A pic of Easter plenty for you:
Click on the following picture to aggrandicize:
This spaghetti sauce has turned out to be one the best I've ever made. I'm not always consistent in my sauce-making, but this one came out exactly the way I wanted it to: not over-dominated by herbs, not too salty or sweet, not overly meaty or vegetable-y. The only things that could have made it nicer would have been (1) fresh herbs—basil, parsley, oregano; and (2) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of the powdered Parmesan. But you make do with what's available to you, so voilà. All in all, I was delighted with the results.
The sauce contains ground beef (expensive), ground pork (cheap), button mushrooms, minced green bell peppers, Korean oyster mushrooms (very meaty), tomato sauce, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, olive oil (in which the veggies were fried and salted), tomato paste, and a bit of water to supplement the natural moisture that cooks out of the meat (it's not only fat that runs out of the meat) and the vegetables. Oh, yes: I did add an onion. A fresh onion—mandolined, minced, and caramelized in the aforementioned olive oil.
Cornstarch, something of a cheat, was thrown in as a binding agent. This kept the sauce from becoming too runny. I'd rather cheat and have my sauce be the right consistency than eschew cornstarch and end up with a thin, watery product.
I've got enough sauce and pasta to last me several more meals, but every meal needs a companion.* So—bread! To my delight, I finally realized that there is indeed a bakery in town that makes a halfway decent baguette, so I went there today, after therapy, and bought myself a loaf for a rather steep W2,500. But the price was worth it: the baguette passed the "shatter test," i.e., when I cut into it with a newly purchased serrated bread knife, crumbs flew everywhere as the knife bit into the crust. The second half of the "shatter test" is the "contrast test": the interior of a baguette must be as soft and gossamer as the exterior is hard and brittle. I'd give my baguette about a 75% on that score, but that's still saying something. The local chain bakery, Paris Baguette, serves crappy baguettes. As was true when I lived in Seoul, it's the independent bakeries that have proven better at making recognizably French breads.
So that's your dose of Eastertide food porn. Happy Easter. Eat well.
*Etymologically speaking, the word companion comes from "with" (com) and "bread" (pan), so a companion is someone with whom you break bread.