Broccoli Ginger Dumplings

March 21, 2011 § 26 Comments

I recently learned the term “your growing edge.” I really like it. I had heard about your comfort zone, and your growth zone, and so forth before, but not the actual growing edge. The growing edge is that area where your zones are pushing out, your comfort zone expanding into what used to be your growth zone and your growth zone dipping a tentative toe into your danger zone. It’s the space right when you go from skiing speedily down a slope concentrating on tough terrain to plunking yourself on the ground and bursting into tears because you find yourself surrounded by trees and signs warning of cliffs and it’s just not fun anymore. Or when you’re learning to drive a stick shift and you know you can get your d@#$ car into gear and started when you’re in a parking lot, but then you’re on a (admittedly not busy) road next to the parking lot, with a bus bearing down on you and your blinker is signaling that you’re going left, except you kill the car 3 times in a row and find yourself feeling thoroughly mired in the middle of the intersection, and, well, bursting into tears. And of course, the growing edge includes bigger moments of growth, pushing yourself in your work, in your ability to face your fears, in your acceptance of others. Like your lengthening legs during your teen years, your growing edge can give you a little pain, whether or not it’s serious.

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Raviogies (mixed potato pierogies)

August 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Raviolis + pierogies = raviogis.  Get it?!!

Because, you see, even now, a couple days later after this splendid eating experience, I’m still not  sure exactly which I made.  Being a good grad student, I’ve done some inordinately in depth searching on the difference between pierogies and raviolis (translation: poll my dinner guests and look at about 2 sites on the inter-webs), and I still haven’t come to anything particularly conclusive.  My favorite explanation went like this:   ”well, one is Italian, and the other is from Eastern Europe.  There you go… Oh, and I think pierogies involve more potatoes.”  Except that I’ve definitely had raviolis (delicious ones, as a matter of fact) that had a filling of sweet potatoes.  So, the boundaries are quite blurry (and I’m afraid they only become more and more so as dinner progresses and you share a nice bottle of wine from a friend in Australia.)

What I do know is this, the other evening I found myself with a really large pile of cheesy mashed sweet and regular potatoes.  I don’t quite know what had possessed me to cook so many potatoes.  As best as I can figure it out in retrospect, I think I must have been preparing to be under siege for a month or two.  But, then instead of pulling up the draw bridge and retreating to the high tower, I got a call from a dear friend asking for a car favor…that involved fancy cheese.  As soon as I hear the words “fancy cheese,” I will put down whatever project I am in the middle of and will scramble to grant whatever favor was asked of me or leap into any activity proposed to me.  No questions asked.  Hmmmm, I kind of wonder if I was hypnotized at some point and that is my trigger phrase.  Could be.

But, I digress.  A couple days later, I found that I still had cheesy mashed potatoes inconsiderately taking up about 2/3rds of my fridge, and dinner guests coming.  Thus was born the Raviogie plan.  I had planned to make pierogies a couple of weeks ago for the Daring Cooks challenge, but I found myself separated from my kitchen and unable to do so.  However, the idea was still simmering on the back burner of my mind, and I decided to go for it now.  With one little hitch.  You see, I couldn’t summon the fortitude to make and roll my own pierogie dough.  A little late-summer laziness is still clinging to me.  So, I switched the plan to ravioli.  Not that this meant I was suddenly going to put in the effort to make and roll out that dough either (if I had turned around to discover suddenly that I had a large, beautiful, cool marble countertop and a Nona to help me out, that would have been a different story.  Then I would have become a professional pasta maker, right then and there.)  But, I had wonton wrappers, and even though they’re cheating if you want to get all technical about it, and they’re not as good as delicious, hearty homemade pasta, they still make for pretty darn good ravioli wrappers.

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