I enjoy cooking for my family. I especially enjoying cooking new things. It relaxes me, and I feel accomplished when I serve my family something that they really enjoy.
Well, I recently made a trip to our local library and checked out an Italian cookbook. The food looked so delicious in the pictures. I couldn’t wait to try out some of the dishes. I’d made several trips to the grocery store for necessary ingredients and had prepared several of the meals in the book. This was over a period of a few weeks, and everything had turned out SO GOOD. My husband was in heaven. My man loves to eat!
Well, it turns out I got a little cocky. I found this recipe in the book for Cannelloni. Cannelloni (or Manicotti) noodles are rectangular pasta sheets that are rolled. They are then stuffed with cheese. You can also add meat and/or spinach. YUMMY! I’ve had Cannelloni before and have actually made baked Manicotti, but I’d never made my own pasta. This recipe calls for you to make your own pasta.
“NO PROBLEM,” I thought. “The directions are right here. How hard can it be?”
So, I get out my flour and salt and eggs and line them up. Earlier in the day I had made a special trip to the store to buy a rolling pin. I wasn’t happy with just ANY rolling pin though. I bought one that cost $ 20.00. So with my $ 20.00 rolling pin close by, I follow the directions and start making a little well out of the flour. I then add the eggs into the well. I notice right away that it’s not working out right. The stuff isn’t staying in the well and is spilling out all over. I tell myself that this wont matter.
I give up on that and decide just to start kneading the dough. Only, I’m not sure what that means because I’ve never done it. I convince myself that it doesn’t really matter if you don’t do it right; just squeeze it and form it into a ball.
On T.V. women make this process look so easy! They do it effortlessly, with a smile on their face, dressed in clothes I would wear to church. Not me! I was sweating, and I mean badly! My arms were killing me from trying to knead this ROCK I’ve created into something that somewhat resembles a ball of dough. It was so hard, I couldn’t get a good grip on it, and it just kept getting harder. You will laugh, but I swear it’s true when I tell you that I actually got a step stool and stood on it, thinking if I could just get some more leverage, I could knead this dough easier.
THAT DIDN’T WORK!
I say ‘screw it’ and just toss the dough down and try to roll it out. But trying to roll out rock hard dough is tough. I tell myself that if I just keep trying to roll it, it will eventually become softer and easier to do.
SAY IT WITH ME, “WRONG!”
So, after about 45 minutes of working on this dough, I pack up my stuff and head to the grocery store where I buy ready-made Cannelloni shells for $ 2.23. It isn’t until after I’ve returned home that I look in the mirror at myself. I had dried up flour on my arms and my shirt. Also specks of flour on my face. Nothing like announcing to everyone at the grocery store what a LOSER I am.
I learned a lesson that day, my friends. I’m not a pasta maker. Also, I’m not a bread maker. And although I’m part Italian, I wont be able to whip up a genuine Italian meal with homemade pasta, even with a $ 20.00 rolling pin.