GoLocalProv | Ravioli on the Bed

Monday, January 03, 2022

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PHOTO: file

Doug sent in a wonderful, familiar looking dessert one night. It was biscuits that disappeared like a Houdini performance. Not too sweet, their flavors were simple and delicious.

“What are you, Doug?” Maisy pulled on her leash, but not enough to keep him from interrupting his morning walk to chat. Wide-eyed, he was eager to talk about his goodies.

“We called them Cold Doughs, but they are Roczki Cookies (Kolacky). My mom used condensed milk in her recipe, but I use sour cream. I make them with a delicate yeast dough that is filled with a simple, lemony peanut filling and rolled up into a cigar shape. It’s funny; She did tons of it in one sitting. At first, every Kolacky was neat, but it was time consuming. As she stumbled on, the Kolacky began to lose their perfect shape. Then she somehow cobbled them together, but paved or not, they still carried their taste. Who could resist? “

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“They remind me, in a way, of my mother’s ravioli. Did your mother put the Kolacky on the bed? Mine put her ravioli there. ”He chuckled.

My mother’s ricotta filled ravioli weren’t a dessert. They were a filling main meal of giant ravioli we called “pusher” for the simple reason that they slid down so easily. She started rolling the dough into thin sheets early in the morning, moving quickly and never letting the dough dry.

She made the filling and then neatly placed it in the squares. She draped another thin sheet of pastry over the filling, then carefully rolled it out with a rolling pin to remove any air bubbles. She pulled the perforated edges with a ravioli cutter, carefully pulled them apart, dusted the surfaces with cornmeal and kept them moist with a towel. Then she did something I have often seen Italians do.

She put the ravioli on a large plate and paced back and forth into the bedroom, placing each one in perfect order on the tablecloth of the bed. You were there for a reason, but I never knew why. Maybe just to park before they were dropped one by one into the boiling water. Before that, her guests, children and grandchildren, examined her beauties in this bedroom. “Impressive!”

Our family was busy at the table when she presented them; a pile of excess that looked impenetrable, but it wasn’t. They slid down. . . so soft, so tasty, with a tangy, sweet sauce, uh, sauce that was perfectly married to them. Once, in a traditional competition, our children counted how many they could eat. I thought, “These kids are going to explode.” Not so.

There was no winner because we all won.

One Sunday our women stood by to watch, hoping to solve the mystery of the sliders, so that one day they could make them like mom. But my mother had the recipe in mind and couldn’t translate it. When they passed, so did the sliders.

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Dr. Ed Iannuccilli is the author of three popular memoirs: “Italians Growing Up; Grandfather’s Fig Tree and Other Stories ”,“ Whatever Happened at Sunday Dinner ”and“ My Story Continues: From Neighborhood to Junior High ”. Find out more HERE.

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