Sausage and Peppers: A Cautionary Tale

I love Italian food. When my dad and stepmom come to visit, or we go up to see them, my dad always cooks us a big Italian dinner. His cooking is to die for. I look forward to it and crave it. He cooks spaghetti, makes his own sauce and salad dressing and the last time he was here he made us this chicken, potato, pepper and onion dish that was just so good it makes me drool just thinking about it. One of my favorite things he cooks is sausage and peppers.

Now, I am nowhere near the cook that my dad is and I haven’t gotten his recipes yet. While we were planning our meals last week, Josh suggested we make sausage and peppers. Brilliant! We headed off to the store to get our food for the week.

We grabbed some green pepper, an onion, a can of spaghetti sauce and headed for the sausage section (that sounds really dirty doesn’t it? Like not something you’d find at Wal-Mart so much as at one of those bookstores downtown) to peruse the selection of succulent meats. There was Polska Kielbasa, more Polska Kielbasa, hot sausage, regular sausage, but Italian sausage was nowhere to be found.

Me: So, I don’t see Italian sausage.
Josh: I’ll show you some Italian sausage. *wiggles eyebrows*
Me: You’re not Italian, shut up. Where’s the Italian sausage?
Josh: It’s here somewhere.
Me: I don’t think it is.
Josh: Well, we will find it at another store. We’ll go at some point this week and get some Italian sausage.
Me: NO. I’ll never get to the store, we’ll just get this normal sausage, it’ll be fine. *snatches the plain sausage up and throws it in the cart*
Josh: I’m telling you, you need Italian sausage.

So the other day I stayed home from work with Nellie and decided to make my delicious dish. I sliced up peppers and onions and threw them in the Crock Pot with the jar of spaghetti sauce. I cut the (Not Italian) sausage and tossed it in with my concoction. I drooled a little in anticipation of the delicious aroma that would soon be filling my house. I turned my Crock Pot on and went about my business.

When Josh got home later that afternoon he asked:

Josh: Mmm, what’s that smell?
Me: *arrogantly* THAT’S my delicious sausage, onion, and peppers. I’m going to make noodles to go with it.
Josh: *side-eye*

I made the noodles, mixed everything together and sat down to savor my delectable dish. I munched on a few tender peppers first, then a couple of onions. Finally, I snagged a piece of sausage with my fork and popped it into my mouth, chewing tentatively, waiting for my insistence that I didn’t need Italian sausage to be justified.

It tasted like a goddamned hot dog saturated in spaghetti sauce. It was horrible. The flavors clashed like polka dots and plaid. I chewed and chewed, making yummy noises as Josh watched. “How is it?” he asked. “Not bad!” I replied nonchalantly while inside, I was wondering how I could discreetly dispose of the sausage without him knowing. Josh took a bite to see for himself, chewed a few times and looked sideways at me.

Josh’s Eyes: …………………………….
Me: …………… It’s awful, isn’t it.
Josh’s Eyes: …………………………….

The spaghetti/pepper/onion/sauce combination was fine. Tasty, even. We picked around that sausage, avoiding it like it was contaminated with the bubonic plague. We declared that dinner a fail, and Josh did a really good job containing his smug victory in knowing that he was right, and I was wrong.

The moral of this story, boys and girls is that all sausages are not created equal. Not at all. Sometimes, you just have to have Italian sausage and nothing else will do.