pasta making as a hobby


October 11, 2021

  I don’t have any hobbies, at least in the sense most people understand them. Hobbies generally require time, tools or equipment and some level of skill. Hobbies are considered a good way to pass time, maintain an active, alert mind and stay healthy. There are people who paint, garden, collect, er, collectibles, restore classic cars, hunt and fish and knit. Hobbies tend to have a purpose and require effort. There’s usually something to show for it too. 

   Travel is considered a hobby by people who like to see new things. In my case, I don’t consider travel a hobby, because I don’t care whether I see new things or not. I travel just for the sake of going. Also, I don’t want travel to be distracting in any way or require much of an effort. Consequently, I don’t like hiking, sailing, sightseeing or anything that involves a lot of stairs. Just sit on a train or a bus and stare. That seems to lack both purpose and something to show for it. If it wasn’t for Carol’s photography, I wouldn’t be able to prove I’d been to any of the places I’ve gone.

The only thing I like about cooking is eating, and eating is not a hobby, though I do have something to show for it.

pasta making as a hobby
failure is an option

   Now cooking is a hobby in that there is purpose, effort and something to show for it. The only thing I like about cooking is eating, and eating is not a hobby, though I do have something to show for it.

   This past year, however, I did try turning cooking into a hobby by adding pasta making to my scratch sauce and meatball preparations. Carol bought me a pasta maker for Christmas, and I’ve made several attempts to produce fresh pasta. There is purpose and effort involved. There’s been nothing to show for it, though.

   This last time I did finally master dough-making by using a bowl instead of a flat surface. I didn’t have to go chasing after liquid egg that broke through the flour dam. I let the dough ball rest in the refrigerator, and I had acquired a drying rack for the ribbons that I produced from the first stage of the pasta maker.

   I let the ribbons dry out for what I thought was sufficient time, but I still produced spaghetti that came out in a glob that looked like something that had melted in a microwave. I quickly made a pot of dry, store bought pasta and wondered, Why bother?

   But Carol enjoys watching me make sauce and meatballs, and she knows making fresh pasta along with it would give the whole undertaking the purpose, effort and something to show for it that would make for a genuine hobby. Certainly, the kitchen afterwards looked like something where a purpose and effort-filled hobby had just taken place, and the sink, counters and floors demonstrated something to show for all that purpose and effort.

   Carol sensed my discouragement, and found a pasta class being offered by a San Diego Italian restaurant. We’ll make an overnight out of it, enjoy an Italian dinner, and I’ll finally learn what I’ve been doing wrong. A kitchen covered in bleached flour is not in our past yet, baby!

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