Thursday, December 20, 2012

Santa's Helper

This was Allyson's second year to help Santa pass out gifts at a local nursing home. This time Bill got to go with her, and he said she was very popular with the residents. She tells me she gave out a lot of hugs.

This year the nursing home requested gently used stuffed animals. Allyson donated about five from her ridiculously large stash. She could have donated three times as many, but as we sorted through them a week or two ago, she just couldn't part with most of them. "That's one's special," she said. "That one too."

No matter, they had plenty to go around.

Here she is with the best Santa I've ever seen, our coworker Mike.

Yes, that beard is real. And he keeps it all year long.

My Next Kitchen Gadget
On Tuesday night, I took a pasta cooking lesson with my brother Rick and his daughter Mindy. Working in groups of eight or so, we made a thick dough from all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and LOTS of eggs. Then we rolled it through a pasta roller a total of 11 times, at 7 different thicknesses. Each portion started out about the size of a paperback book (only thinner) and ended up over 6 feet long.

As the dough got longer, it became a two- or three-person job. One person pressed the dough into the roller, one person turned the crank, and a third person caught and straightened the dough as it was extruded from the roller.

We cut the pressed pasta into six-inch segments and then ran it through the other side of the pasta roller, cutting it into fettucini.

Rick, Me, Mindy, and Our Fettucini

We also made a gorgonzola walnut alfredo sauce. Technically all I did was strip some thyme leaves off their stems; Rick did most of the work.

The best part was eating our freshly boiled pasta and sauce. Good times!

Rick and I are going to buy a pasta roller soon and have family pasta nights. I'm sure you will hear about it when the time comes.


Mindy said...

So much fun at the class! Guess what was under my tree last night from Mitchell and Michelle (before they left for New York)....a pasta maker!! We'll have to all get together to make a big batch of homemade pasta!

Gentz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Mindy - Can't wait to try out that pasta roller!

Gentle - Yes, I definitely plan to make my extended family more of a priority.

naiyalexic said...

Sarah, I LOVE this page! Your blog is great. Thanks for sharing. Now I want to make pasta, too! ~Naiya


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