Every time I cook up a batch of spaghetti sauce, I think of Betty. I had not heard of bay leaf before Betty. She made its use special with a simple smile and explanation of its purpose and the importance of retrieving it after the sauce was cooked and ready for serving lest someone swallow and choke on it.
Betty was always pleasant to be around. Mother of childhood friends, I loved watching her cook her famous spaghetti sauce almost as much as I loved wolfing it down on occasions she invited us to eat with their family. No disrespect for my mother's spaghetti sauce, but Betty's was so kick ass.
Betty is gone now, taken by cancer. I miss her every time I cook up a batch of sauce.
The windstorm is due to begin within minutes. The sauce should be done by then. After enjoying a plate of pre-dawn spaghetti (I no longer adhere to conventional rules governing when to eat what), I'll settle down in a delightful spaghetti stupor for sleep. If I'm lucky I'll dream of Betty and her delectable dish. If I'm really lucky she'll smile that comforting smile of hers as she explains what a bay leaf is all about.