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West Virginia
When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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November 02, 2009

Maybe I'm Not Supposed to Make Pasta?

Finally, today, I got the second pasta maker I've ordered - this one new from Amazon.  I was tickled because I had told myself not to expect it before Tuesday. 

It was in a fairly large box and I could feel the actual pasta maker box shifting around in the bigger shipping carton, but wasn't too concerned.  I got it opened up and got the box out, noting that the top flap was open and that the parts of the pasta maker could be heard clanking around inside.  Now I was a little concerned.  Opened the box and there it all was all piled in.  I pulled out the pieces and immediately saw that the roller attachment was damaged.  The rollers (there are three sets) each have strips of metal which I guess are "guards" or maybe "guides".  At any rate, two of those were bent.  In turning it around to see what else I might find, I discovered a fairly large dent in the bottom of the piece.  None of these would probably interfere with the operation, but gee whiz...you want something new to be new - not all banged up.  So I marched to my computer, went to Amazon and said "no way".  Fortunately, they have a very decent return policy and will refund my postage to send it back, along with the purchase price.  So, I'm not mad - just disappointed.  Cause I really want to make pasta!

I'm going to call our local department type stores and if any of them have any, I'm going to go see if I want any of them.  I feel like they'll probably cost more, but at least I'll have one.

It's been a while since I've posted - last week was a week of faulty memory.  Still is somewhat faulty, I guess, cause I remember I had three fairly big lapses, but I can't remember two of them!  The third one was the corker.  All day Friday, from when I woke up, I kept thinking it was Saturday.  That's not too unusual - even back when I was still working I would have days where I was sure it was a different day.  But this time, I don't know why it was such a strong belief.  I mean, Fridays are when I volunteer at the library and I volunteered, but kept thinking Saturday.  Went to Starbucks Friday evening and when I left asked two of my favorite barristas if they were working in the morning.  They weren't and I said "well, I'll be here doing my Sunday crossword."  Went home and watched a 10:00p.m. TV show that I watch on Fridays, and when it was over, decided I'd better get on line and make sure this was the Saturday the time would change.  I checked and sure enough, it was.  So I went around and changed all my clocks and my watch and went to bed.  Waking up in the morning, and immediately knowing that it was now Saturday and I am apparently crazy.  I refused to reset all the clocks though and so, for the rest of the day, kept myself in a fairly confused state trying to remember what time it actually was.  Ah, these golden years....

I do think that my trip really sort of messed me up as far as knowing what day or date it was.  By the end of October I was eagerly awaiting November 1 because even before my fiasco I was thinking that once the new month started, I would probably get back to normal a little.  I think I was gone for so long and was travelling so much, that it really left me kind of disoriented.  At least, that sounds a little better than just being a ditzy old lady, I think.

Went to one of the Jamie Oliver cooking classes today and, keeping in mind that they are meant to help people with very little or no cooking experience start to discover the pleasures of cooking and eating good food, we made three very simple but tasty vegetable side dishes.  The first one was just boiled new potatoes (peeled - I guess for people to learn to peel potatoes!) which were then tossed in butter and, if desired, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper.  So that was pretty basic.  Then, we cooked some fresh spinach after first of all sauteing some thinly sliced garlic in olive oil and then dumping in the spinach, squeezing half a lemon over it, and a little salt and tossing itaround and letting it wilt.  And, finally, we made some cooked red cabbage.  First of all, we fried some snizzled up bacon, drained the grease, added some olive oil and thinly sliced garlic to that and cooked a little, then added 2 Tbs of Worcerstershire sauce (at which point, I thought "oh, I don't think so") and a cup of chicken stock (and again I thought "ummm, I don't know").  Tossed in the thinly sliced cabbage and let it cook until fairly soft.  And...it was all delicious.  I didn't do the lemon juice on the potatoes cause I'm not all that big on lemon juice squeezed on food, and so they were just nice tasty potatoes going very well with the delicious and garlic-y spinach and the surprisingly delicious and salty, garlic-y cabbage.  So all that was fun.

Now, I'm going to start a local search for a pasta maker.  This isn't over yet!


Christopher said...

What a bummer about the damage to the machine... I wonder who is to blame for that---does Amazon ship it from an Amazon warehouse, or, pass your order info along to some other "invisible" retailer... Either way, it is very nice that they have such an easy return policy.
As for the cooking---one of my favorite easy side dishes is new potatoes in a lemon/butter/parsley sauce... mm mm good!! Glad you enjoyed the 3 dishes!

January said...

Who do you think opened your pasta maker??
I like the sounds of that spinach dish...It's sort of like a cooked version of a spinach salad without the hard-boiled eggs. Yum!

Terry said...

"I discovered a fairly large dent in the bottom of the piece." Look! Right next to where it says al dente. I get it! Haha!

Seriously, I hope you found a nice pasta maker and are enjoying it. It seems to me that none of them come with packing material inside so getting one local would insure you a dent-free model.

Good luck - I hope you will post some recipes.

Mary Lynne said...

Terry - yeah, I noticed that al dente too and thought how appropriate. I ended up having to order one again and am keeping my fingers crossed. I called every store in our area that might conceivably carry them and none did. I think I should get it tomorrow (Thursday) and will probably be giving it a try this weekend,

I'll be posting about how it goes. I'm anxious to try some ravioli fillings a little more interesting than the standard three cheese, four cheese, sausage, etc., types.

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