Fiddlehead season in Maine has come, and pretty much gone. With our first collection this year we decided to try something different. With some home made pasta, ricotta cheese from Crooked Face Creamery, and fresh fiddleheads, we spent an afternoon making homemade fiddlehead ravioli.
For the pasta we used a really basic recipe found in one of our many cookbooks that we have tucked away. When I say basic, I mean four ingredients:
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. olive oil
This is a great started base that you can add any type of seasoning too, along with making it out of any flour. We used wheat flour and an Italian seasoning mix that I keep made up in the cabinet – it’s a lot quicker than pulling out all the individual spices. The longest part of it all was rolling out the pasta to cut up for the ravioli. We’ve definitely decided that we’re going to keep our eyes out for a cheap, used pasta machine. As great as homemade pasta is, we don’t really have the time (and I don’t have the upper body strength) to do all that rolling in one afternoon!
The grand thing about homemade pasta is that it only takes a few minutes to cook. After two hours of manual labor it was great to see the pot brimming with a good deal of pasta.
Unfortunately last year’s tomato harvest was a bust due to hornworms and blight. Instead of homemade sauce we’ve been making due with Newman’s Own, a great sauce selection from a wonderful company. With left over filling and sauce to top off the pasta, it looked like a culinary master piece.
It was delicious! Everything came out wonderful…but with one draw back. Apparently some people have issues dealing with digesting raw and undercooked fiddleheads. The patriarch of this household seems to be one of those. Given how horrible Joe felt after eating the ravioli with the uncooked fiddleheads in the filling, we decided the next night to chop it all up, mix it with the sauce, and cook it off as a pasta bake. The result? No illness and a delicious pasta bake that we would never had been able to afford in a restaurant. All in all, everything worked out great and we ended up with a total of six meals out of one afternoon of work.
(Originally published: May 9, 2012.)
Mabon, or Autumnal Equinox, marks the common calendar’s first day of fall. For many Pagan traditions it marks the middle of fall and the beginning of the rush to get in the last harvest.
We’re a mixed faith family – Hubster is a Congregationalist and I’m a Pagan Witch – so there’s always a balance to strike with the holidays. The great thing about the Pagan holidays is how strongly they align to the tides of the year. Holidays are used to mark the passage of the seasons based off from nature and agriculture. They give holidays where they are needed to boost the spirits and keep people going. Mabon is no exception.
This time of year is always crazy-go-nuts. There is jam to finish, pickles to polish up, gourds to find room for, apples to bring in, and gardens to wrap up before the frosts come. Its a time of long days and sometimes longer nights. Mabon comes right in the middle. The equal time of day and night remind us that balance is always a must. Without balance things can fall into chaos.
One of the greatest things about Mabon is the chance to feast. In this time of abundance, it’s guaranteed that you can get in a full meal, one made with love and that can give the chance for a moment to breath and reflect on the crazy season. Given how busy the week can get, we decided to have out Mabon meal last night. We enjoyed spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce. Apple crisp graced the table for our dessert. Only two ingredients weren’t local (minus seasonings in the crisp), and three others didn’t come from our own garden. The tomatoes, green peppers, basil, parsley, and zucchini were all from our own land. It was delicious.
Things have been crazy-go-nuts here on the homestead with harvesting, cutting and splitting wood, prepping for fall classes, and having a mobile little one running amuck. That being said, I figured that I owed you all at least a quick post seeing how it’s been so long.
For the past month or so I’ve been living off from homemade creamer in my coffee. It was an idea I found mentioned on a few other homesteading blogs and I decided to run with it. The recipe is easy enough to memorize and make any time you’re out:
– 2 cups of any type of milk or creamer
– sweetener to taste
– 1 tsp. of vanilla
– spices to taste
So far I’ve played with using cow’s milk, coconut milk, almond milk, heavy creamer, whipping cream, and light cream. Maple syrup, honey, and sugar all work well for sweeteners. Cinnamon sticks, cloves, and almond extract have all joined in the mix on occasion. This is a wonderful add on to any cup of coffee, chai, or cocoa.
In an attempt to try to eat more wholesome on the dessert side of things, we decided to try our hand at homemade ice cream a couple of months ago. (Normally we would have raw sugar in the house only, but with wanting to try this recipe and with canning season fast approaching, we purchased some white sugar.) The recipe itself was super easy:
4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups cream
1 package instant pudding (optional)
The consistency comes out similar to ice milk without the pudding and more like soft-serve with it. After making a patch each way, we decided we liked it better without the pudding, but that it would be a great thing to keep in mind as an easy way to flavor the ice cream.
I’m actually excited that I didn’t get called in to sub today. While we desperately need the money right now, I had my pinto beans soaking last night and was looking forward to this morning and getting them going in the crockpot. This is my first time every making beans and I’m proud to say that I’m using my Grammy Vaughn’s recipe. Depending on how they come out, I may be willing to share.
The picture above is from this morning, thus you can see the onions in all their glory. I’m a little worried I might have added too much water, but that might fix itself if the beans soak up more. The only thing that I didn’t do is add salt pork. Call me a wimp, but now knowing the part of the animal it comes from, it might take me a while to get used to the idea of ever using salt pork again for anything! The plus side of not adding it, though, is that it means the meal is completely vegetarian friendly and will most likely be a lot easier for me to digest.
Hopefully I will remember to take a photo of the beans tonight when we have them for dinner. They will be hanging out in their pot for close to eleven hours before the boy gets home. It will be so tempting for lunch, but I’m going to make sure I don’t eat any until dinner. Well, excluding the occasional taste test for flavoring.
Another plus of this is that I had to buy mustard powder and picked up some Coleman‘s. We’re going to try mixing it up for mustard next time with have brauts or burgers and see how we like it. If it works out well, I might try my hand at growing a mustard plant this spring.