A weekend of firsts: Ricotta and Races

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Sometimes life is so, so good. And when it is, it’s important to stop and take notice; to slow down and roll around in all that rich and delicious joy: joy, joy, joy. Love, love. I am a lucky person and the universe has been good to me in recent years — also a combination of me working hard to reach certain goals that have manifested internally and externally. But I recognize that I am incredibly fortunate, with a roof over my head and room for creativity in my life; the ability and means to make delicious meals some days and meet friends for donuts other days; the strength and health of my body. I’m marking that this is a beautiful and blessed time in my life, and I feel thankful. For my family’s support, for new love, for the continued endurance and care of friends. Funny, how this richness aligns with a very week designed to give thanks. My proverbial cup runneth over. I can’t say it enough.

And for those who are still with me and haven’t been deterred by the honey dripping off this page, last weekend brought some wonderful things including my first bout of making ricotta! I happen to know this fellow who is adept at the art of cheese, and he guided us to the completion of an incredibly simple pasta dish with homemade ricotta to boot.

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The process couldn’t be more simple. It goes like: slowly heat milk in a pot to just below a simmer, add an acidic element (we used vinegar) to get the milk to curdle, and when soft clumps have formed, scoop out the ricotta with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cheesecloth. Drain. Wrap the ricotta up in the cheesecloth in a small bundle and twist the cloth to squeeze cheese gently. Serve.

The pasta recipe was a happy form of carb-loading before running my first 10K race in Berkeley. I’ve run off and on at different times in my life, with long hiatus years in-between, but back in June I was inspired by a friend’s lead and decided to start running three times a week to train for a 5K, and then I set my goal higher — to run a 10K in November. Low and behold, I’m a little shocked and staggered that I’ve actually met my goal. It has been a process, too, watching my body change: becoming a little leaner and a lot stronger, and the side effect of all this running? Feeling like I certainly wield the potential within myself to do anything I set my mind to. That is powerful news, all. It’s not timid. It’s a whole new chapter for me, and I like it.

I took part in the inaugural Berkeley Half, which included a half marathon, a 10-mile race, and the 10K. I absolutely had race-day jitters, and have a sweet memory of Nick pinning my race bib to my shirt while my teeth chattered, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and the route included streets and Marina paths that were part of my training runs; I felt like I was breaking ground on my own turf. A sampling of photos is below — for the full experience click here. (And huge thanks to Nick for navigating the route so seamlessly and taking all these shots!)

Wishing all a lovely time with family this week. I made a batch of dough tonight and have some baking on deck (slab apple pie!), and will be getting some deliciously sordid dessert photos on this screen soon.

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2 thoughts on “A weekend of firsts: Ricotta and Races

  1. My cup runneth over with love for you! You could not be more radiant or beautiful inside and out. All that and home made ricotta, too. You go girl!

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