Homemade Marinara: My Base Recipe

First of all, hello again! I haven’t posted anything since February. That’s largely in part to some blog account issues I was having. After many months, I finally discovered that WordPress prefers to operate on any browser except Google Chrome.

Anyway! I’ve been experimenting with marinara. Basically I use:

  • one onion
  • one carrot OR one bag of baby carrots
  • five or six cloves of garlic
  • 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes

I begin by chopping the onion into small pieces. Then I chop the garlic cloves and the carrots. I sauté these with olive oil in a large pot. I usually let it cook until the onions are transparent. This only takes a medium-range heat setting.

*The carrots are a substitute for sugar. As the carrots reduce, they release a natural sweetness, as well as vitamins!

Once that’s done, I toss all of the tomatoes into the pot. I let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally. At this point, I like to add dried herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme. Don’t forget to add salt, too. There isn’t an exact time frame for it; I just let it cook until the tomatoes have mostly broken down.

After it’s cooked sufficiently, I blend it. I either use my immersion blender or a regular blender. I blend until I get a desirable consistency for my taste. I pour the entire pot into a large glass jar and keep it refrigerated for about a week to nine days.

Studying and Staying Motivated

One of my downfalls in the past has been staying motivated. I’m talking motivated to study, to work, to cook, to clean, to wake up early, and just being productive in general.

I’m taking only 13 credit hours: organic chemistry, organic chemistry lab, genetics, ethics online, and a seminar.

I have learned that being busy does not equate to being productive. Doing busy work is not the same as committing several minutes to work on an assignment or two. I use downtime between classes to take notes or read the chapters or work on homework assignments. My major motivator these days is the fear of falling behind. That may not be the case for everyone, and that’s understandable. You have to find something worth working towards. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or drastic. For example, find a bakery with the most amazing cupcakes. Set some goals for yourself at the beginning of every week. Buy yourself a cupcake for every week you fulfill your weekly goals.

Motivation isn’t easy. I manipulated my course schedule to only have classes on Tuesday and Thursday, with the heaviest load being on Thursday. If I stumble, my assignments could pile up. I still go into work on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I use the morning hours to sip some hot tea and read assigned chapters. At nights, I cook. It’s become an outlet for me. I put on a load of laundry meanwhile. When I can, I write for this blog, I read books, I bake bread. Multitasking is key.

I’ve managed to study every night and stay on top of things. I’m proud of myself. I can say that.

The most important thing to realize is that progress is relative. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others, only to your previous self. All you need to do is better than you did yesterday. You can do this. We’ve got this.