Married to the Empire

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Ideally, I like to have my meals for the week planned out on Monday. The weeks that I actually do that run so smoothly.

And then there's the scrambling on the weeks I don't. What makes that even worse is if I have a music rehearsal at church on Wednesday night. Rehearsals occur right during the dinner-prep hour(s), so my crockpot is my best friend on those nights. But it's problematic if I've forgotten to make a dinner plan.

Late yesterday afternoon I pulled some Little Smokies and some other sausage out of the freezer because I knew I could pop those in the crockpot with some grape jelly and chili sauce for a quick and easy dinner. (Doesn't that combo of jelly and chili sauce sound disgusting? And yet, it makes a pretty good BBQ-ish sauce.)

This was going to be No Problem because I had all the ingredients. Or so I thought. *sigh* I just knew I had chili sauce, but it was nowhere to be found. Not even an opened bottle in the fridge. By the time I figured out I was missing a key ingredient, it was too late to run to the store, as rehearsal time was approaching.

I googled "chili sauce substitute" and found this recipe. Suddenly I remembered that I had a lot of tomato paste in the fridge leftover from a recent meal. I always struggle to find uses for leftover tomato paste once a can has been opened. (I really should buy a tube of the stuff instead of cans.) This seemed perfect. I just added water to the tomato paste to make a sauce of sorts, then added the other ingredients.

That recipe really does make a good chili sauce substitute! The sausages turned out wonderfully with my improvised sauce concoction. The only change I'd make in the future? Don't use turkey Little Smokies. Yuck. The texture is a little off, and the taste just isn't good. I don't care if they are healthier; it's not worth it if it's not enjoyable.