Remember how we made that tomato sauce, and it was super easy? If you made tons of it, don’t want to just freeze it, and love pizza, then I’ve got the recipe for you! I should totally be in advertising, right? You just need to add a few ingredients to the tomato sauce you already made, and you’ll have pizza sauce perfect for your next pizza and movie night. Because pizza and a movie are basically the perfect pairing. Have a nice glass of Chianti or Pinot Noir and you’ve basically just set yourself up for a good night whether you’re alone or with people. Yes, I just said its okay to drink alone. You’re not going to drink the entire bottle alone! At least not tonight. Get a fancy wine stopper, have a glass or two tonight, and then another tomorrow or the next day. Homemade pizza and a beautiful red wine are great accompaniments to your favorite movie, and used to be a typical night for me. Now I have this boyfriend who takes up all my time! The last three years were filled with living alone, learning how to be alone and love it, and many solo movie nights. If you’re single, whether suddenly single for no good reason, or have been for a while, it is so important to get to know yourself and learn to love (or at least tolerate) spending time alone. Set up a nice, candlelit dinner for just yourself, and open your favorite red. Watch a movie, read a book, or take a bath. Just do whatever you need to enjoy the alone time. If you’re single, you’re going to be having a lot of alone time, so learn to love it! Next, start taking yourself on dates. Go out to dinner and/or a movie alone. It might sound and feel pathetic, but I promise it’s not! When you are able to do anything alone that you would rather be doing with a partner, you’ll be a self-sufficient, whole adult, and any person that comes into your life threatening to take away your “me time” will be super impressed and attracted to your individuality and independence. You’ve gotta love yourself, love spending time with yourself, and be able to fully stand on your own two feet before you can let another person be your partner. Your equal. It isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it is one of the healthiest. (This definitely goes for already married or coupled people, too. You still need to be an individual!)
Baby steps. Start by going to a Sunday matinee alone. It’s inexpensive, so you can splurge on popcorn and candy, and the theaters are usually fairly empty at matinee time. In my experience, matinee-goers tend to be old ladies together on a lady date, and other single people testing the waters. You probably don’t have to worry about being seen by someone you know at a matinee. If you’re super uncomfortable, then go to one of those theaters that has the ticket kiosk so you don’t have to order a solo ticket from a person. Smuggle in your own snacks and you won’t even have to talk to the concessions person. After you’re comfortable seeing a matinee alone then you can start going at night when the theater is packed.
The next one is more difficult than going to the movies alone, and one that took me a while to enjoy. The solo dinner! Yes, take yourself out to a fabulous restaurant and enjoy a meal alone. Bring a book if you’re feeling uneasy. The first time out you can even bring a book and sit at the bar so you can strike up a conversation with someone. This doesn’t count as dining solo, but it is a fantastic step along the way.
The next one is huge like woah, but its one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life: travel alone. If you love to travel, and its something you’ve only done with your family or a significant other, then you need to take a solo trip to somewhere. Especially if you suddenly find yourself alone. Whether thats because of a death, divorce, or huge break up, you’ve gone through something devastating and your life is completely different than it was before. You’re used to being a couple, having a partner, someone with whom to share everything. You can definitely share your life with your family and friends, and that’s really good to do! I’m a huge advocate, though, of learning to be content to be alone. Traveling to Italy on a three-week solo trip was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I had such a wonderful time, and I learned a lot about myself. I felt homesick often, and I got sad that I had no one to share my experience with, and I soaked in all the beauty surrounding me and immersed myself in the culture and food of Italy.
I’ve talked before about how I’m independent to a fault. I’ve been this way for about fifteen years. Even when I was with my husband, we spent lots of time doing things apart because I liked my alone time and he liked his video games. It was an interesting and very cool change of pace when I started doing the bookkeeping for his company because we started spending more time together and it was good. Anyway, I have always been independent so the above solo activities came easier to me than they might to others. Regardless, do them!
These days I have a manfriend taking up my time and space. Adjusting to being a couple is almost as big as adjusting to being a single. He comes into my home with his stuff, he takes up my alone time, he makes me want to cook for him, he folds the towels differently than I do, he thinks I have too many cutting boards… After nearly four years of learning to be single it is an adjustment learning to be a couple again, and it is so wonderful.
Okay deep breath! Whew. The heavy, self-help column is finished. Wherever life takes you, one thing will always be constant and comforting: pizza. Whether you’re having a solo pizza and movie night, or making ten pizzas for a dinner party, this sauce is better than the jarred stuff, perfectly compliments your favorite dough and cheese, freezes beautifully, and is easy to make. If you don’t like how sweet some pizza sauces can be, then just cut the honey in half. Simple. Tasty. Pizza.
Simple, Tasty Pizza Sauce
makes 2 cups
2 cups tomato sauce (If you don’t have fresh tomato sauce, you can use store-bought tomato puree, just make sure it has no ingredients other than tomatoes!)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Cook, stirring, until the honey is melted and everything is well mixed.
You can leave this on the stove over medium-low heat for 10-30 minutes to thicken if desired.