Homemade Pasta

August 10, 2010

A couple of nights ago, I cranked semolina dough through the rollers of the pasta machine, as I pressed the phone receiver between my ear and shoulder and talked with my eldest son. I heard noise in the background. My son called back to a guy nearby who was harassing him for talking on the phone too long.

“Quiet! I’m talking to my mom!”

The guy wanted to know if I remembered him.

“His name is Steve. He used to hang out with me and the guys when we were lighting off fireworks in the neighborhood and ringing people’s doorbells.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. It seemed so long ago. Seven years? Eight? I didn’t remember Steve, but I told my son to say “Hi.”

“He says he remembers your food. We ate lots and lots of your food.” He laughed.

“You sure did,” I said, as I ran the dough through the cutting blades and hung each individual noodle to dry. “I’m making homemade pasta. I don’t think I’ve done that since you were a kid.”

“With that machine? I remember that. That was cool.”

I told him about the produce his dad and I had gotten from the farmers market that day, and how we found the most amazing striped heirloom tomatoes. “I’m making broccoli sauce. I think even you liked broccoli sauce.”

“That stuff was good. I eat every vegetable I can, Mom. The produce they serve in jail is mostly canned, but sometimes I get these little slivers of fresh tomato in my salad, and I make sure to eat it all. I’m trying to be healthy. You’d be proud of me.”

“I am proud of you,” I said.

A nice thing… the rich combination of food and memory—layered, tossed, served and shared.

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4 Responses to “Homemade Pasta”

  1. I love how you just tease out the beginning of that long knotted chain….

    Layers indeed.

  2. There are lots of young men I see today and think, “Son, I used to feed you a couple of times a week. For years.” Those things get remembered.

  3. Dale said

    Food is love. (So is writing.)

  4. OwlSaysWho said

    I’m pretty sure I saw this . . . and loved it the first time I read it, too. Homemade pasta and maternal love . . . very nice things . . .

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