NO MORE BORING THAN MANY ANOTHER BLOG
Thursday, 28 December 2006
My recollection of riding a Triumph Tiger Cub in the winter in the early 60's is of being frozen to the point of immobility. Mind you it seemed to cure my chilblains as I have never had them since. My grandma's remedy for them was to soak the offending finger or toe in urine so maybe I had been doing that. My memory is not what it was.
Winter riding does not now seem so bad. There could be a number of explanations for this. Am I less sensitive than I was? My family support this thesis. Maybe I now have better weatherproof clothing. Looking at the pictures of me riding the old bike this could very well be the case. Perhaps I don't go fast enough. Almost certainly true.
Or is it global warming?
I bought the Tiger Cub from Tony Gray for £9.00 in 1963 and it was either a 1956 or 1959 plunger framed model. The registration number was KTL 266 and I wonder where the bike is now. If you know please get in contact.
In those days we painted our own helmets (you can probably tell). I still have the crash hat hanging in my garage. I originally painted it with green and black house paint, but whilst it was drying someone knocked it into some sawdust. My mother probably, always trying to spoil my teenage fun. The sawdust gave it an interesting texture but not much street cred with the other young bikers or the young women we tried to impress. It looked a little like a decorated half coconut on my head. Nothing for it but to sand it down and refinish in blue, black and white. An improvement though it still had a pimply appearance, a bit like it's 16 year old owner.
Tuesday, 26 December 2006
2.5 kilos of potatoes
500 grammes plain flour
Next knead in the flour. You could nonchalantly upend the flour bag like Nonna does, but she knows what she is doing. It is more reliable for non Nonnas to weigh it out and mix it in a little at a time.
You now need to find many other people to assist with the next stage. Fast food this is not. Their job is to roll out the dough into sausages about two feet long and an inch thick. These will be cut into gnocchi about one inch long.
Like this. Use flour to prevent the dough sticking to the table, as you would with pastry.
The individual gnocchi should then be shaped with a fork to give them the authentic Italian appearance. This is achieved by rolling each piece of gnocchi down the tines of the fork to give it a ridged or grooved appearance. It takes ages but after some time you will have a table full of perfectly formed gnocchi.
Like this. A bit like the Humber foreshore after the tide has gone out but that is just poor camera work.
Now you need to cook them, and this is something that should be done just before you intend to eat. Drop them quickly one by one into a large pan of boiling water. We had two highly trained Italian ladies to do this, one Nonna and one Zia. Their hands were a blur as they transferred dough to pan. When a gnocchi rises to the surface it is cooked and should be scooped out immediately with a slotted spoon. Do not leave it and wait for the whole panful to rise as they will probably turn into mash.
These are risen gnocchi and should be removed from the water at this stage. I know they look like overcooked cauliflower.
Serve the drained gnocchi with a sauce of your choice and some grated Parmesan. Nonna tells me that the Italians also eat it brushed with melted butter that has been infused with sage leaves. An additional statin required I think.
He thinks its OK, you should try it.