Monday, December 21, 2009

More kitchen work, less handwork

It's been noticed that I haven't posted about handwork in ages, and my project pages on Ravelry haven't been updated in forever--it's because my hand spends a lot of time healing in this brace. It's just a sprain, and it's healing, and I think it looks a lot worse than it is when you see it all braced up! It's just in an inconvenient location: MY HAND!

Timson has been wonderfully supportive, as usual. He won't knit in front of me, even though I told him I don't mind in the slightest. I can still bake and cook (with my devoted helper) so do keep up with some of my hobbies. And I'm draconian about my healing regimen.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Crab ravioli

I was surprised at how delicious these are. We came up with the recipe out of thin air, because our darling goddaughter, when discussing Christmas dinner possibilities, said, "Ravioli," and "I like crab--how about crab ravioli?"

Out of the mouths of babes. Or, nine-year-olds:

Crab ravioli (ravioli di granchio, would that be?)

Grind together in a meat grinder:
1/2 lb. onion
1/2 lb. crab (or, "crab"--we use imitation crab because Paul can't eat real crab)

Stir in:
1 egg
1/2 c. breadcrumbs (plain--not with any spices or herbs)
1 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. ricotta cheese
dash of white pepper

6 sheets of fresh pasta (our pasta shop, Phoenix, has sheets that are about 10" x 13")

I got our ravioli mold from Sur La Table to assemble them, and fill each rav with 1-2 tsp. of filling--about 1-1/2 tsp. of filling is perfect. (Be sure to wet the areas of the pasta that will be the edges of the ravs for a good seal!) This recipe made about 70 ravs, enough for a main course for 3 people.

We put them on wax-paper lined cookie sheets to freeze them, and when they were frozen hard, put them into containers, and ate them a week later. We did this test, because when making them for a large group, we wanted to know if they'd do well made ahead of time and frozen--they did!

When cooking them frozen, we boiled them for ca. 10 min.--it may take 11 min., depending on how hot your water is, and how long it takes to return to a rapid boil after adding the frozen ravs. (Of course, if cooking them fresh, it will just take a few minutes.) To see if they're done, I always just take one out, blow on it a bit, and eat it to see of the pasta is cooked all the way.

We ate them with a plain tomato sauce (2 onions sauteed in about 1 tbsp. organic canola oil until lightly browned, 2 large cans organic diced tomatoes, then added 6 cloves chopped organic garlic, 2 fresh tomatoes 'cause we had them, 1 bunch fresh organic basil, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. white pepper). We added freshly grated parmesan on top (also from Phoenix) and a Cline Ancient Vines Carignane (although they'd be delicious with white--we just adore reds, and have a serious devotion to the always outstanding Cline wines).

We'll be making dozens of these for Christmas dinner! Can't wait!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Pumpkin, apple, and cherry.

And Cedric had a wonderful time at Franklin Canyon, part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The hikes are delightful--we saw a woodpecker, black walnuts, and wild cucumber seed pods--and the visitors' center has this amazing stuffed mountain lion that you can see very, very closely.