Being holed up at home for most of the time these days leads me down strange paths, as I am sure is the case with many of you. Homesteading is the name of the game, and I have mentioned already, bread making is just one of the many culinary adventures. My daughter came home with a large bag of fresh spinach, which she originally intended for smoothies, but I got to it first, and my craving for gnocchi got the better of me. I refuse to buy ready-made anything,, especially pasta, which I suppose is a carry-over for the prolonged visits to Italy the past years. Once you get exposed to the homemade pasta IN ITALY itself, you never really want to go back down the pre-fab road.
Bullheadedly determined to satisfy my craving, I rolled up my sleeves and got down and dirty. Gnocchi are not as daunting as they seem, and like any other pasta, they are incredibly forgiving with the sauce. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that other than making them slightly too big, my first attempt was a success. It’s pretty much the same as making Swabian spätzle, except for the fact that you add potato to the dough. Make no mistake though, delicious as these little carbohydrate bombs are, they are heavy and sit like submarines in your stomach for the rest of the evening.
It has been such a bizarre week, and regardless of whether the news I read was domestic or International, the events unfolding around me are mind-boggling. I had my mouth full of gnocchi this morning when the news came on about a case of cannibalism in Berlin (click HERE for the article in German). Geez, as if being one of the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots isn’t enough, or the hub of so many super-spreader events (i.e. demonstrations, subway parties, illegal gatherings, etc.). Life is never boring in Berlin, not easy either, but definitely not boring. It is complicated enough worrying about safety during the pandemic, with the number of positive cases here reach an all-time high, but to have to be even more concerned about security as well for a whole set of new reasons!
Christmas is basically cancelled this year for many, considering that gatherings involving more than two households are restricted. Quite frankly, I don’t think anyone is really in the mood to celebrate either. Celebrate with whom? The exact same people you have been confined at home with for the past nine months? Being grateful is one thing, there is no cancelling that, but that feeling of jubilation and thrill of preparing the house for the holidays eludes me at this point.
The most life-changing year of the decade is coming to an end in a few weeks. I will not make any grandiose wishes or predictions, as I am far too exhausted to indulge in that. Hell, I just want to make it to the finish line in one piece and write 2020 off. I can’t say it has a been a totally wasted year though, because there have have been one or two good moments. I spent the last night months working on my bread rolls and reached that point of perfection where I can finally say, yup, nailed it! (the secret is in the rhubarb beer and linseeds!). So instead of being an unhappy camper about this disgrace of a year, I will turn my sights and hands to gnocchi and keep kneading.