I Left My Life Out In The Rain

We went to Vermont for one night so I could meet with the contractor who’s helping keep part of the house from falling off, and invited Chris along as well so the kids could play together. He brought some ready-to-bake bread; they’ve been using the same sourdough starter we use, though with a different blend of flours. The trip up really gave it a chance to rise, so by the time we arrived it was fully bloated with sour goodness. We baked it in their Dutch oven, which since it’s round makes for a nice boule. I think I like it better than our oval, but that may be just because it puffed up like a sumbitch from the extra rise time. Coating it with flax seed was a nice touch, and one I have already stolen for this morning’s loaf.

Dinner that night was great: pork chops I marinated in hard cider, maple syrup, soy sauce, and nam pla, then grilled until just pink in the middle. I made a little reduction of more of the hard cider plus trotter gear and pepper, and we had ragout de jardin plus greens and rice. We started off with 1998 Tignanello, which is drinking like a sex dream, and moved on to a 2003 Aquila which had a kind of cloying cherry coke thing happening right after the Tig, but then sort of blossomed into its own kind of decadence pretty quickly. Dessert was a ridiculously good cheese plate for dessert with a half bottle of 2001 Doisy Vedrines Sauternes.

Today I was mucking around, staring out the window in disbelief at yet another bout of incessant rain, when I remembered some beet cooking water I had saved the other day because it was just too pretty to pour out. So I made some fuchsia pasta dough and went on with my day, thinking a bit about what to do with it from time to time in between the thunderclaps. It happens that there was a hunk of fresh mozzarella that wasn’t so fresh anymore, and a handful of pine nuts, and of course herbs-a-plenty outside in the sheeting, ceaseless downpour. So I blended all that together until it was nice and smooth, and then Milo and I rolled out the dough.

In my rummagings, I came upon a container of nasturtium butter (flowers blended with a little lemon and salt) in the freezer that positively screamed “sauce” and since it was under the container of frozen trotter gear cubes an idea was born. So I made a beurre blanc (beurre jaune?) of sorts with the butter and the pork reduction and that was that. Pretty to look at, and quite tasty to eat; a little tinkering would make this a real keeper. There’s some of the dough left in the freezer for some future variant, though not really enough for all of us. Maybe I’ll make another batch of a different color and make two-tone ravioli next time. I had planned to cut these out with some of my fancy new geometric cutters, but time and hunger squashed that idea. Next time.

7 comments to I Left My Life Out In The Rain

  • The Spiteful Chef

    Your beet raviolis are pretty and pink. Don't know why you say any recipe is a "Keeper" though, when you seem to make new things every day.

    I don't know how I feel about nasturtium butter. It doesn't scream "sauce" so much as it screams "I'm a flower, goddamnit! Stop eating me!"

  • Zoomie

    That is the best looking plate of ravioli I have ever seen, bar none! Love the psychedelic color combinations and I'll bet the flavors were kinda trippy, too! Beet water! You're amazing.

  • Jen of A2eatwrite

    If you get some nasturtiums, try them fried, a la squash blossoms.

    The ravioli plate is a thing of sixties beauty. Far out, man.

  • Brooke

    Oooooh, pretty.

  • Heather

    Fuck a raspberry beret, I want raspberry (colored) ravioli.

  • cookiecrumb

    Blue! Blue! Make blue ravioli next time!

    Egad, it's bright. My eyes are bleeding. In a good way. Cuz it's good when your eyes bleed.

  • peter

    Kristie: Well, it's butter, for one, and it's a pretty color, so there's that, and it has all of those complex peppery overtones that the flowers have, so I'm going to interpret those tiny, tiny screams as "sauce."

    Zoomie: I dare you to throw away a bowl of fuchsia goodness.

    Jen: Totally, dude.

    Brooke: It would have been prettier if I had time to cut them into cool shapes.

    Blanche: The kind you can't find in a second hand store?

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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