Pasta, Tortillas, and Local Farms Unwrapped

The recipe is at the bottom of this post--ravioli with roasted squash filling!!


It’s been several weeks now, and things are still going well.  When we started this
project, we had totally open minds, and we approached it as an experiment.  Who  wants to take on a project only to be embarrassed later when it doesn’t work?  Luckily, it appears to be working, and it appears that we can make this work long term.  Other than a few of those ohmygodweforgottosoakthebeanslastnight moments, and the
occasional random shortage (usually seems to be tomatoes and/or fruit), things are running smoothly.

This has really forced us to slow everything down, and it has helped me to manage my
time differently so that I can relax in the evening.  It has been difficult to balance school and family, because schoolwork feels like this constantly revolving assignment with no real deadline—just a constant weight that never goes away.  But reexamining health and food has led to a change in all of my priorities including time,
money, and career goals.

We have been getting further and further away from packaged foods.  We started with bread, and then realized that we were eating our vegetables with packaged pastas and tortillas.  So then we decided to make pasta and tortillas!  I have also gotten pretty good at whipping up a batch of bread to go with dinner—I have nearly perfected focaccia bread!

We have also made friends with some of our local farmers.  One that I have already
mentioned is Turtlebend Farm, which you can find here:  .  We have also gootten to know another friendly couple who own and operate Two Mule Farms, which you can find here: .  It’s a good sign when you show up on Saturday morning and they ask you how your kale tasted last week!  In fact, I had to share my kale
catastrophe, and the kind woman at Two Mule handed me a sheet with kale recipes!   Then her husband educated us a little bit about when in the season kale tastes the best.  How amazing is that?  Ultimately, wouldn’t you want to eat food that someone took pride in growing? His hands picked the kale, squash, and zucchini that fed my
family this week.  And in return, we support his farm, which supports his family.

Unfortunately, this week we made a startling discovery: not all of the food from our
local farmers market is local.  Maybe you already knew this, but we certainly didn’t.  Boy do we feel a little stupid.  After coming home with a huge load of produce, much of which was bought from the same stand, we found stickers on our apples that were from NEW ZEALAND.  Seriously?  We have huge orchards right here in GA, but our apples
came from New freaking Zealand?  Now we are left to question where the rest of our produce bought from that stand came from.  What we do know for sure is that from now on we will never make any assumptions about our food.  This means that in our near future, we plan to visit the farms we feel good about supporting. And we are not just interested in any farm: after meeting the friendly couples who run Turtle Bend and Two Mule, and after hearing them talk about the struggles they’ve gone through to keep their farms running, we realize that want to specifically seek out the smaller local farms.  And we will certainly be joining their CSAs this year!

If any of you are thinking of making a change to your nutrition, but you’re not sure
where to start, I’d urge you to strongly consider starting by buying some of your produce from a local organic farm.  Trust me.  Once you meet them, you’ll understand.

Tonight I’m going to include two recipes, because I wish everyone could know how easy it is to make these things.  The food industry doesn’t want you to know, because if everyone started making their own products then the food industry would lose money, and we can’t have that now can we?   When everyone stops occupying Wall Street, they should all visit a local farm.

Amazing for my first attempt! It even looks like pasta!

Simple pasta recipe:

3 cups flour
5 egg yolks (save whites!)
cup of water on reserve

Place flour in a pile either in a bowl or directly on the counter.  Clear a hole in the center and place the egg yolks inside.  Slowly mix the yolks into the flour, and add sprinkles of water until a dough is formed.  Dough should form a ball and keep its  shape.  Knead for five minutes, and let rest (covered) for 20 minutes.  After dough has rested, knead again and reform a ball.  Pull a section of dough that is enough to form a ball that is larger than a golf ball but smaller than a baseball. Here’s the fun part:

lightly flour a large counter space and roll out dough until it is an oblong shape.  Flour the top of the dough, flip, flour again, and roll.  Continue to roll, flour, and flip until dough is paper thin.  Cut into desired shape and repeat entire process until all dough is rolled and cut.

I made half into ravioli one night, and the other half into fettuccine.  To make ravioli, I used a drinking glass to cut circles in the dough, placed a teaspoon of filling in the center, and folded the circle over.  I sealed it shut by brushing the egg whites onto the pasta and pressing with a fork at the seem.

For fettuccine, I rolled the pasta (short-ways) and cut ¼ inch sections that looked
like little spirals.  They unraveled when I boiled them.

Which brings me to the important part: to cook, place into boiling water for 1 minute.

Alright, so they are a little ugly. But they sure tasted good!


Simple tortilla recipe:

2 cups corn flour
1.5 cup water

Mix flour and water, knead until dough forms a ball that stays together but doesn’t
stick to the bowl.  Break into smaller balls and roll each ball between two sheets of wax paper until it forms a thin, flat shape.  Fry in ungreased pan for 45 seconds on each side.





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