Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nettle Ravioli

And so much more!

Perhaps some of you are aware, it snowed last night.  In Massachusetts.  In October.  And, from what I can tell, Halloween is a rather tenuous holiday which cannot handle snow.  Almost everything I had planned for the weekend was postponed, cancelled, or postponed then cancelled.

Remember how I was making Halloween costumes for the riding competition?  Cancelled.  Too slippery for the horse trailers.

Our neighborhood has an annual Halloween party in the local park.  Postponed, then cancelled.  First it was raining/snowing, then the paths were too wet today.

Instead, I spent the day cooking.  Yesterday I started a batch of mascarpone cheese.  This time I used Creme Fraiche starter culture, so it sat overnight in a warm room and then this morning I drained the creme fraiche in butter muslin for 4 hours to get the mascarpone.  I think I like this version better than the previous, using cream and tartaric acid.  It takes longer, but it's really good!

While the mascarpone was draining, I made a batch of sugar cookies (don't get too excited, it was a mix) in Halloween themed shapes: candy corn, spider, and skull and crossbones.  Later, when we decorated them, we decided that the spiders also worked as eyes with legs, and the candy corns also worked as ghosts.  The 6 year old decided that every shape made an Angry Bird.  (The 6 year old lately speaks of nothing but Angry Birds.  And will be one for Halloween tomorrow.  Yes, I had to make a whole separate costume from the riding one.)

Using the recipe in Hunt, Gather, Cook, I made rye pasta and used my frozen nettles, 2 potatoes, and 1/2 cup of the mascarpone cheese to make nettle ravioli.  The 10 year old was a big help for this project and together we made 5 dozen raviolis.  This pasta dough is even stretchier but much more fragile than the other (plain) pasta recipe, so there were lots of technical difficulties, but after the third dozen we did OK. 2 dozen have been frozen and the other 3 dozen were eaten for dinner, with just butter and parmesan cheese.  The remnants of the dough were converted to spaghetti and served for dinner as well.

We had friends coming over for dinner so I pulled together: a pork roast with onions and apples, applesauce, the nettle raviolis, roasted red kuri squash, roasted beets and a salad of lettuce, kale, Hakurei turnips, carrots, a few tiny green beans, and cucumbers with a balsamic vinaigrette. They brought a fabulous flourless chocolate cake for dessert!

And, in the middle of all that cooking, we took a trip to the hardware store and carved our pumpkins.
For the record, the snow is mostly gone as of this afternoon.  Hmpf.

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