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What ELSE I did on my vacation September 14, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Work.

So wow, what a couple of weeks it’s been, huh?  I took that couple of days off before Labor Day, not to do yard work, not to go to the beach, or work on my tan, or, oh, any number of normal things that people do on their summer vacations.

Oh no, not me.

Me, I spend 3 days, during what may well turn out to be The Hottest August EVER, cooking my little heart out.

PhotobucketI made lasagna (3 different kinds), ratatouille, eggplant sauce, a couple of Reuben casseroles for the freezer, and 11 pounds of corn ravioli.

Yes, that’s right.  Corn ravioli – 11 pounds of it.

I know what you’re thinking.  Corn and pasta?  Together?  Really?

And yeah, I know.  But trust me here.  After all, everyone’s good with pierogi, right?  And that’s potatoes and pasta.  Is it really such a leap?  And have you ever noticed how you can manage to convince yourself of just about anything?

PhotobucketSo, besides tomatoes, green beans, eggplants, zucchini, kale, red peppers, figs, and peaches, do you know what ELSE is in season here in upstate New York?

Corn.  Corn is in season, and, as always, fresh corn is fantastic.

Do you remember, back last year, when we tried the not-exactly-ravioli corn-filled pasta?  While it was quite good . . . it wasn’t right.  The pasta-to-filling ratio was all wrong.  We could do better.

PhotobucketWell, we could do better with a little help, anyway.

So you’ll recall how Peeps works at The Ravioli Shop, and, besides the marvelous breads and Peeps’s favorite pizza sauce, they also make (now get this!) ravioli!  And it’s an awesomely cool operation, too – once you get the pasta made and the filling made, this giant equipment does all the rest of the work.

PhotobucketI’ve always been a sucker for the automated, assembly sort of things.  When I was a kid, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry, and the coolest exhibit I remember was the one where you put a disk of aluminum in the slot, and it just . . . travels through about a zillion steps until an ashtray comes out another slot.  But they probably don’t make ashtrays anymore, do they?

PhotobucketSo anyway.  Boss was willing to let me bring in some filling and use it to, well, fill ravioli.  Pretty nice, huh?   (I guess most jobs have their perks – but there’s a huge difference between free photocopying and, uh, ravioli.)

Now to me, this was a huge production, but, once I got down there, clutching my precious bucket of filling, well, Boss and Peeps just sort of took it from there – all I had to do was stand back (and, uh, sneak in a couple of photos)!

PhotobucketIt literally took me longer to drive TO the shop and back than it did for Boss to run my 11 pounds of pasta!

First, he checked the consistency of the filling – it was a little wet, so he  showed me how to fix that.  Then he showed me  how the two rolls of fresh pasta fit on the machine – one roll will become the bottom layer of the ravioli, and the other will, obviously, be the top.

Once he’d filled the filling tube and threaded the pasta through the rollers like an adding machine tape,  then he just flipped the switch and the ravioli pretty much made itself!

Of course, watching Peeps and Boss catch the sheets of ravioli, flour them, and box them – all while the belt was running, reminded me of . . . well, you watch and tell me what you think!

Pretty great, huh?  And doesn’t that kind of remind you of something?

So anyway, I do want to thank Boss for taking the time to humor me like this – and I certainly hope he’s enjoyed “our” corn ravioli as much as we are!



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