As I mentioned earlier I have had a bit of time on my hands which is ending soon. One of my goals has been to get good at making pasta. I have made it several times in the past with mixed results. It never quite got to the level I wanted it to be. We can get Ohio City Pasta at our Farmers Market and they set the bar pretty high. The other issue is I am like the peanuts character Pig Pen with flour. The entire kitchen was a mess the last time I did it and I looked like Casper the friendly ghost. So this time I set out to learn from the past and get an acceptable pasta on the table. I am a fan of semolina flour and found that the pizza dough we like the best was a combination of regular and semolina flour. I have tried doing an all semolina pasta dough and it was not to my liking. This time I used 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of semolina with 2 eggs and 2 table spoons of water. I mixed the dough by hand with a fork and hand kneaded it. I did 3 batches 2 regular and one I also added 1/2 package of frozen spinach that I squeezed the water out and minced finely. I had to add a little more water or flour depending on how the dough was coming out. I then let them rest for 30 minutes. I ran one batch of the regular and spinach through our kitchen aid mixer pasta rollers as a fettuccine. These were hung with care on the drying rack. At this point they looked fabulous but the truth is in the tasting.
My next trial was to make ravioli. I made a quick filling from 1# ricotta, dash of nutmeg, 1 egg, 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, the remaining spinach and zest of 1/2 lemon. I assembled the ravioli and brushed one side with an egg wash so it would stick together and well they looked great as well.
I loved the one green one!
So now came the big test. Care had made sauce for a meal earlier in the week and it was one of the best. I cooked each of the pastas and they were served with that sauce. The regular pasta was ….well it was actually great!! I was so happy it hit the mark. We tasted the spinach and …..it was even better!! I will use fresh spinach next time but the flavor come through even through the tomato sauce. So now we get to the ravioli. We both were really excited as we bit into the noodle portion it was perfect and then we hit the filling. What was that zinging taste?? The lemon. The filling was great but the lemon zest was overpowering even through the tomato sauce. It would have been unbelievable if it was not for that. Care mentioned that she would have not let me do it but alas I was left alone to my own devices. So next time I will make our own ricotta (it is easy and so much better than store-bought), fresh spinach and NO LEMON. All in all a good learning experience and the kitchen stayed pretty clean as I put bath towels everywhere. I am looking forward to branching out with other flavors as time permits. Any one have any fresh pasta hints to pass on??
As you might have guessed Melissa I have a bit of time on my hands. While I am not cooking much I did do some salmon on the grill with a lime chipotle rub that is Care’s favorite along with grilled asparagus. She deserved a good meal as she has been taking exceptional care of me and not doing much for herself. Enough of the pre-amble I have not posted for a while and feel pretty bad that you are taking the lions share but here is a follow-up to your spice rack posting. As you can guess we have a lot of spices and the organization well here it is as best I can explain it.
The Main Spice Rack
The Main spice rack has the most common used items on it and is in our small pantry. The top shelf are items like curry, turmeric and other oddities. 2nd shelf has the dried green things like parsley, oregano, and all that good stuff, 3rd shelf continues with more of the green. The bottom shelf is my personal favorite and contains the bottles of various rubs I use on the grill and in the kitchen. As you can see most of these are Penzey’s.
The Other Stuff
The next location is for the little guys and some of the baking stuff. Main organization strategy was by size. This really is no help in finding what you are looking for as you might guess. To think that I have done 5-S organization strategies for a living I could come up with something better but it works.
Now to my personal favorite! These are two Ikea boxes full of Penzey’s “Bag O Spice”. Most of these are rubs or spices I use to make the rubs for the smoker. Again the organizational strategy is 2 boxes full of bags. Again it somehow works. So that is our spices and as you can see no clear format for storage. Hope to put up a food post soon!
The writers and most of the people who comment on this blog are either family, friends, neighbors, and mostly a combination of all of these, the line is kinda blurred. I am always pleased and somewhat surprised when we have others interested in what we are writing and eating. So I would like to point out some people who have commented and have great blogs going as well.
Inherchucks has a really nice blog and features others who link when they get a new box from the CSA. Thanks for the invitation. I am really jealous that there is citrus in the boxes I have seen on this blog.
Tammy McLeod (Arigirls) blog again a really nice blog we should go visit. There are some really neat posts and recipes.
So thanks for your visits and comments and we welcome all of the visitors to comment, add some recipes, and join in.
It is interesting that this blog started last year when Chris and Elyse joined a CSA and thought we should blog about what to do with the box. The end of our growing season came in the fall and the blog entries slowed as well. I know I thought about it and started a few but just never quite finished them. Well the 1st box arrives and the sh@t hits the blog! Everyone is back at it. I noticed a few that I should post from earlier so here is one of them from Easter and what a nice meal we had and had again.
This Easter was a wonderful time with Family and Friends and lots of Food! We went to Duma’s Meats and picked up a whole smoked ham. This was a beautiful hunk of meat. I prepare this my favorite way with a pineapple bourbon glaze. It is a pretty simple way of doing a ham and the recipe from The New Basics Cookbook is done in an oven at 350 deg. I adapted this to our grill which frees up the oven space for the side dishes and also adds more smoked flavor to the ham. First the ham is studded with cloves and then packed with brown sugar on the top third. I place the ham in a shallow baking pan and place it on the grill using the outside 2 burners for indirect heat our grill will reach 340 to 350 degrees. The ham cooks for 30 minutes. While the ham is cooking add 1 large can of pineapple chunks, 1 large jar of orange marmalade to a saucepan on the stove and heat to combine the ingredients. When the glaze has simmered for about 10 minutes remove from the heat and add 1 cup of bourbon to the pan. Add a shot to yourself and pour the glaze over the ham. Baste every 20 minutes and cook for another 1 1/2 hours. Let the ham rest and pour off the remaining glaze skimming any fat. Slice the ham and serve with the remaining sauce. This is really very good and as you can see a ham will go a long way.
Ham leftovers #1 – ham and scalloped potatoes. This is layered with onion and ham and a white cream sauce. Absolutely wonderful flavor and uses a lot of ham up.
Ham leftover #2 – Ham salad. I love ham salad every once in a while. It brings back the memories of going to the Isaly’s store or Lawson’s and getting a cardboard pint of the stuff. We have a grinder attachment for mixer and it grinds the ham in no time flat.
Grinding the Ham
Ham leftover #3 – Split Pea soup this used the ham bone to make a very nice soup one of our favorites.
We made Easter Dinner for 10, gave away lots of leftovers, and made 3 more meals from 1 ham. What are some of the best multiple use meals that you have made? Add some comments or post them as the thoughts hit you.
I have been waiting all year for this and it is finally here. The CSA box! I feel like yelling the CSA box is here! The CSA box is here! So I guess I got that out of my system. I had intended to write a long-winded post during the winter on why buying into a CSA is the right thing to do but I found it, well, boring and preachy. So let me just say after our 1st year we upped our CSA from Birdsong Farms to include the fall option so YES it is the right thing to do. From our 1st box as well as some of the other Haymaker Farm Market vendors items we did a shrimp stir fry with garlic scapes, broccoli, brassica, red pepper, snow peas and zucchini. This was served over saffron pasta from Ohio City Pasta along with an orange juice stir fry sauce consisting of orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce and corn starch to thicken it slightly. It is so nice to be eating fresh food raised by friends again. Thanks.
Fresh greens, radishes and turnips from Birdsong and Deck Art from Uncle Ross
Must have been OK!
A few weeks ago we fired up the smoker for one of my favorites a whole smoked turkey. For this one I make a sauce of Penzey’s cajun spice with chicken broth, lemon juice, and melted butter. I inject this mixture throughout the turkey. It then gets a rub of olive oil and cajun spice. It heads to the smoker for about 6 hours at 225 degrees. This one was done with cherry and apple wood. Not a lot to it just keep the wood going and check the turkey with a instant read thermometer for the proper temperature. Hard to beat the rich full flavor! We topped it off with Birdsong Farms fabulous potatoes grilled in foil. If you have not tried Matt’s potatoes you do not know what you are missing. A new entry in the corn wars is Heron Hills Farm. This was the end of the season corn and it was ….well better than Szalay’s!
It smells wonderful!
Well it is that time of year again, APPLE TIME!! It is hard to believe but Care and I have canned applesauce and tomatoes for 34 years now! We bought a nice mix of apples and a few pears for round 1 of applesauce this year. We got a nice mix of blems from the Haymaker Farm market. There were some red and yellow delicious, looked like some ida reds, and a few heirloom varieties as well as a few pears in that batch. Then we went to Beckwith’s Orchard and picked up some empires. My favorite part of making applesauce is that we have the most marvelous machine made ever THE SQUEEZEO!We had purchased this used 34 years ago and I am still amazed that this simple machine works, works well, and they still have parts for it. It is one of those things that just works, you don’t have to re-boot every half hour either.
The Softened Goo!
So the basics for this is you cut up some clean apples. No need to peel or remove stems or seeds the SQUEEZEO does it all. Just add a little cider or water to a pan and soften the apples. Then the fun starts. Load the hopper and turn the crank. The skins and junk goes into one bowl and delicious applesauce goes in the other bowl. Not a spec of junk in the sauce. With all of the varieties there is no need to add sugar so this is just the best. A little Penzey’s Cinnamon and you are set. These get a boiling water bath for 20 minutes and then you listen for the best sound the pop of the lid sealing on the counter. Next round will have some cranberries in it. It was really special today as the next generation has joined the canning time. The girls helped wash the apples and maybe got a little wet on the deck with their Uncle Mark who the have met for the 1st time. They both took turns at the squeezeo turning the crank so I can see some helpers on the way. Lella helped me stir the apples today and really I think the girls had a good time in the sun on the deck canning sauce!
The magic begins!
Cooling on the shelf!