I’ve always had a penchant for trying out new cooking ideas. Although I’m by far the worst cook in the house (I narrowly beat the cat in a cook off last Xmas) quite a few of our ‘special’ meals are ones I tried first. Initially I was your typical bloke in a china shop. I’d have pots in places pots had never been, implements, condiments lying around, all to the detriment of the God of Kitchen Tidyness. I also started buying loads of cookbooks with the vain intention of opening one of them eventually. Even worse was a phase of buying cooking equipment. From fancy frying pans to pasta makers, I was the MAN. The man who didn’t know what he was doing………….
The pasta maker was a classic example. I’d probably watched some Italian Cook on sky 247 Good Food channel, produce thin beautiful spinach and ricotta filled ravioli, using one of those little silver pasta makers, which clamp on to your worktop and produce beautiful pasta with ease.
It would probably be a Saturday night. Couple of glasses of wine, nowt much on TV and I’d be bored. Next minute I’d be on Amazon dot co of the UK, trawling through the Kindle store and then………I’m looking at pasta machines. One minute I’m glazing through the various pasta makers and suddenly, wooomph, I’ve ordered one.
Sunday morning, memories of the previous evening fully located the land of vagueness, draped in misty clouds and non surprises. Then, a giant coffee fan clears the mist and a silver pasta machine appears…….with a hefty price tag attached. Oh god I didn’t order a pasta maker. Please tell me I didn’t. Yes u did……….. I’m a fool, I was a fool……..I still was……. I didn’t dare tell the household what I’d done, for fear of mockery and derision (not necessarily in that order). They’d find out soon enough……
Two days later, it arrived. I was actually quite excited. Well, I wasn’t getting out much these days, so the prospect of something to grapple with, was slightly higher up the Richter scale than normal. I took it out of the box (#notetoself – first mistake! ☺️). It looked innocuous. Small, shiny,and silvery. How hard could it be.? Even the instructions looked simple. Make a dough, roll it out a bit, stick it through the machine a few times and, et voila (or whatever that is in Italian), I’d have tagliatelle for tea.
All I needed was some 300g of ’00’ flour and 3 eggs. How simple was that. 😳 I waited for days until I was going to be ‘home alone’. I’d secretly planned this using stealth and diplomacy, normally only used by experienced world leaders, to a point where I was now left alone with some flour, eggs and a pasta machine.
I weighed, then laid my flour out on the board. The board wasn’t quite big enough ( a phrase I’d heard many time during my life……😔) and, as a result, the flour was quite close to the edge. I soldiered on, creating a hole in the middle for eggs. I cracked them open and plopped them in the hole. It wasn’t long before I realised, this wasn’t going to plan. A rivulet of egg yolk lava, was making a break for it over the side of the flour volcano. I tried to retrieve the situation, but, within seconds, egg white and yolk lava was now crescendoing off the edge of the board and over the workbench. The more I tried to get it back on the board, the worse it got.
Within a minute, the volcano had erupted and my first attempt at pasta making had hit the buffers. I cleared up…………… I could have given up at this point but, it’s easy to give up isn’t it? Very easy indeed. It’s much easier to give up than keep trying. Sometimes, giving up is the right decision but this was not the time, the place. I would keep going…….
I decided to look up ‘how to make pasta’ on YouTube…………within 32 seconds of watching the video, I realised now stupid I’d been. The idea was to put one egg in the middle at a time and mix it in. Not all three as I had done. I had it cracked……
I started again. This time I would put ONE BLOODY OBVIOUS EGG IN AT A TIME!
This was working. I moulded and blended the egg into the flour like an artisan. It was sticky. I cracked open the second egg and dlopped it in. I went over to the sink to wash my hands before the next bit. As I turned back to delve my fingers back into the finest pasta mix which would be made in the village that morning, my eyes widened. Next doors cat had come through the open kitchen door and was now on the worktop. Now, next doors cat wasn’t any ordinary cat. It was a Bengali monster, with no morals and it was now heading towards the flour and egg mix. As it’s tongue started licking the egg yolk I flipped……….yaaarrghhhh!…………..yaaarrghhhh, yah!
Now I’m not sure what ‘yaaarrghhhh!…………..yaaarrghhhh, yah!’ meant, but all it resulted in was the cat scattering the embryonic pasta mix all over the place. I chased the cat out of the kitchen into the yard. I turned around. yaaarrghhhh!…………..yaaarrghhhh, yarrgh…… that darn cat had created a white Xmas in April.
I was about to drop to my knees when fate tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of the embarrassment that would ensue if the family returned to find me pastaless. I started to clean up. Nearly 32 minutes later the kitchen was spotless. I’d now been at this palaver for two hours. I was on the verge of calling the police and charging amazon.co.uk with aiding and abetting, when I discovered the solution to the problem. There were no more eggs. I’d run out. A whole box of eggs gone, finito, vanished.
I washed the pasta maker, put it in its box, where, to this day, it has resided ever since……..😊
‘The Pasta Maker’ by @qosfc1919 © Dodo Productions
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