Thursday, August 27, 2009

Noodle Making!

I remember a friend of my mom's making spaghetti noodles from scratch when I was young. She had a huge table top spaghetti maker and the noodles were drying all hung over the dowels of a clothes rack. I've been wanting for so long to try this but had no idea how to get ahold of one of those makers. Lo and behold, a friend offered one to me, a smaller version that clamped onto the table and I've been waiting for the opportunity to try it out.

A windy day morning graced us today and I thought "enough with these bored cranky kids! Let's make noodles!" I found some recipes online of course, as well as videos on YouTube and we ploughed right in.

The dough is just flour and eggs and it's super hard to work with. Once we kneaded it awhile it sat for 30mins. We cut it in half and rolled one piece out a bit, just to get it a bit thinner.

The pasta cutter has two parts to it. The first part is simply a roller. It has a dial so you set the rollers at their furthest setting and run the dough through. You run it through over and over setting the rollers closer each time until you get to the last one and the dough is super thin. It's gotten really long by this point so you lay it out, flour it a bit and cut it in half so it's easier to work with.

The second part of the machine has two cutters, one for spaghetti and one for Tagliatelle. (I thought it was a lot like linguine). You run the super thin dough through the cutter and lay the new pasta somewhere to dry. I used parchment paper on different surfaces for drying.

I discovered that once they've dried for awhile, they get crispy so if you do this you need to put them somewhere where you won't want to move them until they're dry.

I made them for dinner, they only boil for a few minutes and we did two sauces; tomato with meat and roasted veggies (zucchini from the garden!) as well as an Alfredo sauce. We were very proud of eating our own hard work. They were good and softer than store bought noodles.

I put the rest of the dried noodles in a container in the fridge. I read that you can keep the noodles in the cupboard for a long time but I just thought with the raw eggs I'd put 'em in the fridge. All in all it was fun! The kids really enjoyed making them. You can use the same dough to cut lasagna noodles, or roll cannelloni or wrap ravioli or tortellini.

This recipe for dough made enough for our whole family for dinner and probably one more meal, so that's quite a bit of pasta.

Dough: 2.5-3 cups flour, 4 eggs + 1 egg yolk and 1.5 tsp of oil. I had to add a bit of water to make the dough workable. I found a million recipes online and they were all just slight variations of one another so I just picked one and went with it.

It seems to take forever to upload photos to Blogger, so click here for an album of all the photos!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fresh Hurricane Damage Reported in Newfoundland

Following days of devastation along the coast of Nova Scotia and the Eastern United States, more damage by Hurricane Bill has been reported in the small coastal community of Torbay, Newfoundland.

Carman Thiessen, resident of Motion Dr, awoke this morning to find her sunflower patch completely flattened by Bill, now lessened to a tropical storm. "We have intense storms here all the time," says Thiessen, "we've lost many personal belongings left in the yard as well as siding from our house, but this new devastation is the worst of it all."

Thiessen grew these sunflowers from seed in her house, and lovingly transplanted them to a patch in the backyard when they were a mere few inches tall. "It's not the most protected spot in the yard," she admits, "but they'd done so well so far. I just can't believe this is what broke them."

The sunflowers - many of whose stalks exceed 1 inch in diameter - are all about 4ft tall but had yet to flower. "I've been watching every day because they were so close to opening up. I knew that patch of bright flowers would make me smile every time I saw it"

Now, it will only be sadness she feels when she looks out her window into her garden. She is very thankful though, that the pumpkins and zucchini survived the storm. "The veggies are still in tact and the tomatoes. I believe that is because they lie much closer to the ground, not because they were stronger or more resilient in any way."

The sunflowers were unfortunately pulled out at the roots, so while Thiessen may attempt to pack them back in the ground, she fears the worst. "I think this is the end for them. I may try to stake them up and cover their roots, but I'm not holding my breath that anything will help."

Through the hard times, Thiessen still keeps a positive outlook on the future. "I won't let this ruin me forever, the pain will still be as fresh as the churned earth, but I will try again next year."

The T6 news, Torbay.