WFP: simpler and closer

Last night we experimented with the pasta maker. So. much. fun. My sister came to help- it was a pasta party! I don’t see myself buying pasta again, unless I really want it in a certain shape or something. It was hardly any work at all. I’m excited to experiment with sprouted flour (I’m still figuring out my source), and also to create some easy freezer meals like ravioli and peirogies. Fun!

Super simple to make, just some eggs and flour and a dash of salt, run through my food processor. I kneaded it a couple of times and molded it together.

Then I split it into manageable sections and ran it through the machine’s flattener slot (I believe that’s the technical term for it…), making sure that the dough was dusted in flour on both sides so it didn’t stick.

Vera was very helpful. For some reason my sister and I thought it was too much work to attach the clamp to my strange counter top, although looking back we just should have- or we could have used the table. So we had one person stabilize the thing while we cranked it through. Silly.

Then we sent it through the noodle making slot, and voila! There’s a slot for this wider kind of noodle, and also a spaghetti sized one. And I could always hand cut them too, but the machine is so much fun. Then we tossed them in a little flour so they wouldn’t clump together, and set them aside until Jeff got home.

Unfortunately, that’s when disaster struck. Somehow I managed to break a mason jar right over the top of the pasta bowl. I don’t even know how it happened. My sister and I went to work picking off pieces of glass and trying to salvage the pasta (our first precious noodles!). Thankfully, Jeff came home and looked at us like we were crazy. He told us that it wasn’t worth it and got to work making more. Smart guy, eh? I was bummed, but in retrospect I’m glad that we didn’t ingest shards of glass…

He and my sister threw together some more, this time using the clamp attachment- which made the process way faster (seriously, we can probably bust out some homemade noodles in about 3 minutes), and I made the sauce.

It was just a simple creamy sauce with parmesan and veggies. So simple, and so so delicious. 

I also added some parsley out of the garden, along with some volunteer greens- purslane and lamb’s quarters. It’s much more fun to weed when it all goes right in your dinner!

Dinner. So simple, so fast, really really good. My sister raved the whole time about how it was the best pasta, and while I don’t know if it was the BEST I’d ever had, it definitely had a much better quality than store-bought stuff. I’m sad I didn’t take a picture of the salad (also straight out of the back yard), it was beautiful- speckled romaine, baby spinach, arugula, all sprinkled with pansy flowers… 

Dessert. Simple- local strawberries and rhubarb chopped and put in a dish with a sprinkling of cornstarch and sugar.

I topped it with this soaked oat mixture- not a classic crumble topping, but I’ve been trying to limit the amount of grains that we eat that aren’t soaked. So this is what I tried. It’s just soaked oats mixed with a little sugar, sunflower seeds, an egg white, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Total success.

After dinner we were talking about what could make a meal that was so fast and so simple seem so much better. My theory? The closer you are to what sustains you, the better. I mean, on an obvious level, the quality of the food can be better when you know where it comes from. No chemicals, it’s fresher, you’re supporting other local people, etc. But on a philosophical/spiritual level? I just keep finding that if I bring more of this stuff home, so-to-speak, it feeds me in more than just a physical sense. I’m more connected to the process, more connected to the people, more connected to my own needs. A lot of the joy that came from this meal was something that couldn’t really be placed, but is an energy that I think is missing in our modern way of eating. I’m still learning about it, but this was a meal that definitely brought out those feelings- simple, healthy, nourishing, honest, loving, fruitful, yummy…


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