Near the Old Man of Storr, Scotland I took this in 2004

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Two great Quotes and a Cute Word!

Here are two quotes, and a cute word that I’ve just recently found.
 The first quote is from a novel called Hallowe’en Party, by Agatha Christie. The quote is from a character called Mrs. Butler: she is talking about children!
“They acquire puppy fat and look like well-fattened pigs sometimes.”

The second quote is from the programme, Rosemary and Thyme; two professional gardeners who also help solve crimes, but there’s nothing Miss Marple-esque or dithering about them.

This quote is from an episode called Agua Cadaver. Rosemary and Laura have gone to Spain to work on the garden of a married, ex-boyfriend of Rosemary’s who still likes her, and has asked her to go and live with him in Spain.
Says Rosemary, to Laura’s question about whether or not she will shack up with him: “He’s got a wife, and I’ve got a life.”
I love that quote. As I say, these are not your dithering female sleuths, at all.

And finally, a cute word, which I hadn’t met before, and found in a story called The A.B.C. Murders, again by the doyenne of the cozy murder genre, Ms. Christie.

Here’s the word, "snuggery”, and even better, here’s the quote to give it context.

A man named Mr. Barnard is inviting detectives, and police into his and his wife’s “minute bungalow.”
They introduce themselves to him, and then he says  to the group, “Come into the snuggery…”
If the word was at all unclear, the narrator, Captain Hastings, gives clarity to it by saying: “..we were ensconced in the livingroom..”, but it’s so much cuter to say snuggery, rather than living room with mean little adjectives in front.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All about Ravioli

So I had a yen, the other day, to make ravioli. It's not too, hard, but I don't have a pasta machine or anything, so it was very "labour intensive", as it were.

First step, make the dough, (flour, water, olive oil, eggs, salt)
Knead dough. Then roll it into a ball, and wrap it in wax paper, or cling film,  and leave it in the fridge for an hour.

In the meantime, get working on your stuffing. Mine was caramelized red onions, with dried porcini mushrooms, that I had let soak in boiling water, along with some spinach, cranberry goat’s cheese, and crushed whole hazelnuts. I also added fresh lime juice. In a word: yum!

Then, for me, until I found a youtube video of chef Mario Battali on Martha Stewart, making ravioli, I was really having a difficult time figuring out how to stuff/ tuck everything in. My first batch looked like a cross between wontons, and little monster explosions. My ensuing batches looked better, thanks to ol’ Mario who had a pretty nifty trick for getting the top layer and bottom layer of dough to stick together.

First, he laid out his two sheets of dough, and instead of slabbing on his filling, as I had done first, he just put down a few wee dollops , then added the top sheet, and made partitions with his hand. Then he started to stick the dough together, with his fingers. Then, this is the cool part, he took a cookie cutter, and just pushed it into the top sheet of dough, over his covered dollop of filling, and worked it through until he had a totally contained, round raviolo!


After that, here are the rest of the steps:

1)   Place a few ravioli, like 5-6, depending on how big, or little you make them, in a pot of boiling water. Let them cook for a few minutes.
2)   Then, strain then, I forgot to drain them with cold water, and put them in a container and add your sauce.
3)   Buon' appetito!

The raw ravioli. Notice the scary little one on the right,my first batch, before Mario.
The boiling of the ravioli.
Almost done; all cooked, dressed and undressed ravioli co-mingling.

A fancy close-up!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Do you believe?

Here's some graffiti I saw the other day on the sidewalk nearing Kensington; like a beautiful omen, there was the word " Unicorns".

We all need more unicorns in our lives. 
The rest of the message said "Time and Space"
I think  "Unicorns" was at the beginning. I was walking north, and the message was written starting north going south, down the bend of the street :)