Taking a break from the lambing today..... I enjoy cooking and a bit of baking - especially when I have time to try out new recipes. In the summer with the longer days and our farming schedule, I don't have the luxury of such experimentation. Over the weekend, my mom and my two nephews Nicholas and Francisco who have been living in Brazil came up and spent the weekend with us. Besides lots of teaching them all about sheep farming, we made a bunch of really great meals. Friday night we made homemade pasta. Before we cooked it, we hung it on the kitchen line to keep it neat. It looked like this.
I love Marcella Hazan's cookbooks - especially Essentials of Italian Cooking. I use her basic pasta recipe and it never fails. Depending on the weather, I need to add more flour or water. We served it with Marcella's simple ham, mushroom, and cream sauce. I used ham from my own pigs so it was a pretty fun meal.
My great longtime friend Linda and I share a love of cooking (along with a love of knitting and yarn). She always gives me the most amazing cookbooks for my birthdays and Christmas. I look forward to what she picks for me and it is tough for me to reciprocate with equally amazing books (but I try). For my 50th, Linda gave me Jamie At Home by Jamie Oliver. I love this cookbook - the photos, the paper, the chapter openers are all so arfully done. I'm using the short winter days to browse through it and decide what to make. Here is one of the hand-printed feeling intros to onions. Throughout the book, there are tips for growing veggies and lovely block-prints. It's a visual feast.
The book brings you right there - to Jamie's garden and kitchen. Last summer, I made his amazing ketchup with my garden's tomato glut. Next summer, I highly suggest you try it too! It really isn't ketchup like you know.
For Christmas, Linda gave me James Beard's Fireside Cookbook. It is a 60th anniversary edition. I love reading this book and thinking back to when cooking was different -- when there weren't the choices in the grocery store that we have now. The Fireside Cookbook is illustrated by Martin and Alice Provensen. Perhaps you know their work with Margaret Wise Brown and "The Color Kittens." I am crazy for all the illustrations. Here are a few delightful samples.
At the Fair:
Delighful spot art:
The book jacket of this book unfolds and a poster is printed on the wrong side. What a gift it is! Thanks so much Linda. I've got to start cooking from it soon.
I relish more chances to read and cook and knit in the winter. How about you?