Monday, April 13, 2009

Are you adapted to run for your dinner?

Here's an interesting article on the subject of why people can run such long distances. I think I'm going to go out and try to run down a deer one of these days.

Speaking of dinner; we had a very nice Easter dinner at Jas and Kathy's house yesterday. All the usual suspects were present and accounted for except for Sam and Deb and Delores W., who presumably went to the wilds of New Jersey to celebrate the holiday with Deb and Delores side relatives. Alex and Christina drove down from Boston for the weekend which made it really great.

Johnny, Jennifer and Kathy put together a combo of lamb, ham, lasagna and cavatelli that was excellent; and of course there were several fine desserts, of which Linda and I contributed Mom and Aunt Mary's rice pie, or at least that's what the 2002 recipe scrawl in Mom's handwriting calls it. It's really more of a solid egg pudding. It came out excellent, at least it did after we baked it for more than twice as long as the one hour that Mom's directions specify.

1 cup rice cooked for 15 minutes and then cooled
3 pounds of ricotta cheese
2 cups of sugar
1 dozen eggs
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
(Mom's recipe also calls for "1 cup milk?". Fortunately I didn't put that milk in. If I had put it in we would probably still be waiting for it to solidify)

Blend the cooled off cooked rice and the ricotta. Blend the eggs and the vanilla with the sugar. Blend the two mixtures together. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan. I used a glass baking dish and I put it on a cookie sheet for fear it would spill over because it was pretty full.

Mom's directions call for baking it for one hour at 350. After one hour the middle was still liquidy. At that point Linda let it continue to bake at 350 for another 20 minutes. I came in and noticed that the middle was still liquidy, but the edges were starting to brown. So I reduced the temp to 325 and let it continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Finally I reduced the temp to 275 and let it bake another 20 minutes, after which I turned off the oven and left it in there for another 30 minutes or so.

People seemed to like it; but only about 40% of it was eaten by the crowd of twenty or so. Marianne and Kathy must have really liked it because they took another 40% off our hands. The remaining 20% has already been cut into by Linda (last night) and me (I'm eating a big chunk right now); but I think I'll cut this recipe in half when I make it again next Easter.

Reflecting back I recall that there was always at least some of this recipe left over even back at the height of holiday gorging when 40 or more would troup through 403 Walnut during the course of Easter Sunday. Back then of course Mom would have brought 4 apple pies or so and Aunt Mary would also have made cream puffs if she didn't make one of those huge four decker six inch high cookie sheet sized rectangular rum and cream cakes. And Aunt Nancy would have brought her nonpareil rice pudding.

And we would have eaten those desserts after a a marathon of ravioli and stuffed olive eating. Sam, Matty and me each at least once managed to down twenty of Mom and Aunt Mary's huge meat raviolis, very easy to take because they came in three distinctly different forms - flat ones fried and then powdered with sugar, curly ones served al dente and white with grated cheese and (can't remember the name of the spice right now - note to self, get gingko biloba before you forget its name, also write your name, phone number and address on a card in your wallet in case they find you wandering around confused one of these days soon), and finally with traditional gravy and meatballs. All washed down with as much soda as you wanted to drink.

It's surprising any of us survived those dinners. Of course, the fact that we did survive is evidence of another survival adaptation. After they ran the antelope to death those long ago ancestors of ours ate the whole thing raw if they could, or at least several pounds of its juicy liver and other innards, before the lions and leopards and hyenas could have a chance to steal the carcass from them.

Two ducks just waddled down from the pond and hopped into the creek near the bridge. And there have been a couple of geese hanging around; but I haven't seen any evidence of a nest yet.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Frankly I prefer men with long toes for other reasons, but interesting concept for runnin with stubs!!!
Had a great Easter here as well and wish I had the strength and ambition to make the darn raviolis. Checked my recipe for rice pie and no milk listed...your Mother must have wrote in while under the influence!!! ha ha. I decided to make the rice pie with crust which called for less eggs, but calls for milk, and actually was pretty tasty. Chris, Joan, and the boys came down from LA for the weekend with me and we had a fun time. Here's the recipe if you don't have it....
2 cups cooked rice
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup ricotta
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
Beat eggs, add remaining ingredients and pour into crust.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine(soft)
1 egg
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients to form a soft dough and press into 13x9x2 pan.
Bake 350 for 45 minutes.

I sent the remainder home with Chris and his family too!!! Shame you didn't make Aunt Nancy's rice pudding for Marianne, she would have taken the whole container!!!