Sunday, August 4, 2019

Culinary Luxuries

“Luxury is best appreciated in small portions. When it becomes routine it loses its allure."

I recently finished reading Ruth Reichl's new memoir, Save Me the Plums. It details the food writer's time as editor-in-chief of the magazine, Gourmet. I love her writing, and this was an easy and enjoyable summer read—as all summer reads should be!

The above quote about luxury stopped me in my tracks. Isn't it the truth? I had my own luxurious experience last week when I got to spend four uninterrupted hours in the kitchen, trying out something new: homemade ravioli.

I had decided I want to try and make sweet potato ravioli a while ago and had left this recipe open in a tab in Chrome for months. With the visit of a dear friend following the next evening, it was the right time. Even though it's an autumnal recipe, it worked quite well, swapping out the walnuts and basil for caramelized onions.

I don't often have the opportunity to spend such time in the kitchen, playing around with something like this. I am usually doing something a bit more practical like throwing together some veggies and some grain for a week's worth of lunch. The process of figuring out the best way to make the circles for the pasta, getting the filling right, taking the time to roll out piece after piece as prayerfully as possibly, and best of all, sharing it with others as the delicate pieces finished cooking, was such delight, a true luxury, for me.

Just before I had entered the kitchen for the afternoon, we had been talking at table about how to keep a novitiate-like quality in our busy lives. My time spent making sweet potato ravioli was just that!

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Rolling out the pasta dough 

Making the sweet potato filling

The first attempt needing some re-working—looks like a pierogi!

Getting the circles right after playing around a bit

Aerial view

More and more ravioli—a delicious treat!

Photo Lectio

It’s not very often that I am attentive enough or quick enough to capture moments like these. The praying mantis is eating a yellow ja...