I had what I would call a 'great day' today. The sun is shining and our little straw bale house is, as usual, at a nice and comfortable 22 degrees. That in itself is not a big deal other than the fact that we have not had a source of heat in the house for four days now other than burning one stove-load of scrap door-trim cuttings last night. It was a little chilly when we got home from visiting with friends and there was some scrap lumber trimmings laying just outside the front door. So I grabbed them and lit a fire and it burned for a little while and was just enough to take the chill out of the house for the night. The stove was cold this morning as it was only a partial load and it was small pieces of 1" wood. We woke this morning and it was comfortable enough that I didn't light a fire...we just did some cooking for breakfast and the room temperature was perfect. Throughout the day today the passive solar design did its job and right now as I type, I could not be more comfortable.
We took a little drive earlier this afternoon to visit with some people who milk Jerseys. We have always loved the breed and wanted to see their little operation and visit with some like-minded people. We took home a gift of 1/2 litre of whole milk to try. It brought back some strong memories of Uncle Pete and Aunty Dianne's farm to see that thick layer of off-white cream floating on the surface of pristine white milk ice cold in the jar. I cannot wait for a nice jersey milk latte this evening after supper.
Which brings me to the last part of a great day...I made pasta! I borrowed Kevin Kossowan's pasta ummm press? machine? It's a thing that rolls out pasta dough and then you can also use it to cut pasta...whatever that is called. It was a wonderful little machine with a hand crank that worked magnificently. I played around with a simple pasta recipe of 1lb flour and 6 eggs. Using my Pasta and Pastry Flour I took my time kneading and got the dough to a perceived perfect state for pasta. First off though, I did sift the flour to remove most of the bran and germ. There is still enough in the flour to make it obvious, but feedback from experts and my own intuition told me to sift it. The dough rolled out through the machine looking like store-bought, but smelling so fresh and 'grainy'. It boiled up quickly to perfection and tastes well, like pasta I suppose. That is a triumph in my family when something works out to taste or look like it should. The only difference being that it is fresh and homemade and organic. It was very satisfying as I kneaded the dough to think about handling kernals of wheat last spring in the seed drill and now in February I was making pasta with the wheat from those seeds!
I boiled up the fresh pasta 'al dente' and mixed in some tomato pasta sauce. Then I put it in a large casserole dish and I will cover it with a shredded blend of cheeses including what I choose to spare of my small block of Smoky Valley Goat Cheese's "pyraneese (ripened)" cheese. This cheese is my new favorite cheese in the world. I haven't tasted better...ever.
Anyway, this was part of my day today...a wonderful day filled with wonderful foods, wonderful weather, family and friends. I feel lucky.