Review: Mom’s house

This blog is supposed to be my perspective on Columbus but I spent the weekend eating my way through Cincinnati so I’m going to write two or three blog posts about Cincinnati.

This post is about my favorite place to eat in Cincinnati: mom’s house! Being that we’re a big Catholic-Italian family, our holidays (ok most of our lives) are centered around our meals.

A typical holiday meal is three courses and lasts hours. (I’ll have to do another review of my mom’s house after Christmas Eve dinner when we eat all the fish!!) For the last 15 years or so my we have been making homemade ravioli part of these meals.

Making the ravioli requires at least four pairs of hands. First the dough and the cheese filling (a mixture of parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella cheese, an egg and confectioners sugar to taste) are made.

After the dough rests my dad and the “cranker” run the dough through the pasta machine. The cranker used to be my 92 year-old grandfather but since he has passed the cranker position hasn’t been permanently handed down. This year my 8-year-old niece took over for a little while.

My mom is the third set of hands. She takes the flattened dough from my dad and cuts off rough edges, spoons on some cheese mix, and folds it over. The “forker” uses a fork to seal the three edges. The forker also moves places the finished ravioli on top of an old flour covered table clothe and is allowed to make crude remarks like “go fork yourself.”

Every year someone suggests laying one sheet of dough on top of another but my mother ignores them. She does it her way. Also, no one gets to do my mom’s job, of adding the filling and cutting the ravioli from the dough. It’s just the way it works in my house.

My mom explained to us that my grandma, her mom, used to make homemade ravioli for the holidays when my mother was growing up in Greenwich Village but the dough came from a store nearby as opposed to being hand cranked in the kitchen like today.

The only negative about my mother’s cooking is that my mom rarely uses recipes so she has a hard time recording how to make certain dishes that we love. Also, she improvises almost every time she makes, even if there’s a recipe.

So around 3:00 p.m. yesterday, while many people were having ham and deviled eggs (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we feasted on homemade cheese ravioli and meatballs before the leg of lamb came out of the oven. It was great.

If you want to go:
Let my mom know when you’re in Cincinnati. No reservations are required. There is always an open seat at my mom’s.

2 Responses to “Review: Mom’s house”

  1. Cool, post, maybe one day we’ll both be in Cincinnati at the same time.

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