August 06, 2006

Doing Things the Old Fashioned Way

Another day, another culinary adventure! I’m not lazy and unemployed, I’m adventuring! Adventuring today included mowing the lawn. Seeing as though I’m living here for free with no plans of leaving in the immediate future, the least I can do is clean up and make dinner. Mowing the lawn took over an hour and a half, on a ride on mower… I didn’t tackle the portion that I have to do with the push mower, I’ve got to save some fun for tomorrow. I’d like to think of this as an educational blog so here’s a special tip for the kids: on a sunny day, it is not advisable to wear a sleeveless shirt, listening to your iPod with your armband, unless your goal is to make your upper arm look like a cheap Canadian flag tattoo. Lesson learned.

Anyways, onto the cooking. I decided to make fresh pasta today. I thought it would be a nice treat for my parents because other than someone who’s unemployed, who really has the time to make fresh pasta? Since I have never made fresh pasta before I thought I’d skip the usual beginner step of making plain pasta and go right on ahead to the flavoured stuff. Why not? Being limited by what was in the fridge, spinach pasta was my flavour of choice. The recipe I found had a food processor option, I chose to forgo it and make the pasta by hand. It looked like more fun, you got to play with dough and make a mess. Due to the fact that I made the dough my hand, I thought I could cheat a little with the shaping of the pasta. Actually, I don’t consider it cheating, I was testing out a new kitchen tool, experimenting, learning alternatives. My dad had received a pasta roller-outer (I’m sure it has a real name, but I’m not overly concerned with what it is) for his birthday last year and it wasn’t something I had used before. I don’t know how much easier it made my job anyways. The pasta roller-outer is a great tool, but it requires two sets of hands. They make it look like an easy individual process on the box. This is not so, unless you have go-go-gadget arms, and at least three of them. I needed one hand to turn the crank, one hand to feed the dough through the presser and then the cutter and another hand to catch the pasta so that it didn’t end up on the floor. This required some acrobatics on my part, and I wouldn’t say that gymnastics are exactly my forte. Some of it ended up on the floor. 3 second rule. Eventually I found a system that worked and I was becoming quite proficient by the end of it, (ok, maybe dad came home and provided an extra set of hands, but let’s not argue over the exact details).

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Following my first couple blogs, there has been some question as to whether or not I’m actually making this stuff or if I just have an active imagination. Pictures were requested as proof, and rightly so. Sticky hands, dead camera batteries and forgetfulness will sometimes get in the way of picture taking, but I’ll see what I can do. I was so proud of myself today that I took a few pictures of my pasta making process, but then I forgot to take a picture of the final plated product, which was actually quite pretty with the green pasta covered in a red sauce. Speaking of which, the sauce was what I like to call a rummage recipe. I rummaged around the kitchen to see what I could find to make a decent sauce. This led to the writing of a grocery list, but also a surprisingly pleasant sauce which consisted of garlic, onion, green pepper, sundried tomato (the garden was overrun with tomatoes last year and we’re still eating them), crushed tomatoes, proscuitto, white wine, (a splash for you, a splash for me) oregano, rosemary and thyme. Super.

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