It has been a while since I wrote, but winter can be a busy time. The wind blows and the branches fall and cleanup has to happen. The critters in the woods come out and attack the chickens and measures need to be taken to make the chickens more secure. I lost two of my hens to a Cooper’s hawk.
It snowed twice this past week here in the maritime Northwest, an almost unheard of event for late March. It wasn’t traffic-stopping snow, but snow none the less.
The woodshed was almost empty as the weather has been colder than usual with more fuel needed for the woodstove, so I have been working on a new batch of wood, splitting and hauling. But we ARE keeping warm.
It is also time to do all the tax stuff since the two of us have businesses that require complicated tax forms.
Gee isn’t winter fun? Well it is, and I am just giving excuses for not writing. We do have a new customer for our card business and we have been preparing a new line of cards as well. I had three dog portrait commissions in recent weeks too. That is always exciting.
Right now the wind is blowing like mad outside (22 mph) and the temp is in the low 40s. I just started the stove and will put on breakfast shortly. Winter is also the time for comfort food and last night I made one of our favorites, ravioli.
We have always made our own pasta and, in more recent times, even have a hand-crank machine to roll and cut the dough. I made large sheets and cut out round ravioli with the device I mentioned an earlier blog.
Last night, however, the ravioli was a real surprise, even for me who can usually anticipate how it will taste. I took a bite and was truly amazed at the wonderful flavor. I made homemade ricotta to which I added homemade marinated sundried tomatoes, pesto, toasted almond meal and porcini mushroom powder plus a whole egg. Wrapped this up in the pasta. For the sauce, I opened a can of homemade marinara that I made last fall and added homemade cubed lonzino (a Portuguese version of prosciutto). Sprinkled it all with parm. Served it with a Whidbey Island Winery Sangiovese. The first bite’s flavor just burst in my mouth. I was totally surprised. I made this last time without the almonds and porcini, but they made all the difference. Luckily I made enough so we will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. What luxury.
I know it sounds like a long complicated process, but having made the lonzino, marinara, pesto, marinated sundried tomatoes last summer at different times, I had all these items on hand. The ricotta only takes about ten minutes to make and is half the price of the store bought (I use the whey for bread making or soup stock). There are benefits to planning ahead.
I took a couple of photos, one of the ravioli airing before boiling and one of them finished in the bowl, but, oops, I had eaten a lot before I remembered to take the photo. It was soooooo good!