I think most of us can quickly boast that there's a certain something that we can make better than anyone else. unomonomalo has the greatest chocolate chip cookies. My friend Meghan makes the best apple pie. My boyfriend's mom makes the best pasta salad. It's debatable whether my mom or my roommate's mom makes the best banh xeo ("sizzling pancakes" or "happy cakes" to those unfamiliar with Vietnamese food), though I think our judgements are skewed because of our mommy-food-attachments. Do you make something that you swear is better than what anyone else can do? I don't mean like, Duck A L'orange, for you chef people. I mean home food.
Me? I make the best pasta sauce, as well as the best eggs in the world. There's no use challenging me; mine are better. I think the pasta sauce thing began about 10 years ago, when I would be in charge of spaghetti at home. It was a simple enough task for a 13 year old to make this for her brothers while the parents were at work. Back then, it was just beef and onions and a jar of sauce. I suspect that my mom had this intense fear of me being on my own one day and not having a clue as to how to take care of myself, so some time around the Spaghetti Age, she made sure that I was by her side in the kitchen, either peeling/cutting things or stirring chopsticks furiously. These were basic lessons, yes, but I guess I didn't really appreciate what she taught me until I left home about 5 years ago and encountered full grown college students who couldn't even fry eggs, let alone understand that cornstarch is a superb thickening agent for stir-fry.
I don't know if there is an appropriate way to describe how my mother and I cook, but I can tell you that it's not methodically (do you see why I hate baking?). How about if I just say that my spaghetti sauce is made with experience and looove. After a few experiences cooking with friends in a college dormitory and my mental fusion of the tidbits I catch on cooking shows, I can confidently say that my tomato sauce is the most delicious sauce you will ever taste, unless it comes from some quaint little Italian restaurant. I don't know what makes it different; I use the same basic ingredients that everyone else uses in their sauce. It could just be that making sauce has become so familiar to me, that I know exactly what the proportions should be. You start with some butter. Add minced garlic and shallot or onion, depending on how sweet you feel. Add your finely chopped tomatoes (isreali vine tomatoes, please. or plum tomatoes if you must), basil, and oregano. salt and pepper. 1 or 2 TBSP of brown sugar. tomato paste. hot pepper flakes, but just a teeny bit. That's my basic sauce.
But oh, it gets interesting. If the mood strikes me, I like adding extras to my sauce. Little surprises, if you will. If I want to be simple in my addition, I just go with some ricotta and asiago cheese and turn it into a creamy tomato sauce. But my favorites are roasted red peppers and red wine. Not together, that's too much to deal with. So you roast a pepper, peel the skin off, puree, and then add it to your sauce. It adds a little body, something slightly more complicated to your sauce, but hey! it's red! it looks the same as the rest of the sauce, and no one knows!
At this point, I don't think I can write a description about my eggs that is as exciting as my sauce. My boyfriend will tell you, though, that they are, indeed, the best in the world. My eggs are comfort food, I can tell you that much. This weekend, I made them with red onions, cumin, and chinese sausage. Meat-eaters: are you familiar with the magic of chinese sausage? It's sweet, crisp around the edges, not chewy, perfect with sticky rice and green onions, and so delicious. If you've never had Chinese sausage before, get ye to the Asian grocery store. Now!