Too mushroom

stupidworldSo sorry for the rather contrived title today – all will become clear in due course.

I’ve always wondered if I’m a bit of an oddity when it comes to using my vacant land in SL, however after careful observation of my neighbours over recent weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are other people who behave in much the same way when acquiring new land as myself. The problem is essentially, no matter how well planned or thought out, the moment I set foot on an empty plot of land I completely lose any sense of what I want to use it for. Over the past few years, I’ve steadily built up my holdings – increasing the size of my parcel by increments whenever the rare occurrence of land adjacent to my plot arises. It doesn’t happen very often, in fact to see parcels come up anywhere on the sim is very unusual, but lately there’s been a bit of a run on it.

First, a big parcel in the corner of the sim opened up, after 5 years of occupancy – way too big for my budget, but successful bargaining with the sim manager resulted in negotiating half of the land for myself, and better still, having it swapped for the parcel adjacent to my own – awesome!

Cue the post-purchase soul searching… Did I really need all this extra space? Could I justify the expense? What on earth was I going to do with it all? In the end, I reasoned things out from the prim perspective – the new parcel brought with it 700 extra prim allowance and, considering my last big build had to be completed in sections and the finished item couldn’t be rezzed on my land, that extra allowance is going to make building so much easier. Then there’s the matter of having an evolving space to play in – something I’d planned for my last acquisition, completely scuppered when I used it to home my railway station, effectively rendering the plot unusable for any other purpose… best laid plans, eh?

strawberry field 1106015_001So, there I am: Big square plot, and absolutely no idea what to fill it with. I’d log in and aimlessly rez bits and pieces, just to make it look lived-in, only to take them back into my inventory a few minutes later. I’d wander round, wracking my brain to come up with ideas, seize on one, then dismiss it as hopeless – and this went on for days.

However, whilst all this fitful and inconclusive pottering was going on, I was watching the other half of the plot that had been snapped up by somebody else – and they were doing exactly the same: Buildings and shrubbery appeared and disappeared in rapid succession, only to re-appear again shortly after; I watched my neighbour wander around and hover over their land fruitlessly, whilst nothing material changed around them. Interestingly, a small plot also became available right next to mine shortly after, (you don’t know how hard I resisted the temptation to justify grabbing it!)… and yes, the new owner did exactly the same thing, although to give them their due, they soon got down to work after the initial aimlessness.

At least I now know that I’m not the only one who struggles to come up with ideas when I have far too much room.

I do tend to go overboard sometimes in RL too, and here’s where the tenuous link to the last sentence and today’s title comes in! Whilst shopping this week, I discovered some fab looking forestiere mushrooms, so I grabbed a couple of punnets – a bit of a fail really, since that was far too many, and I had no idea what I was going to do with them, (sounds familiar?). However, after some thought I came up with the following, which turned out to be so mind-blowingly delicious, I thought I’d share it with you!

Seren’s luscious mushroom tortellini

Pasta dough:
’00’ flour

Mushrooms – mix & match, I used chestnut, forestiere and a generous helping of dried wild mushrooms
Tub of mascarpone cheese – I was going to use ricotta, but my local supermarket didn’t have it, on reflection it’s probably a bit wet for this anyway!

A lemon
A good few fresh sage leaves
A decent lump of butter
Pecorino or similar cheese

What you do:
Yes, we’re going to make our own pasta – I’ve never understood why this is made out to be such a mysterious and difficult art. It’s not, it’s dead easy. I never bother with measuring quantities, but about 100 grams of flour and 1 egg per person gives a decent portion. Bung the flour in a bowl, make a well in the middle and dump the egg in it. Get your fingers in there and start working it – keep going for what seems like a lifetime… first it’ll go gooey, then turn into a breadcrumbly sort of texture, at which point you think it’ll never get there – persevere – if it’s really not happening, try adding a teeny-weeny drop of water, (we’re talking thimblefuls). Eventually, you’ll have a lump of dough. Whack it on a floured work surface and start stretching, kneading and building up your biceps. Do not stop until it feels smooth and silky – you’re aiming for the feel of latex here – this will take a good while to achieve. Once you’re there, chuck it in a plastic bag, pop it in the fridge and go and watch a movie for a couple of hours.

Ready for the filling? Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water, then chop up all the mushrooms nice and finely – this is where you discover you’ve bought far too many. Mix the mushrooms and soft cheese together. Season. Done.

Roll the pasta into long strips 2-3 inches wide – if you don’t have a pasta machine, buy one, you’ll thank me for it. Thinnest setting. Cut the strips into squares – not rectangles, rhombuses or anything else – a knife will do the job perfectly well, but I use a pizza cutter because I’m weird! Now plop a small dollop of filling into the middle of each square – you’ll soon work out how big it should be when we come to the arcane science of tortellini folding. Fold the square, corner to opposing corner to form a triangle, make sure the edges are sealed, now you’re going to wrap the bottom corners around your finger and squidge them together to make a little tortellino parcel – the corners you’ve wrapped, hugging the little parcel of mushroomy tastiness between them. Now pop on a cooling rack to dry a little – I don’t have a cooling rack, so I use the grill pan out of the oven!

Get the water on the boil for the pasta, season and add a dash of olive oil. In a separate pan, melt the butter, add the sage and get it nice and crispy, when the butter starts to turn nut brown, whip it off the heat, squeeze half a lemon into it, and grate your cheese in. Get the tortellini into the boiling water – 3 minutes, tops – then add the pasta to the sauce.




s. x

Teach me all your favourite foods,
I want to cook for you.
Cook for you.
Orchestra Morphine – Cook For You

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