It is New Year’s Eve 2020 and I have not written a blog in a very long time. This has been a year of challenges. I’ve had so much to say and so little to say if that makes any sense.
On my walks, I started to think of summarizing the year in a blog and kept thinking of the same thing…2020 is a ravioli. Yep, I said it. RAVIOLI.
If you ask some people, they hate ravioli. There is nothing that will convince them that a ravioli is delicious. You can plate it anyway you want and you mention ravioli and you will get a response that will be vitriol. (Much like when you mention 2020.)
I think I’ve seen the year very differently…obviously since I am using a ravioli comparison. Ravioli can be filled with a lot of different ingredients. If you offer me a mushroom ravioli, I probably wouldn’t be as excited about it compared to a sausage ravioli. And there are times that I really love a good cheese ravioli but then there have been times when I don’t care for it. Sometimes it isn’t the ravioli that makes me happy and it is just looking at my sauce options.
2020 has been like that for me. There are some of the fillings of this year that I wish never existed like the fears, business destruction due to quarantines and those who have lost friends and family. We can all have hindsight at this point but I can’t wrap my head around everything or even remotely decide what I would have changed.
Some of the contents of the year have been around for decades and for some reason it took a world of turmoil to open our eyes. (These issues would be compared to ravioli never even being on the menu let alone having an option of your filling.) I have a very Pollyanna mindset and am still in shock at some ways my own eyes have been closed and are now burst open like a poorly made ravioli in rapid boiling water.
You see inn 2002, I had to stop working due to my Crohn’s disease operations and limitations. That year mirrored this year so much. I was home all the time, my immune system was horrible and I lost my job. The difference is that it was only happening to me. It was incredibly lonely because everyone was moving forward and I was that sad ravioli waiting to be taken out of the boiling pot that seemed to be forgotten.
I never expected that these same things would happen to the entire country let alone the world. The variances are so great and unexplainable. Some of the ravioli can be saved from the water and others will never come off the stove. And there really is nothing I can do about it which is a form of helplessness I did not experience when I was doing this alone. (And for the record, I would go through 2002 by myself again if it would erase the pain people have felt this year.)
Which brings me back to my original thought, if you don’t like the filling of a ravioli, can you make it better with a sauce that makes you happy in your everyday life? I think I approached 2020 by changing the sauces on raviolis that I may have not liked.
My walks turned longer, I took advantage of online classes that were never available before and I communicated with people who lifted my spirits. I verbalized triggers of bad emotions and found strength in rediscovering parts of me that I have hidden away.
I’m not saying every ravioli moment would be something I would repeat. I’m just saying I wish there were some people who appreciated that they had anything on their plate even if it wasn’t always what they wanted.
As I close out what will only be remembered as a tough year by many, my mind will try to remember that this was the year I allowed myself to continue to grow in a world that was standing still.
I don’t know really what 2021 will hold for any of us. I just want people to remember that we may not always like the ravioli filling but before you close out this year as a total loss….remember those moments where you made the most out of your sauce.
Lobster Ravioli in Creamy Vodka Sauce
Store Bought Ravioli (Yep, I bought the ravioli because it sounded good and I’m too tired to make homemade ravioli)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, chopped
1 or 2 of those tiny 50 mL bottles of Vodka that you just hid in your cabinet during the pandemic because you were really stressed out and thought you might have a vodka moment
1.5 cups of passata
½ cup of cream
Fresh Basil or parsley or whatever herb you have on hand to make the dish pretty
In a large saucepan, heat up a hearty swirl of olive oil over medium low heat. Add the shallots and sauté until soft and just starting to brown. Add the garlic and let it cook another minute but don’t start to brown.
Deglaze the pan with the vodka allow it to cook off just a little. (You don’t want to lose the flavor…or the alcohol…because we want a little sauce to with to go with the sauce if you know what I’m saying.)
Add the passata and let it simmer lightly for another 10 minutes. Just enough allow the flavors to marry.
Add the cream and your herb of choice.
In a separate pot, cook ravioli per instructions. Save a little of the pasta water.
Taste your sauce and salt and pepper to your liking.
You can either toss the ravioli GENTLY in the sauce or plate the ravioli and top with sauce.
I drowned my ravioli in sauce and cheese and am okay with what choices I made to end the year!