I’m dreaming… but its not of a white christmas

By now I am sure that you understand Grant’s views on winter.  I honestly wish I was one of those people.  I have always been cold blooded, you will find me wearing a hoody in all, but the warmest of summer days.  For me, once hunting season ends and there is little to nothing to forage, it only means dark days ahead.  My lack of tolerance for the cold wet weather does not diminish my ability to acclimate and survive this season so many love, but it is the most difficult season for me mentally.

Nearly every hobby I have is spring, summer, fall friendly.  Camping, hiking, hunting, foraging, blacksmithing, riding the ol’ ATV, travelling, gardening, etc…. all of these things are more difficult to do in the winter.  So when the time comes, and I know it will every year I try to prepare myself for the inevitable cabin fever.  I turn inward and try to focus more on internal growth, reading, writing, painting.  I enjoy these things very much, but after a short time my mind drifts back to foraging, exploring new peaks and forests… and I get a little fidgety… just a little.  I try as often as possible to think of activities that make me feel like I am doing something I would during warmer times.  One of those things I will share with you today is prepping food.  Over the years I have found myself hunting less and foraging more, not sure why, but I think its just been the lack of time during season.  With foraging comes food preparation, or storage.  You have to do something with the bounty you have found.  Now in the raining, snowing, below zero days we have in winter there is nothing to forage, so I improvise.

One lonely winter day at the store I happened across a hand crank pasta machine.  Now I could have bought a more high tech machine, but I thought to myself… this will take more time, and time I’ve got.  Dried pasta is incredibly cheap to purchase and I am sure many of you would rather spend very little money to acquire this dried food staple.  I do not for two reasons, one again is time, I must have something to do, two because I know every ingredient that goes into that pasta including my effort and I like to have a direct involvement with what I am consuming, it just makes me feel better.

So on days I have nothing to do I will turn up the radio, pull the pasta machine out of the pantry, crack open that 5 gallon food grade flour container and prep some food as if I just returned home from harvesting that wheat and grinding it myself.

Here are the two recipes I love to make the most.  I take some of each and mix them into whatever serving size I feel necessary.

“Spinach Pasta Dough”

  • 2eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. water (or as needed)
  • 8 oz. stemmed fresh spinach
  • 1/4 Tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Wilt the spinach in boiling water, roughly 2 minutes.  Rinse in cold water then squeeze dry.

Add the two eggs, olive oil, salt, and spinach in a blender and puree.  Add water a tiny bit at a time if needed to liquefy.

Add dry ingredients to a bowl, make a well in the center and incorporate the wet ingredients.  If it is too wet add a little flour if too dry add a little water.  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is a consistent color and texture.  Form the dough into a mound, cover with a damp towel and let rest for 10-15 minutes.  After resting you can divide up into smaller portions to begin rolling pasta.

 

“Garlic Pasta Dough”

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. water (or as needed)
  • 6 Garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil

Directions are the same as above.  I add my garlic to the wet ingredients to be blended.

Pasta is simple to dry, freeze, or use fresh, and I do a little of each…. its a prepper thing 🙂

spinach linguini and garlic linguini ready to dry
spinach linguini and garlic linguini ready to dry
ye old pasta machine
ye old pasta machine

If you have any hobbies, ideas, time-wasting devices, prepping you do to appease the winter cabin fever be sure to leave a comment!

 

 

Kris Anderson 11/29/2016

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