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Eugene Daily News
Lacey Harrison

Lacey Harrison

As a purveyor of fine foods and excellent beers, I seek out both in my travels. From scoping out breweries in tiny little Utah towns, to charming cheese shops in Paris, I find morsels of goodness in all parts of the world. However, the Pacific Northwest will always be my home, and I love nothing more than spending an hour here and there sampling what this amazing corner of the earth has to offer. My husband and I like to say we have a mini farm, and are wannabe urban farmers. Two cats, two dogs, four chickens, a seven year old girl, a stack of rain boots and a garden plot or four. If I could, I’d have an enormous green house, a cow and pig, so that I can really get down to literally making my food for dinner. Until then, we do what we can. We also like to think we are raising our kid right. On Star Wars, rock music and a huge appreciation for good quality food.
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A Very Merry Gnocchi Party!

Parties do not have to be hard. Parties can by thrown together simply due to a mutual love of a specific food. One person mentions gnocchi, the next confesses their love of this particular pasta, another states they’ve never made it before and would love to learn how to make it. Within a few weeks, twenty plus people are making time for a much looked forward to party during the busy holiday season.

Days and hours before the gathering, photos get sent around by party goers, teasing each other with what they are bringing. The droolfest begins.

porkbelly

Pork Belly brought by Ellen Brenner (Photo: Ellen Brenner)

Though events such as these do take a lot of planning, especially in between Christmas and New Years, it never seems to feel much like work. Having something to look forward to, knowing others will enjoy what you bring just as much as you do, makes it all worth while. The only pressure you feel is to show up and eat. A lot.

Rosascups

Chocolate chip shot glass for eggnog shooters made by Rosa Mariotti (Photo: Mike Bragg)

Rosa Mariotti and Bill Anderson graciously opened up their home and welcomed their guests last Saturday, with open arms and pasta boards made by Bill at the ready. Rosa taught us how to make the gnocchi by hand, encouraging us to get our hands dirty with flour, olive oil and sparkling water. “Do not be afraid of the dough” one person says to another. We laugh, we mix, we roll the gnocchi with gusto.

gnocchicollage

Gnocchi making (Photo: Mike Bragg)

For those who are ready to eat, there is a never ending table of all things Food. Bone marrow butter, tomato jam, Tuscan chicken liver pate, homemade crackers, cheesecake. Next to the table, someone is stirring something in a pot or three. In another room, fudge, truffles, wine, eggnog and edible shot glasses stand next to a tree with Secret Santa gifts to be opened later in the evening.

kirks table

Not meager offerings! (Photo: Kirk Koenig)

This is not the first time a get together has occurred with this particular group of people, nor will it be the last. Camaraderie and friendship can begin in a thousand different ways. Some people bond over children, some over jobs. Some people meet at the park, and some online. There is a certain and immediate comfort level found between those who share a love of all things food, and it brings us together quite often.

On the last day of the year, I leave you with both a recipe and video for gnocchi and party making, in the hopes that you will be encouraged to spend time with those you care about, by sharing some food with them. From our group of food lovers to yours, Happy New Year!

Cavatelli Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 All Purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sparkling water
  • 4 tsp olive oil

Watch the video for hands on instructions and try making pasta yourself! We loved a browned butter infused with rosemary sauce the best, but a simple marinara topped with works just as well.

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