Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Pasta Party

I am beginning to think that I should stop having food parties at The Sidings on Sundays.

The Saturday before a Sunday food party is always, without exception a lovely day.

Come the Sunday, and the winds howl and the rain pours and the temperature plummets.

I’m beginning to think it’s A Sign.

Anyway. Yesterday The Builder, Freyja, Mark and I ignored the weather and met up at The Sidings for a Pasta Party. Freyja and Mark had come on the bus from Sheffield. The Builder met them and brought them back. They had a cup of tea. The Builder and I had a glass of wine (it was nearly 2pm by this point!) Mind you, if your food party doesn’t require being outside I don’t suppose it matters much what the weather is like. And I, at least, had no reason whatever to leave the house!!!!

And Freyja and I made pasta. From first principles. With flour and eggs. And my pasta gizmo.

It did look at first as though it was all going to go horribly wrong as we followed the recipe which told us to put the flour on a board, make a well, add eggs and start integrating flour and eggs. Egg went everywhere!. Freyja had to fight it back with large spoons while I integrated as fast as I could! Phew. The eggs stopped escaping and the dough began to look dough-like. Freyja and I kneaded until it was smooth and shiny, then we began putting it through the gizmo. The gizmo (which I don’t use very often) is lots of fun and the pasta became nice and very thin.

So we made two large ravioli each for starters. We made pumpkin and mascarpone and sun-dried tomato and mascarpone (the tomato mix tasted very odd before it was cooked!). And we had it with a pumpkin broth I had made earlier. The tomato one was rather nice. The pumpkin one was fantastic! And we made a lasagne with roasted vegetables (that I had also made earlier) and ricotta cheese and tinned tomatoes. It tasted nice but was a little on the dry side. More juice next time. I think Freyja and I declared the pasta party to be a success. I think the boys thought it was fairly successful too. The Builder had two helpings of the lasagne. He and I had more wine. Mark and Freyja had coke.

Things I discovered this weekend:

· If you knock a Jamie Oliver glass off the draining board with the cuff of your dressing gown it will fall to the floor and shatter into a zillion pieces which will go absolutely everywhere, including into and among the cats biscuits and his food bowl.

· Neither Mark nor I could figure out how to connect Freyja’s laptop to my wireless modem. It refused to accept the password. It sat and wibbled. They refused to talk to each other. And we don’t know why. It can’t be because it’s a Mac. Ian has a Mac and it was happy to talk to my modem. Oh well. We gave up. Next time they come out I’ll get them to bring the Mac again and we’ll see if we can sort it out. Oh – not the next time. That will be Christmas and I won’t care. The time after!

· Making pasta is lots of fun. It will, however, cover the kitchen, you and anyone within a 200 mile radius in flour. And you will inevitably get dough smeared all over your jumper.

· Freyja has a new camera and will take zillions of photos of exciting events like pasta making so everyone else can have the pleasure of following us, step-by-step later

The Builder has renamed Marlo Bagpuss. I’ve been collecting the Christmas presents on the spare bed. In amongst them there is a brown paper carrier bag. A few days ago, The Builder was in the spare room doing something and could hear a strange rustling noise. He looked around and saw that the bag was moving slightly. Rat! Mouse! Possum! But no. It was Marlo, who had decided that this bag would make an acceptable substitute to the ironing basket. And since then he has hardly moved out of it. He gets up in a tardy manner and demands his breakfast (assuming we are still home when he finally emerges; if not his breakfast is waiting). He gets up again later for bladder stops. He usually gets up at about coming home time – he is generally waiting on the table when we get in. Evidence when there is one of us at home is that he comes down about 2 minutes before the returner comes in. If we go and look in the bag we get an “oh for goodness sake – what do you want now?” meep. He was quite happy to see Freyja and Mark though. Actually emerged from the bag to talk to them. Even came downstairs to talk to them. Wanted to help with the pasta making but Freyja deemed this to be unhygienic so he wasn’t allowed. He wouldn’t have eaten it anyway. All those vegetables!

I wonder how Marlo will react when Julia comes to visit and we have to move the bag? He still hasn’t forgiven us for moving the ironing basket!!!

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