Friday, July 17, 2015
Uncle Roger and potato gnocchi
I was visited from my estranged uncle Roger last week. He is my Dad's brother, we don't see him much at all. He and Dad don't get along well. It's a shame because it's the only sibling Dad has here in Australia. There's a lot of dirty water under bridges and all that family crap that goes on. Mostly on his part, nothing overly dramatic, oh, but that time he walked into the house when we were little, with a gun. My mum hates him with a passion.
I don't remember a lot from when I was a kid, mainly the good stuff, but I do know I have cried in my pillow with sadness that he is so removed from our family. I feel sorry for him, it must be lonely.
So last week he knocked on my door, the kids were out with Brett, and I was sorry they weren't there to say hello.
He dropped off a bag of Kalangadoo spuds and ten bucks for the kids. I gave him a hug and he left. I felt ever so guilty for not inviting him in for a coffee, while we waited for the kids to come back. I really felt that I should have done that, long after he left. There was still that niggling feeling that it probably wasn't a bad thing that I didn't let him in the house. I feel terrible that at my age I am still unsure about the relationship I have with my own uncle.
I do remember my sister saying the last time she saw him, he was all cool and then out of the blue, told her another man was her father. Which was total bull fuck. As sad as it is, it's probably best I didn't let him in the house. Nice of him to bring me spuds though.
I've been wanting to make gnocchi for ages. The last couple of time I've made it were disasters, they went all mushy or were like rubber bullets.
Here's how I made them light, soft and puffy (I will not say pillowy, because that would be too poxy and cliche).
750 grams of potatoes, about 5 medium spuds (I used white spuds)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
Pierce each spud seven or eight times all over, with a fork.
Place on a plate and microwave on high, for 7-8 minutes until soft. Let cool a bit.
Scoop out the cooked potato into a large bowl and discard the skins.
Mash the potato with a fork until smooth.
Add the flour, egg and salt to the potato and mix lightly until just combined.
Place the dough on a floured surface and form into a soft ball. If it feels a little sticky add a bit more flour. Try not to work the dough too much. Just until the flour is incorporated.
Divide the dough into four and roll out each section to a 2cm thick log. Using a knife cut into gnocchi, in 2 cm lengths.
If you want to, roll each gnocchi along your palm with a fork. Apparently the gnocchi holds the sauce in these grooves, totally not essential though.
Bring a big pot of water to a rolling boil, chuck in half the gnocchi. When they all begin to float on top, remove with a slotted spoon.
I have a tray of my favourite sauce ready and place the cooked gnocchi immediately in the sauce, while I cook the other half. This is enough to feed us, two adults and two little kids. I would suggest doubling the recipe though because we wanted more! You could always freeze any leftovers (but I don't think you will have any).