Tuesday, December 13, 2011


(view during our sledding activity at dusk)

Well, I do have a pretty good excuse for not being online for awhile. I couldn't find my camera cord to upload images, alas no pretty pictures to illustrate a day in the life. But, today I found it,
and I have a TON to share with you! :)

These next few posts may be out of sync as far as actual dates go, but I'm sure you won't mind too much. I'll try to keep as clear as possible.

Today was a perfect winter's day for our family. We woke up late, and had chile egg puffs for breakfast. I homeschooled Constable and Beans for about an hour, then we all got our morning
chores done. Then, Mountain Man proceeded to start on a new dinner for tonight.

One of the things I love about my husband's work is that he has to cook, and he has to be good at it. So, occasionally, he comes home really excited about a new recipe he's learned from another firefighter (they take turns cooking) and wants to cook it for us. Twist my arm, why dontcha!

Anyways, he came home the other morning raving about a chicken noodle soup they'd made while on his shift. With homemade noodles... :) This morning he cooked up some chicken breasts in stock (they used a whole chicken, but we didn't have one plucked on hand). We love Shirley J's chicken stock - not only does it last up to 20 years in storage, but it also has no MSG, which is hard to find in bullion. I'm getting distracted.

Once it stews for awhile, he strains the fat out of the stock and chops up the chicken - we did pretty big pieces because by the time your soup is done, they flake into smaller pieces anyway. Then, we added dried onions from the cannery, celery, dried carrots from the cannery(our fresh carrots weren't very sweet, so we opted to try out the dehydrated - I'm glad we did), peas, and corn. We also added salt, and freshly ground peppercorns (another whole spice that we store whole and grind with our mortar and pestle --I've transitioned over to whole spices when possible--I'll save the explanation for another post!).

Then, we turned our attention to the noodles.

Mountain Man said it's actually really easy to make fresh pasta. All you need is flour, eggs, and salt. I asked him how much? He said, uh, you guess. Hmmm....I already know I'm going to botch this, I say. No, he says, it's all a matter of just knowing what you need it to be. What?! Can my husband please fail at something? No? Fine. Moving on...

He kneads the dough 'til it's ready..(uh, huh, you know, when it's READY), then he starts to roll it out,

slices thick strips with a pizza cutter, and then we get to the fun stage. The kids joined in as we fed it through our pasta maker to make thick, lovely noodles. Aren't they purty? :)

Because fresh noodles cook very fast, we decided to hold off on putting the noodles into the soup. Instead, we all threw on our snow gear, and went sledding in the ravine behind the house(excuse the red eyes, please. I have not yet installed my editing program onto this computer). At sunset. A beautiful time to enjoy ourselves. We examined and identified animal tracks in the fresh snow (we found a deer, a rabbit, a coyote, and a bobcat - to me they all look VERY similar, but we learned that you actually look at several factors to identify tracks - such as placement, patterns, etc).

Then, we came back home to a crackling fire in the woodstove, and a wonderful smelling dinner. We added the noodles (hanging the leftovers to dry),

baked the rolls,

and mixed some lemon juice into lemonade. I pulled out some of our flavored ice cubes (these were strawberry) to add a little flair.

The kids said the chicken noodle soup trumped our man stew, which is amazing seeing as they LOVE man stew. Not only has this opened a great new recipe to our collection, but it has opened my eyes to the world of fresh pasta. We are anxious to try it again!

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