This past Saturday night, my niece and brother came over my house to collaborate on the making of the Easter ravioli. We brought out flour and eggs, ricotta and Parmesan cheese from D & D market, Mom’s rolling pin and pizza cutter, the macaroni machine … and the wine. Working directly from Mom’s recipe (which was supposed to make 75), we made 20 of the homeliest ravioli I’ve ever seen. She always said the trick was in the dough and quoting from her recipe, “You’ll know the dough is ready, when it is.” Thanks, Mom!
Throughout the evening though we laughed a lot, reminisced a lot and spoke to Mom/Nonie out-loud a lot. Once when my brother was doing something particularly discourteous to the dough I said, “I’m going to kick your little ass!” and at the same time we both said, “I/You sound just like Mom.”
The evening left me with thoughts of how certain foods (sometimes just the smell) become rooted in our lives and can conjure people and moments. Most of us have a relationship with food like that and many of you are right now thinking about it. Take your time …
Ravioli does it for me. Every holiday and birthday celebration, we’d have those little saucy pockets of cheese. Easter ham? What’s that? Thanksgiving turkey? What planet are you from?
And now, I feel even more connected, since it took 3 ½ hours for three of us to make 20 ravioli, while Mom would make about 150 all by herself (in way less time). Heck, we needed one person to crank the macaroni machine, one person to feed the dough through and one to catch it coming out the other end. Some came out looking like lumpy faces, but one batch looked just like hers. And didn’t we high 5 and toast each other.
Today at dinner when we sat down to eat (our 2 ravioli each), there was a lot of smiling and nodding and yes, a few deep sighs. And many thanks since a couple days ago, I’d made a back up Easter lasagna … just in case.