So, I am generally of the opinion that, while some things are easier (and just as good) pre-made or from a mix, one should try making just about everything from scratch at least once, just for the experience of doing so. In keeping with this idea, I had been considering for awhile now trying to make homemade pasta.
So this weekend, having tried and failed to stay awake during the day on Saturday, I instead stayed up all of Saturday night, Facebooking and watching PBS Create (one of the new digital channels, which is amazing), and there was this Italian cooking show, and the lady wasn't making pasta, but it reminded me of my intention to do so, so then around 8 AM, I drove into town and bought groceries, including some stuff to go with my pasta, and then I came back home and got to work.
Fun fact: making pasta is HARD. Not complicated — it's just flour and eggs — but physically taxing. Once you get your dough made, you have to knead it for 10-15 minutes so it gets nice and elastic-y, and then you have to roll it out flat.
You have to get it really really thin, like, about the thickness of a dime, or slightly less. I don't have a pasta machine, so I got to do it the old fashioned way, with a rolling pin. And this isn't like rolling out a pie crust — no, this stuff'll fight you every step of the way. It doesn't want to be flat; you have to make it obey, dammit. Cooking has never made me so tired!
But, once I got it rolled out, things got easier. I had decided I was going to make ravioli, so I whipped up some filling. I used some fake (vegetarian) ground beef that I found in the freezer, and I put in some onions, a homemade tomato-pesto sauce of my own design, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese, and hoo boy, it was delicious. So then I cut little rectangles of pasta, put on a glob of the filling, and crimped the edges to make raviolis, and then I boiled them up and served them tossed with melted butter with herbs. My mother said it was very good, and my brother (who claims to not like pasta) had two helpings. It was, by all accounts, an unmitigated success.
Next on my list of things to make from scratch: bread.
In other news, the summer keeps on rolling by, and the latter half of this week finally promises some fun to look forward to. I put in my notice and Wednesday will be my last day of work at Stride Rite, which will be nice. I mean, I don't mind third shift, but it will be a refreshing change of pace to wake up in the morning, instead of going to bed in the morning. I have a hard time convincing myself to sleep when such a beautiful day is breaking right outside my window. Also, I look forward to not totally screwing up my sleep schedule every weekend just so I can be awake when other people are; I've been cranky far more often than is normal for me this summer as a result of not getting enough sleep, and I don't like being cranky.
And, better yet, Wednesday night Kim will get here, and then on Thursday she and I and my mom and Michael and one of Michael's friends will all go to Indiana Beach, which will be mad good times. I am long overdue for some rollercoastering. Then I have to work at Pizza Hut on Saturday, but when I am done, I will be going down to Kim's to hang out there for a few days, which promises to be quite pleasant.
All in all, once I'm done with this Stride Rite business, it's looking like I might actually have some fun and relaxation this summer after all. I'm definitely psyched.