As a child reared in the 21st century, I have taken extreme pride in my tech-savvy nature. Web design? Pshaw. System troubleshooting? Easier than key lime pie. Camera glitches? I’m your lady.
I’ve got the MacBook, the Canon 40D with a few great lenses, a handful of iPods thanks to a partner in crime that finds all of our possessions for free, and mostly on the ground, and other audio gizmos that tend to make me quiver with their amazing treble. I read photo catalogues on the toilet. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, beware.
Nerd to the max. I know it and love it.
But let me be real with you. I sport a tiny, egg-shaped Samsung cell phone that I once flaunted in high school. It doesn’t have a camera. The front screen is busted. It has BubbleSmile for a game. I kind of love it because it forces me to look up while I’m walking down the street or driving. I make eye contact with people on the train (er, well, with the ones that aren’t giggling on their smart phones). And you know, there’s a sort of adventure in finding a restaurant in the city by walking around.
But friends! I’m getting an iPhone. I might get sucked into it, Tron style. If I disappear for twenty years, you know where to look.
I’ll welcome myself into the 21st century by shaping gnocchi pasta with the back of a fork and giggling furiously because each piece looks like a chubby, squashed face.
I’m nervous about the A.I. feature on the new iPhone. Just yesterday I got a phantom call from my dad. He said he didn’t even have his phone on him. Siri wants me.
Also, I’m admittedly archaic in the kitchen. I don’t have a mixer. Just hands. Once, I whipped egg whites into stiff peaks with a potato masher. It took me an hour. I may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
I’m going to start giggling soon.
Gary Larson has a perfect comic to describe these.
Listen, I was pretty skeptical about this gnocchi business. It seemed really hard. I’d been meaning to make them for weeks, and when my sweet potato started screaming at me to do something with it, I caved. But these were surprisingly easy. And, more importantly, they worked. So don’t listen to the little voice in your head telling you they’ll fall apart in boiling water. They won’t. They’ll float up to the surface with their little pudgy faces.
And you will eat the little faces with parmesan cheese.
If you don’t want to eat these munchkins to your face all at once, they’re freezable. So you can have them for a midnight snack. Or breakfast. All food can be breakfast.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi.
1 large sweet potato (about 1lb or more)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
Stab the sweet potato all over with a fork and microwave for about 15 minutes, flipping it over every 5. If you want to use the oven, still stab the potato, but bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes. Once the potato has cooled, scoop out the meat and mash until smooth. Add the flour, egg, parmesan cheese and salt, and mix until a dough starts to form. Knead with plenty of extra flour (it will be sticky) until you can shape the dough into a ball.
Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll out into thin ropes. Cut little pieces off the rope and shape each by indenting with the backside of a fork.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and carefully add the dumplings. Let them cook until they float to the surface, about 3-5 minutes.
Sauté the gnocchi in a pan with olive oil, butter, and a pinch of ground sage until slightly browned.
Top with parmesan cheese and Italian parsley.
A feast for 4-5 people.