I went into today with big, grand plans of making ramen from scratch. I bought oxtails (and cried in Whole Foods), I moved the damn miso package to the front of the refrigerator – it was going to be great.
Because we’re dirty hipsters, we’ve latched into the ramen trend. I partly blame Ryan’s friend Sam – the hipest of hips – but I also blame the fact that we both fucking love soup. We love it almost as much as our hipster coffee. Creamy soup, broth based, gazpacho – actually, Ryan doesn’t like cold things for meals – but soup!!! And good ramen?! It’s one of the best kinds of soup you can get!
I went back and forth on making ramen broth from scratch or just using packaged bone broth. On the one hand, home made broth almost always tastes better and gives me the ability to control what’s in it. On the other hand, I can’t screw up packaged broth. And it doesn’t involve touching oxtails…
What I didn’t anticipate was just how lazy and burnt out I would feel after working 10 hour days all week. I looked at the oxtails. I looked at the bone broth. I thought, “fuck all of this, I’m making spaghetti.”
And I did
It has taken many years for me to be able to successfully make meatballs without getting the heebie-jeebies. That’s not entirely true – I still gag a little and apologize to the cow as I squish raw hamburger around – but I can do it without crying now so… that’s a win? Definitely the cow that went into making these meatballs lived a long, happy life and died of old age – surrounded by cow friends and family. It was peaceful – Amazing Grace was sung before the butcher arrived.
For being so freaked out by touching raw hamburger, I actually make a pretty good meatball. I feel confident enough that I don’t even use a recipe – I just throw shit into a bowl, add some pizza seasoning (it’s basically Italian seasoning, right?) and squish it around with a tablespoon of guilt. They come out almost perfect every time.
It’s the noodle cooking that I suck at.
I’m not really sure how a grown woman – mother of two – can be so bad at cooking noodles, but I am. I’m so afraid of over cooking them and having them turn gooey that I typically under cook them. I’m not even sure if noodles turn gooey when over cooked, but in my head they become gelatinous and slimy. And I’m not talking “al dente” under cooked like the box recommends, I mean still a little stiff.
Nicky keeps telling me that I should be able to throw a noodle against a wall and have it stick – that’s how you know they’re done – but I have yet to try it.
It’s quite possible that my seven year old is a more capable chef than I am.
Ryan typically “suggests” that I set a timer like the box says….and also that I wait until the water is boiling before adding the noodles… but I like living on the edge. I like frantically pacing in front of a pot of boiling water, pulling noodles out of the pot every few seconds and testing their “done-ness”. It’s like an adventure.
So, we ate really awesome meatballs and mediocre noodles (with jar sauce, just to be safe).