There is no better gift then food. It's a tangible expression of love, passion and creativity that can be taken into the body with the intention to nourish. How fantastic is that. It brings comfort, strength, memory, joy. To be able to create this, see it, touch it, taste it... it's a special kind of special.
I bake. I am a baker. I have been baking since I was old enough to jump on the counter and reach things from the top shelf of the top cupboard. My mum had given me a book called Mudworks for Christmas when I was 10 and in this book was an architectural recipe for gingerbread houses. It was fragrant and hard as rocks. No matter how hard I tried to not over mix the dough or over cook the cookies, it was always hard. I would make sure that I always gave tea with the cookies so people like my grandmother wouldn't break their teeth. Now that I know what I know about baking, I realise that 6 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of water shouldn't be in any cookie recipe. But that is when I started to enjoy baking.
Now my ginger cookie recipe is chewy, soft and made with fresh ginger grated with care. There is no water in the recipe at all.
Over the weekend I baked for a collective 24 hours, I pounded out over a dozen different kinds of cookies and treats. I watched as a table filled with over $200 of ingredients slows diminished and beautiful, treats started to pile up beside it.
But not everyone likes cookies, cakes and sweets. Not everyone can have these things. I have a large family and between my mothers allergies to anything cow related to my aunts kidney disease, my dad's insatiable sweet tooth and my brothers cynical ways... I have to make sure that everyone can have something.
and then it dawned on me. What's easy to make, easy to alter and everyone (I thankfully do not have any gluten sensitive family members) can enjoy? Fresh Pasta. I received an old fashioned pasta maker and cutter for Christmas a few years back and realised that this might make a perfect gift. The pasta that is, I like my pasta machine far too much to give that up.
I picture fresh herbed pasta or cracked black pepper. My Dad likes really thin noodles and my mum just likes anything fresh and organic. This is easy, it's healthy and I'm going to do this.
I looked on line for direction and method. I wish I had been able to spend time with my mothers grandma who came over from Italy in the early 1900's as a teen. She used to cut pasta by hand, rolling it out with a broom handle and laying it out on the bed over a towel all the while her home made pasta sauce bubbled on the back of the stove. Using her hands she would motion for my mother to keep eating, at 10 years old she was thin for her age and this was the during the times that thin was out. It was my mothers grandma's mission to make my mum gain some weight.
This is the site that I found that I'm going to use as my method. I'll let you know (hopefully) how it goes!