour olive oil over the exposed sides. Place under the broiler until skin blackens and softened, 10 to 20 minutes. Place in a paper bag an allow to steam for another 20 minutes.
Peel the skin from the peppers and chop finely.
Saute in olive oil with the garlic, sliced basil and onion. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
Use an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor to blend vegetables until smooth. Add cream, butter and cheese, blend briefly and then return the sauce to the stove. Bring to a boil and whisky until the butter melts. Reduce heat to lowest setting to keep warm.
Printable recipe here.