My family is gathering on Friday at my parents’ house for our Christmas dinner. In my family, Thanksgiving is the only holiday we don’t have pasta, sauce, and meatballs for dinner. If we are celebrating Christmas or Easter at Mom and Dad’s we are having pasta which my mom makes from scratch. And Christmas means ravioli.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon making ravioli with Mom. Supposedly I was helping, but I don’t know if I really provided much physical assistance. Mom was pleased with the first batch of dough, which was supple and elastic, soft and smooth. We may have messed up the eggs to flour ratio. I told Mom to blame me if we got complaints and volunteered to take the left-overs.
I haven’t made pasta with Mom in over twenty years. As a teen, my job was to place the pasta to dry on a bed covered with a tablecloth. My wheelchair doesn’t easily fit in the guest bedroom off the kitchen so Mom let me make the ravioli. The ricotta filling was creamy, resembling piles of snow in the pillows of dough.
While we worked, Mom talked about making pasta with her mother, my Noni. Noni used to roll out pasta in large circles, like a pizza, and then cut individual ravioli. As a young girl, my mother used a fork to seal the pasta. After Mom got married, Noni bought her a ravioli maker, pictured above, which makes a dozen ravioli at once. Mom sighed as she stretched the dough over the machine, looked at me with a sad smile and said, “I miss my mom every day.”
Although Mom is healthy and active, she is 87 and I don’t know how many more opportunities I will have to make pasta with her. Yesterday we spent a special afternoon together and I am grateful for the memories we made. I took some photos to document our progress and told Mom I planned to share them on my blog. “Make sure you describe things in the captions so people know what we did!” I promised I would, but warned her this may create a line of people who want to learn to make pasta showing up at her door. “Why not? Let them come!”
Here you go Dolly. Thank you for a fun day. I’ll help you make a mess in your kitchen any time!