Be Relevant

Relearning everything we've forgotten.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Market Rant and Homemade Goat Sage Cheddar Ravioli with a Pesto Cream Sauce for Listening

Why does homemade pasta taste even better the second day?  Mel and I hit up the Farmer's Market in Little Italy yesterday.  The first time we've ever been.  We drove over to Mission Valley and took the metro downtown to avoid the parking issue.  I see now why two things are happening in this country.  First is public transportation has to be one of the most inconvenient modes of transportation.  Ok that's a blanket statement so let's just say half the time its inconvenient.  Who wants to be inconvenienced half the time?  No wonder everyone drives everywhere.  It cost us $10 for two day passes.  To have parked would have cost us $10 for two hours.  Gas money vice time spent waiting and trying to figure out the schedule.  The system is flawed from the beginning.

Second thing is that buying organic or from farmer's markets is very expensive.  I see a lot of good trends towards eating locally and moves towards organic farming.  I'd rather spend my money at a local farm rather than a grocery store.  Since I'm involved in farming groups it seems like the whole country is trying to get back to farming.  I wish it were the case.  But I can't shake this feeling that buying organic, being sustainable has, on some level, sold itself out to profit.  Don't get me wrong.  Farmers have the right to make a decent profit and when I finally get to rolling commercially on my own place I want to make a decent profit.  Yet I paid $6 for a dozen pastured fed chicken eggs.  That's .50 an egg for letting them roam across fields and eat grass and insects.  I'm over simplifying but that is pretty much what it is.

Again I don't begrudge a farmer a decent profit so they earn a respectable income.  However, we as farmers and farmer wannabes will never beat the industrial farms if our produce is priced so that only a percentage of our country can afford it.  The way we win and create good health in our country is by growing the healthiest food possible and pricing it competitively to the industrial models.  The chemical farming won't be able to hang on.  They'd naturally have to drop prices even lower but the cost of all that petroleum based "cides" and fertilizers won't be getting any cheaper.  Granted their government subsidies would spike to make up for it but that would be a sinking ship as lobbyists would move on to something that was floating.  At that point the government would be dealing, once again, with the small farmer.  Jobs would be created and cottage industries would be re-born back into small town USA.  Maybe we could reverse this onset of Child diabetes, rampant obesity, and all the cancers and medical issues that harm us physically and financially by over-burdening Medicaid.  The savings in health insurance alone would make up for some of the "lost" profit of pricing our healthy food competitively.

I got the recipe for the pasta from Leslie but the rest is all Mel and I.  I added 2 whole eggs instead of only one.  I did use a cup and half verse her cup and quarter.  Its your call. I also think that refrigerating it made it harder to roll.  Again your call. I used a small cookie cutter to make circular raviolis.  Remember you need 2 cut outs for 1 ravioli.  I was really worried we wouldn't have enough at first but this made enough for 4 servings.  Of course it all depends on how thin you roll it.

1 1/4 cup flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
will be very stiff
knead it about 5-10 minutes til it gets elastic
will be pliable but still very stiff
refrigerate it for about 1 hour before making it into pasta

I cut up a Bartlett pear into little cubes, I'm talking diced onion small and used a "pinch" of pears with a "pinch" of cheese.  You'll start off under portioning then you'll figure it out very quickly and get it to what you need.

We bought some Goat Sage Cheddar from Spring Hill Farms This stuff is great and they sound like a great farm.  I totally want to visit and see how they make cheese.

To seal the raviolis is easy.  Place one pasta disk over the other that has your stuffing and pinch the edges together.  If you need to, run your finger around the edge after dipping it in water to help you seal.  Same thing with egg whites (which is the secret to making your dumplings stick together).  Then toss them into boiling water and they sink.  When they float they are done.  Fresh pasta doesn't take that long to cook.

The sauce was the Pesto that I froze from the large batch I made and half of a small container of Heavy Whipping Cream, 1 tsp of butter, salt and pepper to taste and some corn starch to thicken it up a bit.  Always dissolve your corn starch in water then add it to the sauce so as not to introduce lumps.

It was incredible! Thanks for listening to the rant.


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