Friday, April 18, 2008

Butternut squash ravioli

Yesterday after work, I looked at the butternut squash sitting on my counter, which has been there for a little while. I had a box of them down in our carport closet for the winter, but I never thought about cooking them when I didn't have one in front of me. Out of sight, out of mind. So I have been trying to keep one in the kitchen for inspiration, when we don't have our refrigerator crisper drawers bulging with veggies from the garden. Since I was home about an hour early, I decided to make butternut squash ravioli.

First, I chopped the squash in half, then peeled and diced just half of it and stuck the other half in the fridge, since I tend to end up with too much ravioli filling. I let it boil while I made fresh pasta with two eggs, some unbleached all-purpose flour, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. When the squash was soft, I drained it, mashed it, and added some powdered sage, salt, and pepper (a bit too much pepper, whoops). Then I made my ravioli. I actually ran out of filling, I guess my squash was a bit smaller than I expected.

For sauce, Loris melted some butter that I had just made with my kitchen-aid stand mixer. A couple weeks ago, I used a recipe that I found here to make butter from heavy cream using a quart mason jar, which was fun! But took forever. So I googled "kitchenaid homemade butter" and found that I could make it in just a few minutes with my mixer, and voila! Homemade butter. He added some sage leaves from the backyard, browned everything a bit, and added some of our stash of parmiggiano from Italy. Delicious! I'm enjoying the leftovers right now. Homemade bread and radishes and salad from the garden finished our meal.

I'd really like to find someplace to get real milk and cream, near where we live, although we don't use it all that often. But it would be so nice to know that it was possible.

On a side note, I had a little incident yesterday. I bought a cheap, old road bike to use to run errands around Davis, in the interest of getting in shape, saving on gas money and wear and tear on our car, and helping the environment. Not to mention just avoiding the horror of Davis driving and enjoying the weather more. Anyway, I bought heavy news-paper-delivery style baskets, spent several evenings fighting with my tools and my bike to attach the darn things to the back (and scratched up the paint a lot, too), and then took the bike onto campus yesterday to swim in between making the ravioli and cooking them. When I arrived at the pool, I promptly forgot about the giant metal things attached to the bike right behind me, swung my leg over as usual, and had one of those moments where things happen too fast but you still remember every excruciating moment - I felt my foot get caught on one of the baskets and I fell on my face, in a big tangle of backpack straps, bike parts, and body parts. It was ugly, it was bloody, and it was painful, and a public swimming pool FULL of studly, ten-years-younger-than-me college students in swimsuits didn't seem like the best place to lick my wounds.

So I went home.

But! I swear that won't stop me from using my crappy bike, at least locally.

(P.S. I actually rode my bike to work from Davis to Sacramento this morning, but that was my nice, beautiful, shiny, loving Specialized road bike, which my husband gave me (thank you wonderful husband!), and which has never tried to throw me. I LOVE my bike).

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