Saturday, February 17, 2007

big news in the household! we have graduated from clunker station wagon to drumrollplease chrysler sedan! it's new and shiny, and everything works! woohoo!

this was the first weekend after we got the car, and where did i go with it? 2 libraries, and then 2 bookstores. i'm such a book-nerd.

i'd gotten Jeff Vandermeer's Shriek: An Afterword out of the library around Christmas time, and instead of realizing it was a "2 week only" checkout because it was new, i started reading it a few days before it was due, and only got 50 pages in. so now i've got it again. only 30 pages in, and i was already overcome with sensory overload: smell, touch, taste, all of it. usually authors go mainly for the visual. Vandermeer writes like someone with bad eyesight.

i can probably blame Stephen Lawhead for me not getting to Shreik on time, Paradise War was so awesome, that now i've got the 2nd book in the Song of Albion trilogy, The Silver Hand. and while i was at the library, i couldn't resist Meiville's first novel, King Rat. I can't wait to get my hands on his newest, Un Lun Dun.

i can't possibly be helpful to my favorite authors if i insist on getting their books out of the library instead of buying them, so i did actually *gasp* spend money on books today. first up, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, for our reading group at Worm's Sci Fi Haven, and i couldn't resist buying the next Fullmetal Alchemist volume. I'm finding if i don't buy them when i see them, i can never find them again. now i'm up to 5!!

ok, on to food!! and holy crap, i made home made pasta last weekend! and turned it into ravioli!

first things first, pasta is way easier than it looks. it just takes a lot of patience.

for every pound of pasta you want to make (i made one pound), you'll need 2 cups of flour, 3 eggs and a pinch of salt. if you're going to make ravioli (i did), you'll want stronger pasta, so use 2 2/3 cups flour and 4 eggs, and another egg for later.

blend the 3 ingredients together until you get a dough. knead for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. if too dry, add a few drops water, if too sticky add some more flour. wrap tightly in plastic wrap and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature. divide dough into 3 or 4 peices for easier handling. stretch it with your hands, then roll out with a rolling pin until it's so thin you can see your hand through it. if you are not making ravioli, cut thinly, and let dry for one hour before cooking.

i used mashed potatoes flavored with garlic, parsley and rosemary for the insides of my raviolis (so i guess they were closer to perogies?). whatever you put into your raviolis, make sure it is spiced well (the pasta is bland) and has a very smooth pureed texture.

when you have your dough thin enough, cut the edges with a knife or pizza cutter so you have a long rectangle. put a teaspoon of filling down on side of the rectangle, each teaspoon about 1 1/2 inches apart from the next. you don't want your raviolis too big, because they will expand while cooking. brush egg around the filling. this is the glue that holds the sides of the ravioli together. fold the other side of rectangle over, and press down very hard around the filling. you don't want any air bubbles and you want all the seams closed. use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the raviolis apart. cook in boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until done.

the main ingredient is patience. the next main ingredient is time.

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