Friday, October 21, 2011

Feral Cows, Park Rangers, and Ravioli Filling

Feral cows? In Oklahoma, they would just be free lunch, what with everyone having the guns, butchering experience, and taxidermy equipment. But I'm here in Southern California - so, let me explain.
My youngest sister's husband just got a job as a Park Ranger - remember Yogi and Booboo? My brother-in-law Kim is just as cute as Mr. Ranger was. Except that they carry guns and Tasers these days. As part of his contract, he has to live in Chino Hills State Park. My sister Lynne just loves it. You drive forever on what looks like an old riverbed, and then, after 10 miles, there is a beautifully paved road for the last mile up to their house. No cell phone coverage, scant Internet, and total peace. Except for the nighttime, when cows from everywhere come out and play on the dirt/rock road. Even the cougars are afraid of these cows. When I close my eyes, I see their red eyes, burning with the reflected light from my headlights, refusing to budge to let me drive past and then filling in behind me so I can't reverse either. There is one with horns that teases me with the type of lunges typically seen only in the Bull Rings of Spain. I vow to never again drive a red car. It's just not worth antagonizing him.
One of the things my sister and I did was make home made ravioli for dinner for my oldest brother Don and his wife Marya. (She's from the South and the most amazing Bible scholar I know.) It was wonderful. Half had pumpkin filling and the other half had home made pork sausage filling.
I am back in my place in Irvine now, and Lynne come over with the left over food. We rolled out the pasta dough into thin sheets and made beautiful Lasagna with the rest of the sausage. I was amazed at how easy it was to make Italian sausage. I took 3 pounds of pork tenderloin and removed all the fat, ground it in the food processor with 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Could have used cream as well, but my husband is very careful about cholesterol. This was mildly spiced and just hot enough.
Pumpkin raviolli filling was very tedious to make, but would be a great pasta sauce thinned with a cup of cream. I got one of those small sugar pumpkins and peeled and seeded it and cut it into chunks. Then I fried it in 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 cube butter, with one huge white onion, chopped fine, and two cloves of garlic, pressed or minced. Getting everything slightly browned sweetened the pumpkin quite a bit. Then I added spices and cooked it another 30 minutes to thicken it. Spices: 1 teaspoon ground corriander and 1/2 teaspoon allspice. Just before taking it off the heat, I added 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, and 1 tablespoon real maple syrup. I have all these pictures, but my netbook is being stubborn and I'm using my son's computer that doesn't have my photo program on it. Maybe tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea cows could BE feral! I'd expect it to be bears walking around. (Who wins a fight between a bear and a feral cow, I wonder?)