Sunday, March 10, 2019

634/1038 - Wattleseed gnocchi

Finally...more bushfood!

I have made Roman style semolina gnocchi before, but this version has the incredible addition of roasted and ground wattleseed, which interestingly has a coffee-like smell. I was a bit worried that the gnocchi would taste like coffee but instead it simply added a lovely depth to the flavour. 

I will be honest and admit that it didn't appear to set perfectly and so rather than giving up on it, decided to bake it in one piece and to cut it once it was cooked. I am so pleased I did! Except for the minimum two hour resting time, this is a quick and fabulous dish that would make a lovely addition to a roast dinner.

Prior to making this gnocchi, cooking, and therefore challenge recipes, had come to a standstill in my kitchen. Early last week, I dislocated my extensor tendon and while the tendon is fine, it is the ruptured ligament, supposed to be holding said tendon in place, which is taking its sweet time to heal.

With many physical tasks unavailable to me, I amused myself instead with the different perspective my new-found one-handedness provided. Below are my top 10 observations.

1. The time taken to complete most tasks is doubled, but so is the joy in completing them. Putting my pants on without assistance is now an event to be recognised and celebrated.

2. When you find yourself partially incapacitated, you discover quite quickly if your family will step up. From taking on morning porridge duties to making sure all of the necessary jars are open in the morning (I use a lot of hair product), after initial resistance my family have impressed me with their willingness to help.

3. If you like your hands to be very dry after washing (including in-between fingers) doing this with a towel one-handed is quite difficult. Enter my trusty hairdryer which now resides on the bathroom sink acting as a very effective hand dryer.

4. When your second hand is also temporarily compromised, straws are your friend. I am not a fan of plastic straws and so have a set of the stainless variety. While they are a fabulous option for the environment, it is important they not be approached too quickly if you prefer your teeth intact. A lesson I learned very quickly!

5. Speaking of teeth, more can be done with teeth than you can imagine; from operating zips to tearing open band-aid packets. Not methods I would be likely to use in public, but perfectly acceptable in the privacy of my home.

6. Studying with one hand (provided your preferred hand is not affected) is still completely possible and in fact, is the task I am able to complete with minimal change. Needless to say, I am way ahead in my studies right now, and yes, my one-handed typing is becoming impressively fast.

7. For somebody who cuts their own hair (yes, I am aware this is weird), the lesson learned is not to put off a much-needed haircut! I am currently sporting an enormously bushy head of hair and still don’t trust a professional to touch it. It appears that public engagements will be cancelled for some time.

8. I have always run hands-free on the cross-trainer which amuses my husband no end. I like to run on the back end of the pedals which means that, being five foot two, there is no way I can reach the handles comfortably. This style of running hands-free has come in very handy this week, preventing me from becoming a complete couch potato.

9. Where there is a will there is a way. Although I am unable to hang washing on the line with pegs (I am determined, not a magician) I have today managed to hang an entire load one handed onto our very large washing rack, which I also assembled with one hand. Not much is impossible if you want it badly enough.

10. I discovered that if the onion/garlic/bacon chopping is done by someone else, a pretty fabulous bolognese can be made with one hand. The execution was not perfect; grated nutmeg was never going to happen and I did accidentally pull the thyme out of the ground with the roots attached (whoops) but otherwise the result was surprisingly good.

I almost managed this recipe on my own, requiring assistance for only a couple of small tasks which included pouring the semolina into the milk as I whisked and taking the tray of gnocchi out of the oven. Stay tuned for (hopefully) more one-handed recipes soon.