Monday, October 27, 2008


For the last ten years my dearest friend Lizanne has been a loyal partner-in -crime. Although we've always known of each other, since we both grew up in Puerto Rico and shared some friends, it wasn't until we were both living in New York that we realized how many things we had in common. Besides sharing a love for books, cheese grits, clothes, Von , and the Latin crooners of our childhood like Jose Jose and Camilo Sesto, we also shared a love of crafting. Upon discovery it was only logical that we would get together and craft.

Crafternoon was born at her kitchen table on 8th Street one Sunday afternoon after brunch. It seems like only yesterday we were making tiny flower cookies no bigger than quarters and drawing elaborate maps of our dream island hideouts. Ours has never been an orthodox craft.

Lizanne moved to LA before I did. Soon after I arrived crafternoons followed. There were simple crafternoons were we learned how to make a Pimm's Cup and took lots of photographs and more complicated ones like when we decided to make dress forms using old t-shirts and paper tape.

Recently the crafternoons have lagged but that all seems to be changing. A few weeks ago we made gnocchi, a dish that always seemed complicated and thus deemed a food craft. But what had once seemed so daunting turned out to be little else than two baked potato, an egg, and some flour.

We followed a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Pasta and served them with both pesto and tomato sauce. Delicious! The only caveat was that the dough felt slightly wetter and stickier than we thought it should and we added a tiny bit more flour to half the dough as an experiment. This made for a less fluffy, denser, doughier gnocchi that was still tasty but not spectacular.

Gnocchi with Thyme Butter Sauce

Adapted from Everyday Pasta, by Giada De Laurentiis

2 baking potatoes, such as russets (about 12 ounces each)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

To make the gnocchi, bake the potatoes at 375 for 50 minutes or until tender.
While the potatoes are still warm, cut them in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Discard the skin. Using a fork, mash the potato well. Stir in the egg, salt and pepper. Sift the flour over the potato mixture and stir until just blended.
Scoop out a large spoonful of gnocchi dough. Roll each scoop on the work surface into a bout a 1/2-inch-diameter rope. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough over the tines of a fork to form grooves in the dough. Set the formed gnocchi on a baking sheet while you form the rest of the dough.

Working in two batches, cook the gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until they have all risen to the surface, about 3 minutes. Scoop the gnocchi into a colander with a slotted spoon while you cook the second batch.