Monday, April 19, 2010

Red Pesto Ravioli stuffed with The Crookes and Future Islands

Student 1: Mr. Branson, what is that?
Me: Ravioli.
Student 1: Ours never looks like that when we open the can.
Student 2: Probably because his is vegetarian.
Student 1: Oh.

While most of my job as an elementary school teacher consists of teaching writing, reading, math, social studies and science I try to incorporate my love of cooking into the classroom. For St. Patrick's Day we make potato chips, pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, Guacamole to discuss how-to writing, solar s'mores on Earth Day and on and on. Most teachers complain about not having enough time to do this kind of stuff. I find that if you make it a point, you can work it in somehow. Why do I feel these experiences are important? Because of conversations like the one detailed above. A lot of kids don't have the opportunity to make their own potato chips, guacamole, pumpkin pie or ravioli. They have no idea how easy it is. It is my job to show them that, keep them from growing up and not realizing that there is more ravioli than just that which comes in a can.

The Red Pesto Ravioli in question (pictured above) came from the 101 cookbooks blog. The recipe is here. I pretty much followed the blog's suggestions, except instead of crumbling goat cheese on top I blended it in with the sun dried tomato pesto to create a creamier version.

According to a highly scientific poll conducted by Indie Rock Cafe (one that is much too difficult for me to explain), The Crookes are an "it" band right now. Fresh off of a number of gigs at this years SXSW the lads are currently touring England. Here is a video of an older song "Backstreet Lovers" as well as their new single "Bloodshot Days" (which you can buy on vinyl here).

"Tin Man" by Future Islands first draws me in with its steel drums. Uh huh, alright, good. But what keeps me hanging around for the duration of the song is the voice of Sam Herring. Rough and raw, like a man who forgot he was recording a track for his band the next day and spent the night screaming, Herring's style of singing is unique and spellbinding. Future Islands has some upcoming shows with fellow Baltimoreans Double Dagger (mentioned here). There are no Florida dates yet but hopefully that will change (hint, hint).