We had to go get an emergency stash of hay this week, which took us by Breshears Nursery and farm stand in Alstead. We stopped to see what they had, and was pleasantly surprised at the variety. They had fresh peas, small yellow squash, small zucchini, yellow beans, and a bunch of hot house tomatoes, which I decided to pass on.
I was also in Keene to get our raw milk, and noticed that Stonewall Farm now has quite the collection of local farmers participating in their farm stand. I found several types of sausage, ground chicken, turkey and beef, and someone is making ice cream as well. I tried it, but noticed they had several preservatives in it as well as high fructose corn syrup, sadly, which I really don’t understand the need for. But still, it’s nice to see them all pooling their resources to offer more variety for the local community all week long.
So I had the meat and veg part of the dinner all set, and was trying to figure out the starch part. All of the potatoes for sale right now are from California. Our potatoes were put in so late we won’t be able to rob the new ones for several weeks more at least. Evidently, we won’t start getting Maine potatoes in the stores locally until the end of August. So potatoes were right out. I’ve been thinking of making my own pasta, and decided this was the day to try my new Kitchen Aid pasta maker attachment.
I’m not sure why homemade pasta intimidates me, but it does. I’ve done homemade egg noodles before, but they came out very uneven without the help of the rollers. This time they came out nice and even, and looked and tasted wonderful, with the addition of our own farm fresh eggs. The yellowish almost orange color of those yolks still surprises me almost every day. You can really tell these chickens roam around freely outside.
So, I made a classic cheese sauce with several varieties of local cheese, raw milk, butter that I made from the cream, tossed in peas, zucchini, squash and scallions, and topped it off with bread crumbs. I served it with chicken that we did on the grill. For dessert, I made tapioca pudding, which is from some tropical plant, I know, but I had it on hand, and the milk, eggs and maple syrup are all from within 20 minutes of the house, and it felt like the perfect finishing to a very comfort food dinner.
I’m looking forward to trying some other types of pasta, but the number of flours that I have on hand already to keep us in bread makes me very reluctant to start buying semolina or pasta flour. I want to do some experimentation with what I can get from closer to home. The Connecticut River valley is supposedly known as the grain basket of New England, so more research is required.
[Documented for One Local Summer.]