"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

In Mourning

My brand new camera (the one that Oldest dropped a few posts back) finally completely gave up the ghost this week.  So it is in loving memory that I dedicate this post to the cameras I've loved and lost with a pictorial tribute from photos past.

Egg Noodles

Our rock candy suckers are coming along nicely, although they aren't quite done yet due to the humidity and other factors that slowed our rate of evaporation down around here the last week.  BUT, they are forming and in another few days we should be able to eat them, which is clearly the best part!

Now,  I have a message for all those out there who buy over processed, neatly packaged egg noodles at the grocery store.  STOP!   That's right, stop it.  Just say no.  Sure the so-called egg noodles that you buy in the store are edible and they come already dried but seriously they aren't nearly as tasty as homemade noodles and most of the time they don't even have eggs in them.  Instead they contain ingredients that are barely pronounceable like thiamine monoitrate. 

Homemade egg noodles are EASY to make.  That's right, e-a-s-y.  They are inexpensive.  They are quick to make.  It will take you more time to drive to the grocery store and fight your way past the crowd in the pasta aisle to pick up the store bought, chemistry lab by-products that we call noodles than it will take you to make your own at home with ingredients you likely already have on hand and can definitely pronounce.   If you are thinking about dipping your toes into the water of a more free and self-sustained lifestyle than there is no better place to start than right here. 

There are several different recipes for homemade egg noodles.  Some call for water, some for milk, some for chicken broth and all of them are great.  Personally, though, I like my simple recipe best. 

  1. 1 cup of flour
  2. 1 t. salt
  3. 2 eggs
This recipe will make enough noodles for two people.  I usually triple it and then store it in bulk for my slightly larger than average family.  Feel free to increase the size to whatever is right for you and yours, just make sure to keep the ratios the same. 

Step 1.  Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
Step 2. Make a well in the center of the flour.
Step 3. Crack both eggs into the well and beat them up.  You could beat the eggs separately and then pour them into the well if you don't mind adding an extra dish to wash. 
Step 4. Gradually mix the flour from the sides of the well into the eggs.  Eventually you will get a nice ball of dough. 
Step 5. Turn out your dough onto a well floured surface.  Use your flour liberally on your hands, your surface and the ball of dough.
Step 6. Kneed the dough gently, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking, until the ball is smooth and no longer sticky. Cover the ball in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Step 7.  Flour your rolling pin and surface and roll out your dough to whatever thickness you like from 1/4in. to paper thin, the choice is yours.  Then grab your pizza cutter (easiest) or butter knife and cut out long strips, try to stay as straight as possible. 

That's it.  You're done.  You've made noodles.  You can use them immediately or lay them out on a wire rack (faster) or dishtowel (slower) to dry completely.  Drying is usually the most time consuming aspect of noodle making and typically takes several hours . But once the noodles are completely dried you can store them in an airtight container on your shelf for up to 5 months. 

You may be looking at this last picture and wondering to yourself where all the noodles went.  Well, it's a sad story really.  You see, homemade egg noodles are not safe at my house.  They will sit there, minding their own business, trying to dry and my DH will come along and devour them one by one.  I try to protest on their behalf but my pleadings fall on deaf ears.  So I've had to resort to drying my noodles in batches.  One small batch that I keep on the counter in the kitchen, the sacrificial batch if you will, which DH spends all day picking at.  And the other batch, which I don't get out of the fridge to cut and dry until just before bedtime.  They are dry by the time I get up in the morning (usually just before DH gets up) and I can put them all away before he even notices that they were there at all.  I know it's pathetic but that's life when you are a married to an egg noodle addict.