Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Larger than life
My craving, that is. I have such a strong craving. It's had it's clutches on me for more than a week. And NOTHING I do to tame it works. I once tasted a stuffed pasta that rocked my world. It was a ricotta/spinach type filling in a large tortelli type shape. Served very simply with browned butter and sage. The filling was creamy, cheesy, and spinachy. The pasta was thin and tender. Biting into one of these, was like biting into a cloud. Waking up with this experience on my mind, I decided it was time to go back to the place where this experience happened. Only to stand in a parking lot in front of a barren plot. The restaurant was GONE. Not renamed, not opened as a dentist's office. The entire building no longer existed. Did not bode well, my friends! I asked around a bit, and found out the placed closed five years ago when the owner's retired, and the building had been sold. Future site of a mini-mall. Sad, really. The elderly couple had nobody to run the place and wanted to retire. With the money from the sale they went back to visit the "old country" and nobody seemed to know what happened to them after that. Indeed, there are no listings under their name in the phone book and nothing on the internet. Of course, searching high and low to find two people so I could ask them to cook for me seemed a bit shallow ;). I figured, stuffed pasta is stuffed pasta. And since I don't have a pasta roller (and I can't possibly roll it thin enough by hand) and there is not one Italian bone in my body, store bought was the way to go. Supermarket pre-packaged items looked glum. Little tortellini were too small, crescents seemed wrong, and we won't start on the various forms of ravioli. Spinach and cheese fillings abounded, but nothing LOOKED right. So off to the gourmet market. Aha! These looked promising. Little stop signs, about two inches across. Sure, not the same shape but stop signs can billow. One package for me, a package of DD's favourite tortellini, and we were in business. Until I tasted one. The butter sauce was right on (just browned butter and a bit of finely ribboned fresh sage, and a touch of minced onion). But those THINGS were not. The dough was far too thick. And the filling was heavy like a brick! There might have been one green fleck in the entire batch, so much for spinach. And the cheese was more like dry curd cottage cheese than any ricotta I have ever tasted. Heavy, pasty, chewy. No billowing. No clouds. Quite a disappointment. Upon reviewing the package I noted that one of the ingredients was "potato". So basically what I had here were perogies. And let me interject that the leftovers, panfried with onions and dolloped with sour cream, were quite good today eaten at lunch. It's all in finding the proper application. Of course, this means nothing to my craving as it was still unfilfilled. A trip to our local "Erie Street", the Little Italy of Windsor Ontario may be in order. Or, I might just break down and buy the coveted pasta roller for once and for all. I'll keep you posted on that. Seeing as I am a being of extremes, these intense food cravings are not really a surprise. I do everything to extremes. I either don't knit at all, or I spend my day doing it and neglect the world around me. I don't touch a crochet hook for months, then I crochet an afghan in a day. I don't buy a stitch of new clothing for years then all of a sudden I replace everything I own. I've never eaten an avacado in my life, then tried one not long ago, and now I can't walk down that aisle in the grocery store or they jump in my cart, force their way into my home, and expect me to eat them - properly mashed with salsa and scooped up on chips. But don't worry, I will hit my limit and then won't touch them again for five years before the cycle begins again. Whereas I swing from one extreme to the other, DH is steadily monotonous. He doesn't try many new things, and what he does and likes today is pretty much what he did and liked 20, 30 years ago. As you can see, we regularly frustrate each other. It's like "our thing". From one extreme to another, that is me. Kind of like having a microwave one day, then none the next. Now THAT is extreme. It is in the repair shop. They are running a diagnostic and will call some time this week to tell us what is going on. It's like waiting to hear the results when a family member has major surgery. Every time I walk through the kitchen I see the big gaping hole in our life where the microwave belongs. Notice the "crap creep" that takes over any spare flat surface in our home. Kind of like how Kudzu is taking over the southern states. If we don't get it back soon, I'll need a machete to clear the area out again.