Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Made with L-O-V-E...

So yesterday was spent continuing a tradition that goes back way before I was born thirty-two years ago.  I've alluded to how my Mom makes HOMEMADE raviolis every Christmas & Easter...and TODAY, my lucky readers, I'm going to let you in on a little 'behind the scenes' action!
It's funny because my Grandmother's love of cooking completely skipped a generation and smacked onto me, as I was always the one sitting with my elbows in flour helping her roll our dough & form Christmas cookies when I was a kid.  My Mom was NEVER big into cooking, but ask her now to whip up one of my Grandmother's traditional recipes (such as these raviolis, her Easter sweet bread or Pastia) and she has just got the KNACK!  It was like my Grandmom passed on the 'torch' at just the right time♥.

Sooooooo we STILL get help from my Grandmom though, in the form of her recipe book... 

Tell me this isn't THE MOST PRICELESS THING A PERSON CAN HAVE!!!!!!

All of her recipes written down in HER handwriting...complete with scratch outs, corrections & LOTS of notes in the margins... 

Adorable, right?? 


So, the first step in making raviolis is to make the filing.  Since it's only a TWICE a year occurrence, my Mom always goes all out and buys all of the fresh ricotta & mozzarella from the import store.  It just makes all the differenceJ

We load up the ricotta with eggs, parsley, grated cheese, diced fresh mozzarella & black pepper.  I could tell you measurements, but ya know, some things have to remain a secretJ 
ALTHOUGH I would be lying if I said we followed exact measurements anywaysJ  Ya gotta go by taste!

Next up was the dough, made of just flour, eggs & water...

Lots of kneading & adding a pinch of flour here and a splash of water there goes into making fresh dough... 

...you just have to *know* when it's ready to roll out! 


My Grandmom always had this way of rolling out ravioli dough where she would have it literally WHIP around the rolling pin and FLAP onto the board in order to get that dough reallllllly thin.  My Mom, yet again, inherited this OUT OF NOWHERE! hahahahaha...a little 'divine intervention' in the works, don't cha think??J

Once the dough is rolled to the desired thickness (my Grandmom made it SUPER thin and filled them just enough, where my Mom keeps the dough a little thicker and REALLY packs these babies with cheese!), you add your filling... 

Fold the dough over and shape with your hands (sorry for the blurry picture...it IS an action shot, after all!) 

Then it's time to cut out your ravs'... 


This purple aluminum cup is just as much of a tradition as making the raviolis themselves!  We just WILL NOT use anything else to form themJ  That cup is probably twice my ageJ hehehehehe...

And my job, that I've had since I was a little kid, still remains to crimp the raviolis with a fork to seal in all the edgesJ hahahahhhahahaha.... I got off easy, wouldn't you say?J

We had relegated my Aunt to keeping track of how many raviolis we made (75 by the end of the day!), but she couldn't help "crimping" the few raviolis I helped cranked outJ hahahahahhahaa....too cute, right???
We lay them out on cornmeal coated tins, which my Mom will freeze until the raviolis are frozen solid, before throwing them in a bag and keeping them frozen until Christmas Day!  Wohoooooooo...the tradition continues!!!  *Here's a little side story:  I don't think I actually ATE raviolis till I was 10 or 11.  I didn't like ricotta as a kid and my Grandmom always made me spaghetti instead.  Was I a goofball or what?????????

Anyway...so there's even a BONUS ROUND to our afternoon of pasta making, as my Mom had used up ALL of the ricotta, but still had leftover dough.  Soooooooooooo she rolled it out and made it into regular noodles for me! 

Scott & I had another dinner planned for the night, but there was NO WAY I could pass up SUPER FRESH, HOMEMADE pasta (seesh...between Italy & Joe's Maplewood, I'm gonna be spoiled on homemade pasta soon!) 

I had let the noodles sit out to dry until it was dinnertime, where I dropped them in a salted pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes.  They cook up FAST! 

And I had planned on coming home and making a quick gravy, but the thought of REALLLLLLLLLLY showcasing the flavor of the fresh noodles by just using simple garlic & olive oil just won me over... 


No seriously, how can you say this dinner was anything but THE BESTEST?????? 
And ya know why??? Cause you can taste the LOVE that can only go into homemade food! J There in lies the secret ingredient, my friends!  
So I hoped you guys enjoyed a little peek into my family's holiday traditions!  Before we know it, I'll be showing you the 'final dishes' from Christmas night...hehehehehehhee....

Have a great Tuesday everyone!  
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

7 comments:

Julie said...

This made me cry..nothing like these traditions!

Foy Update said...

So glad you left a comment on my blog. I'm finding comradery among the blogging world! I look forward to reading about your food and family. - Foy

Amy said...

Great post! I loved the pics of your Grandmom's recipe book, some of her handwriting looks like yours!

Foodness Gracious said...

That's cooking right there!! Hooray for Grandma's and historical recipe logging :)
Take care...

Donna said...

Thanks everyone! It was definitely a special one to write:)

Nisa Homey said...

Hi Donna, I am so glad that you left a comment on my space otherwise I would never have found u. Now I am feeling a bit J..becoz of that priceless possession. I have never had a ravoli but sure would love to try out now...thanks a bunch for following me..happy to follow u too...blessings, Nisa.

Miz Helen said...

Hi Donna,
It is great to see you! Just look at all that wonderful pasta from your Grandma's recipe book. That is a treasure. Hope you are having a great holiday week end. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you will come back soon!
Miz Helen

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