Friday, January 8, 2010

A Little Known Fact About Me

Here's something only a few people know about me - I enjoy making foods from scratch that don't really need to be made from scratch. It amuses me. And shows me how easy scratch really is. I also like the challenge of doing something i'm terrified of.

It started with frosting, cakes and artisanal breads and worked its way up through bagels, pasta sauce, and now, as of last night, it has arrived at lasagna noodles and creme brulee using an actual vanilla bean! My first vanilla bean - cost $4 by the way, and yes, it does make a difference.

As I made the noodles, I was scared but I channelled all the strength of my Italian foresisters as I cracked the eggs into the well of flour and started rotating them with my fingers to incorporate only the barest amount of flour. My first well broke and water and egg ran all over the table! I had to throw the whole mess away. The second try I made a wider well. As I kneaded the dough for 25 minutes, my two year old Giacinta (Gigi) jumped up to knead too! I knew her great great great grandmother Giacinta was smiling down on her. She had a great time pushing the dough around.

It's funny how sometimes women get really defensive when they hear that I make things from scratch - I don't do it to be "better than you", I do it for a hobby. You all know what I mean, i'm sure you get the same thing sometimes when women hear that you quilt. Like an "I could never do that" vibe. Well you know that they CAN do that, they just never have or they aren't interested in trying. To tell the truth, i'm really not that great at cooking - sometimes the recipes come out, sometimes they don't. In fact, those aren't my lasagna noodles at the top of the page, mine were full of holes and looked terrible. And I don't always cook from scratch, just sometimes. I've got a full time job, two kids and a quilting/fabric addiction to tend to!

This year, 2010 is going to be all about doing things I've filed away in my brain but haven't tried because they scare me. I'm going to face my fears and just DO IT this year. I'm almost 39 for Pete's sake!

Where is this penchant for making things from scratch that don't really need to be made from scratch going now, you may ask? Straight into the gooey, sticky arms of marshmallows. Yeah, you heard me right, marshmallows. Because I want to make this - Hot Chocolate Layer Cake with scratch marshmallows.

Aw, yeah baby. Bring it on.


Tonya's Sewing Room said...

way to go...your great, I don't attempt any of that

Katie B. said...

I'm impressed! My friend and my aunt both made marshmallows recently, and they were delicious. That cake looks sinfully delicious!

Wendy said...

Happy New Year from my orange kitchen to yours! This commission quilt your working is my favorite of yours so far, loving the japanese fabric and the quiet colors.
Mushroom houses and tiny deer, love that block!

Jackie Davis said...

WooHoo I knew I liked your blog and you for some reason, hahahaha!! Yes from scratch is great!! Do you have an All profile? I do and i use it to post and share recipes! I love it!!! I want to do noodles. My grandma passed and i dont know if anyone got her noddle recipe, she had the best chicken and noodles!!!

i do from scratch because it's two things... cheaper at times and TASTES better!!! YUM!

more to you later, my little one is fussing!


jess said...

Cake. Chocolate. Damn the healthy eating. I'm making cake tonight!
The best part, for me, of making things from scratch, is that it reminds me of my great grandmother. Thank you for sharing!

Margot said...

I'm really impressed by your blog writing subject....I've always wanted to be fearless but it seems to be taking a long time. Hmm....maybe I will try the eggs in the well. I've got a tortellini recipe but i've been afraid to try it. now that i can buy the meats and cheeses locally, i no longer have an excuse/ You've inspired me!!!
your moomie

Brooke said...

I have always wanted to make noodles! I like your disclaimer that you do it because you enjoy it, not to be "better" than others. Some women get so huffy that! Sheez! I made homemade marshmallows a few years ago...yum. The downside was that my son didn't like guess who ate most of them? Nice.
I am so impressed that you are 100% hand stitching on your quilts. Wow! Great blog!

Cheryl Arkison said...

I'm a scartch cook myself 90% of the time. I don't get people too huffed about it, and I certainly don't lord it over anyone. In fact, I think I inspire some friends (so they tell me) because they see that it can be done. I work full time, have two little ones, a second career and a home reno on teh go. Don't believe all the marketing hype, it isn't that hard to cook for yourself at home.

Barbara said...

I've cooked a meal from scratch every night for the last 40 years, including the time my whole arm was in a sling! It takes NO TIME to make "a meat and two veg." Actual prep time for bean soup: 1.5 minutes before you leave for work. Actual prep time for applesauce with a crank handle ricer: less than 5 minutes. Pork chops, noodles and a salad: 20 minutes including cooking time. It's a no-brainer! And it has no additives or wierd chemicals!

Wanda said...

For some reason, this "little known fact" about you doesn't surprise me at all! After all, you are a quilter that doesn't own a sewing machine so why would it be surprising that you make food from scratch that others wouldn't even think about? ha ha ha My respect for you just keeps growing!