Remembering My Mom’s Ravioli

Thanksgiving is tough for me this year. I lost my mom just last week, and all I want to do is talk to her and eat her delicious meals. My heart breaks thinking I’ll never hear her voice or taste her cooking again.

My mom

Mom made Thanksgiving meals wonderful, whether Thanksgiving was hosted at our home or at my dad’s siblings’ homes. (We rotated homes each year.) And, for some of those years, mom prepared ravioli as a side dish.

Mom made ravioli because she knew we didn’t enjoy dad’s family tradition of mashed potatoes and raisins. Yes, raisins. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind mashed potatoes or raisins. However, I never understood why the potatoes were ruined with raisins. I didn’t like my paternal grandmother’s raisin pie for dessert either. I appreciate some of our family’s traditions, but I choose not to continue those involving raisins. 

Like most women born at the end of the Great Depression, my mom cooked from scratch mostly. She prepared the stuffing (sometimes with cubed left-over, dried-out sourdough bread), simmered and whisked up a gravy (from the turkey’s broth and giblets), mashed the potatoes (sans raisins), cooked down the cranberries (dashed with orange juice and Grand Mariner), steamed green beans (tossed in olive oil, lemon, and slivered almonds typically). Everything tasted fresh. I find myself lucky never to have tasted a green bean casserole.

Mom rarely followed a recipe. She modified recipes to meet whatever ingredients available to her at the time. Her practical process made every dish memorable.

Today, I will share my memory of my mom’s process for making ravioli. 

Not my mom’s ravioli.

She sauteed some meat (either fresh or what was leftover from last night’s meal), something green and leafy, onions, garlic, oregano, and basil. No measuring amounts, just eye-balled it. She added a dash of salt and pepper. When it looked to be done, she’d scrape it into a big bowl. She let the sauteed ingredients cool then mixed in the ricotta and parmesan. (The types of cheeses changed with whatever was in the fridge, as did the meat.) As the prepared mixture cooled, she made the dough. In her younger years, she made the dough on the kitchen counter or table, rolled it out by hand, spooned and dolloped the mixed ingredients onto the expanse of dough in a grid pattern with generous imaginary borders. She topped the whole thing with another layer of rolled out pasta dough. She ran her finger along the imaginary border pressing the doughs together. She followed her path with that weird wavey wheeling knife tool to cut and separate the mass into ravioli. In her later years, she bought the pre-made circle-shaped wonton wrapper dough at the grocery store. She didn’t care about not making the dough; she was practical. She was getting older, her hands and back needed a break from standing so long. And she had to make more ravioli, since the dinners had grown from 12 people to about 26 people. The sauce for the ravioli was prepared the day before. The ingredients varied with what was in the garden or fridge and whether the ravioli were meat or ricotta lemon. 

Tonight, I will serve ravioli for Thanksgiving dinner. But I won’t make it from scratch. My heart (and kitchen) are in a shambles. I hope to make it for my family next year.

Cheers! 🧡💛🤎

A Defensive Dinner

Eating violet
Spiked globes of thistle, a
Defensive dinner

I wrote this haiku tonight to go with this photo of purple artichokes that I brought home in February. I don’t know why Ive waited so long been to write about this pretty picture. A delayed but delightful pairing?

This post is the ninth in what I hope to be a series of 30 posts in honor of NaBloPoMo.

Thought Spinning

My thoughts are spinning. Each with emotional images swirling, overlapping, and fracturing. I blink and exhale. My mind begins to pace my breath. My breath slows, my thoughts calm.

Tonight, I created this image using Silk Paints while thinking about the cycle of life and the promp: “Why am I doing the things I am doing right now?” This post is the eighth in what I hope to be a series of 30 posts in honor of NaBloPoMo.

Special thanks to Eliza David Lady Writer, for sharing her writing prompts for NaBloPoMo. See her list of 30 prompts at http://elizadavid.com/nablopomo2020/.

My Creature Feature

Childlike fear returns
Watching The Unkown Terror
My Creature Feature
Dangling Modifier by Steph Abbott

I created this image using Art Rage and published it with Dangerous Modifiers a few years ago. Tonight, I wrote this haiku in response to this prompt: “What is my worst fear?” while watching The West Wing. This post is the sixth in what I hope to be a series of 30 posts in honor of NaBloPoMo.

Special thanks to Eliza David Lady Writer, for sharing her writing prompts for NaBloPoMo. See her list of 30 prompts at http://elizadavid.com/nablopomo2020/

Looking for flowers

Looking for flowers
Stepping up to, around
Conflict to find peace
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)

I snapped this photo of flowers along my path today. Tonight, I wrote this haiku in response to this prompt: “What kinds of situations do I avoid?” It is the fifth in what I hope to be a series of 30 posts in honor of NaBloPoMo.

Special thanks to Eliza David Lady Writer, for sharing her writing prompts for NaBloPoMo. See her list of 30 prompts at http://elizadavid.com/nablopomo2020/.

Doing the Right Thing

Doing the right thing
Matters--Count all the votes!
Shouldn't be so hard
Silver State

© 2020 Steph Abbott. All rights reserved. On Wednesday, November 4, 2020, I created this image while binge watching The West Wing. This is the fourth in what I hope to be a series of 30 posts in honor of NaBloPoMo.

Special thanks to Eliza David Lady Writer, for sharing her writing prompts for NaBloPoMo. The prompt for Day 4: “What if everything is as it should be? How would that make me feel?” See her list of 30 prompts at http://elizadavid.com/nablopomo2020/.

Hopeful to the End

Looking for flowers
She stepped, skipped, and lept
Hopeful to the end

© 2020 Steph Abbott. All rights reserved. On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, I created this image using ArtRage and wrote this haiku while binge watching The West Wing. This is the third in what I hope to be a series of 30 posts in honor of NaBloPoMo.

For at least a few posts this month, I’m following writing prompts for NaBloPoMo. The prompt for Day 3 was “How would I like people to remember me when I am no longer here?” See this and other prompts at http://elizadavid.com/nablopomo2020/.