Monday, September 20, 2010

Foggy Musings

   One wouldn't think that Nebraska would get pea-soup thick fog some mornings, but it does. Coming from South Central Montana, I'm not really used to seeing fog, let alone that much of it. Sure, every once in awhile there'll be those pretty little wisps that wreathe the mountain tops, but that's usually it. In the panhandle of Nebraska on the other hand, there are times that I'm lucky to see a car length in front of me because the fog is so thick. That's not an everyday or "every time it's foggy" sort of thing but it happens. This morning was one of those mornings. I could see about a car length, maybe two, in front of me and that got me to thinking about stuff. I knew the road would take me to where I needed to go, but I really couldn't see well enough to know what was more than 20 or 30 feet in front of me. I had to trust that the road was going to be the same it usually is and lead me to work. When you think about it, life is the same way. God gave us a direction to take. We can't see the big picture about where it leads, or all the bumps along the way, we just have to trust that He'll take us where He wants us to go and that He'll be there for us when we need Him. Now, we don't have to follow the road He set for us since that's a matter of free will, but that's like getting turned around on a country road in the fog. You know it leads somewhere, you just don't know where or if the road is washed out or a bunch of other things like that. You're trusting in your own strength to bring you through and that that road is leading you to where you want to go. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather take the route where I know I have help if I get a flat tire in life.

   Yep. Those are the kind of strange musings I have when driving 26 miles to work in the morning in the fog. Sometimes it puts stuff in a different perspective for me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pumpkin Gnocchi

     It’s not quite fall yet, but I’m starting to see pumpkins and Halloween candy in the stores, Thanksgiving decorations, and cooler mornings and evenings. I love this time of year. I’m not sure what made me think of pumpkin gnocchi earlier, but it sounded like the perfect thing to do for dinner tonight. I didn’t exactly plan it out too well because all I had was regular spaghetti sauce and Kraft Parmesan cheese to put on them. ::lol:: That’s OK, they turned out pretty dang tasty anyway. :)
     I wasn’t sure if I still had the pumpkin gnocchi recipe I used last year, so I did a little internet scouring to see if I could find it (which I did), but I found this recipe as well. I decided to give it a whirl and I’m glad that I did. It was excellent! I’m currently assuming that you want to see my photos, so here you go!
   First, I dumped a 15 oz can of pumpkin (*not* pumpkin pie filling!!) into a bowl. If it’s watery, make sure to drain the water off of it first. You can use homemade pumpkin puree, but I was going for quick and easy tonight. Especially since I didn’t want to turn the stove on when it was about 90F out.

   Next, dump your spices and flour in there and mix it up until you get a soft dough. You don’t want it too sticky, but not too dry either. The recipe called for a dash of nutmeg, pepper, and salt. I added a little bit of cardamom just because it sounded perfect for it. Don’t get too carried away with the nutmeg (or cardamom) though. This isn’t a pumpkin bar. ::lol::

    You’re going to want to divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll them into a 1 inch diameter log. Cut into 1 inch pieces, and if you feel so led, use a fork to imprint them so they look more like potato gnocchi. It doesn’t change the flavour any, it just makes it look cool. I think. Heaven only knows the real reason behind gnocchi imprinting. LOL.

     Gently place your gnocchi in a pot of lightly salted boiling water. They’ll sink to the bottom when you first put them in there, so don’t worry about them. Keep an eye on them though, because when they start floating in a few minutes, they’re done. 

     As I said, all I had was spaghetti sauce and Kraft Parmesan. LOL. Personally, I like mine with pesto and freshly grated Parmesan, but you really could use anything.
   If you by some chance won’t cook all the gnocchi at once (say, if you’re single like me), place them on a cookie sheet or something lined with parchment paper or wax paper and stick them in the freezer for a little while before sticking them in a freezer bag to use later. You want to freeze them on the sheet first, so they don’t stick together. or all you’ll have is a frozen clump of gnocchi that tastes goopy if you just stick them in the bag and freeze them.

Buon Appetito!