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Sunday, January 11, 2004

Cooking With Christmas Presents 

Evelin and I are putting some Christmas presents to use this weekend. Last night, I made the autumn vegetable cobbler again and, for desert, we used the ice cream maker Evelin gave me to make a bit of vanilla ice cream with chunks of crystallized ginger and dark chocolate. We were able to watch a movie (I Capture the Castle) having to look away every 2 to 3 minutes for about a half hour to give the machine a crank or three and then it was done.

This morning, Evelin is making some pumpkin ravioli, using the pasta roller attachment my mother gave her for Christmas for her stand mixer. That thing makes it so much easier than the hand-cranked pasta roller to get the dough smooth and even. The ravioli filling is just a mix of two parts canned pumpkin, one part ricotta, and a little parmesan. The last time she used this filling, we both thought it was lacking ... something, but we weren't sure what, so we put a teaspoon or two of the filling into three prep cups and started experimenting.

At first I thought cumin, but after a little more thought, that didn't seem right. Picking through the spice drawer we tried ginger, coriander, and garam masala (Majhapal's tandoori garam masala from Whole Foods Market). The coriander added a bit of roundness to the flavors, the ginger a sharpness that was nice, and the garam masala was very pleasant. In the end, we did a mix of about two parts coriander, two parts garam masala and one part ginger, plus some fresh chopped parsley.

It'll be a while before we know the end results, I think. Evelin just said she's planning to freeze the ravioli and to save them for her book club.

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