Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cookin' Italian

When it's cold out and I can't ride my Harley or spend much time outdoors without freezing my buns off, I like to spend time in my kitchen with my partner and "batch cook." That is, in anticipation of a busy week ahead, I cook foods that can keep well frozen or refrigerated for the upcoming week. That way, when I get home from work, I can just pop something in the oven to heat up, toss a salad, set the table, and we're ready to dine well.

Today, my partner and I made home-made ravioli. The photo shows me running the pasta through a roller connected to our KitchenAid mixer. The roller is a special attachment that you can get for the mixer. It works great!

We made three batches of ravioli which freeze really well, and also a lasagna layered with home-made noodles that I had made last week. I made a great cheese mixture of ricotta, mozzarella, asagio, parmesan, and romano cheeses which we used for the ravioli. I had a lot of it left over after making the ravioli, so I thought that we could use the rest of it in a "small" lasagna. The lasagna will make two meals for both of us.

All together, the cost of the ingredients -- flour, eggs, cheeses, spices -- was less than US$10. For five filling main course dishes for two people, that's pretty good!

We don't eat out -- not (necessarily) because we're cheap or because my partner doesn't like to be around people -- but because we prefer to eat in the home we built, and enjoy my creations. I also have a rather strict diet. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that I can't eat without getting sick. Thus, by cooking my own meals, I can ensure that nothing goes into the food I eat that will make me ill.

The ability to cook was inherited in my Italian blood, and borne out by watching my Nonna (Italian grandmother) and my Mom cook over the years. My Mom's spirit was with me, too. I say that because every time I see a rainbow cast from a Native American "suncatcher" that my Mom gave to me for good luck in our new house, I think it is my Mom visiting us. Today as I was rolling pasta though the press, my partner noticed a rainbow from the suncatcher on my boots. Thanks, Mom, for visiting, and sharing joy with us in our kitchen as we cooked, laughed, talked, and enjoyed several pleasant hours.

Life is short: wear your boots while you cook!

1 comment:

Maf said...

I'd love to cook with ya someday man. I love to cook and have quite an extensive recipe collection. Oh, and I always cook wearin my boots.