Friday, June 27, 2008

Hasta La Pasta

Continuing with the dual themes of do-it-yourself, locally produced food and hearth and home, here is a recap of two consecutive evenings from earlier this summer. I had been reading Barbara Kingsolver’s most excellent “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral” and it occurred to me that my own daughter had never taken part in the ridiculously simple, yet enormously satisfying process of making pasta. When she was small, I used to make homemade ravioli, which, because she was small and much less sophisticated than she is now, she absolutely refused to eat.

Times have changed though, and it was high time to introduce her to the happy world of homemade noodles.

The ingredients are simple:

The process, even moreso.

The most time-consuming part of making noodles from scratch is the drying phase, but luckily, it can be combined with all kinds of alternate activities, such as…um, sleeping.
She did all the work herself, from mixing the ingredients, to rolling out the dough with a juice glass, to cutting it with a paring knife.

The end results looked good, and tasted better than anything in a red cellophane package. Even before cooking.
The next day, Dear Daughter lured Best Friend over to the house, where they proceeded to ransack the pantry and refrigerator and create a four-course meal, complete with hand-written menu, and served with red-headed panache. We dined on a lovely green salad, cucumber and buttermilk soup, Hasta La Pasta, served with tomato sauce and sautéed mushrooms, and finished up with peachy blackberry cobbler. We couldn’t have dined finer at any price anywhere else in town.

And our hostesses were far more charming than any local wait staff I can think of.

The Norwegian, through a glass, yellowy.

Our dining room is just one of the places at home that warms our heart. Some of our best times are around this table, eating simply, laughing deeply, loving warmly.


Oliver Rain said...

Just visiting from Derfwad Manor. Makes me think I should pull out my pasta maker. I love the colour of your dining room walls.

Redblur63 said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! I wish I could take credit for the paint colour, but it was there when we bought the house. We love it so much we see no need to alter it. Your blog is charming...LOVE your wedding photos. We'll be stopping in to check it out more often.

g said...

wow, I'm impressed by the fresh pasta making. How do you roll it out thin enough? the only time I tried it I made a horrible mess!

Redblur63 said...

It takes patience and a sense of humor to roll out pasta dough, especially by hand. I don't have a pasta maker, and the night we made it, I didn't even have my rolling pin out here. We used a juice glass purloined from a hospital. Dear Daughter was very interested in the process and kept at it until we got a reasonable thickness. Of course, homemade pasta never tastes exactly like the stuff from a bag, but I'm thinking that's not such a bad thing.

Mary Alice said...

I too love the wall color. I am more impressed by the pasta...I have had home made pasta only twice in my lifetime and I those times were sublime. That Barbara Kingsolver book was truly inspiring. I read it last summer.