Ok ok, two and a half weeks is too long in between posts, I agree, but honestly this blog has become a labor of love. I love writing it and I love the reactions from my fans (err…family, whatever), but the labor of actually STARTING a post is mentally draining for me. I have written this very post in my head several times, but every time I sit down to put fingers to keys, something “more important” comes up. Maybe I should get checked out for adult ADD?
Great, now I just spent twenty minutes on WebMD trying to see if that’s a legit diagnosis, which it is. Sounds like a cop out to me, but I digress. My point of this little rant is that I will make a New Year’s Resolution to post more frequently in 2014, or at least until I’ve proven Gomez wrong about blogging. I know, no one actually keeps their resolutions, but I will keep this one. (And yes, I know everyone says they actually will keep their resolutions then proceed to fail, but have some faith!)
In my last post I mentioned that the Thanksgiving feast gave me the urge to continue sharpening my budding home-cooking skills by making spinach and ricottta ravioli from scratch. I don’t know what made me think this was a good idea, considering I’ve never once attempted making pasta or bread or anything of the sort, but I was determined to do this. In hindsight I probably should have started with an easier pasta, like anything that isn’t ravioli. The plan was I would make the ravioli, Lo would do the sauce, and ML the salad and bread. I started the process a couple hours before we were due to eat, that way in case things went wrong I would have plenty of time to order some actual ravioli.
Less than 4 minutes into the dough making I was ready to call it quits and head to the store. It was a debacle. As soon as I touched the dough I knew something was wrong. The recipe made it sound so easy! Just mix the eggs, flour, salt and water, knead, roll and then presto…you have pasta dough. Well, that couldn’t have been any further from the truth. What really happens is this – you mix together the ingredients and attempt to knead the “dough” but you can’t because the “dough” is stickier than Tom Brady’s hair gel. At this point you can’t go any further because your hands and arms are covered in a floury goo and your girlfriend is laughing hysterically at you. So you do your best (read: not very well) to not get too frustrated as you wash your unevolved dinner off your hands and start anew, but not without first furiously Googling “how to make pasta dough that’s not so damn sticky“.
The key my friends is flour. Flour makes pasta dough unsticky! I’m sure all you experienced pasta makers out there could have told me that (thanks for answering the phone Ma!), but it’s sometimes best to learn these lesson on your own. Most recipes I found called for 2 cups of flour and 3 eggs for a pound of pasta. Mine ended up with about 6 cups because that was the only way I could touch the dough. I found the trick to keep your hands and counter top lightly dusted in flour the whole time you’re mixing and kneading the dough. After I got through the harrowing beginning, the rest of the experiment wasn’t too much trouble, but was extremely labor intensive. It took ≈an hour to knead, hand roll and fill the dough. By the time it was ready to drop in the water it actually looked like ravioli!
To my delight (and extreme relief) the ravioli tasted amazing, thanks in large part to Lo’s sauce and the salad and bread from ML. Anything that takes 2+ hours to make better taste good! Before I try pasta again I will definitely be investing in a pasta machine.
Now on to my other labor of love!
FINAL MOVEMBER UPDATE
Much to my regret, and my mother’s satisfaction, my moustache is now no más. Gone like the dinosaurs and Bernie Kosar’s credibility. But this moustache died for a great cause and should be rejoiced. The duster and I raised $651 for the Movember campaign, completely obliterating my original $200 goal. I would like to extend a huge, hairy thank you to those of you who donated to the cause. Thank you for helping me change the face of men’s health. I can’t wait to do it again next year, my upper lip is already getting cold.
The next few weeks will be spent between San Diego, Scottsdale, and Dallas before heading home to Cleveland for the holidays! Hopefully I will get some golf in before subjecting myself to the torture that is a Midwest winter.
Song of the Day: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey