I seem to like dough of all kinds but I really love making pasta!! It’s so rewarding and so much more flavorful than its dried grocery store counterparts.
Amazingly pasta is just two ingredients. Eggs and flour. With three eggs and two cups of flour you can feed a small dinner party. Odds are you have those in your kitchen as we speak!! Add your favorite sauce, oil or vinegar and you have the beginnings of a fabulous hand crafted meal.
This recipe for ricotta cheese is just a warm up intro to making homemade ravioli. The process is quite simple and leaves you with a delicious ricotta well worth the stirring and straining. It’s really just a lot of waiting – waiting as the milk heats, waiting as the mixture stands, waiting as it strains. Very little actual work goes into it!
Plus when you’re all done you can dance around your house singing the “I made cheese” song. Yeah, its happened here a few times…
This week in the studio, fabric came in and quilting began.
We went with a simple gingham pattern and the quilt top is already finished. Now we just need to decide on a fabric color for the binding. We’re leaning towards paprika – sitting down there at the bottom of the stack…
Jam labels have been quite the sticking point. We want to sell a variety of different jam flavors which means a variety of different jam labels will be needed.
To keep product costs down we need to keep label costs down.
This leads inevitably to bulk labeling. We’ve looked into an obscene number of printing companies and scenarios. A few were even looking very promising… yet, there’s no easy way and definitely no cheap way to purchase a run of labels for various jams without investing in at least 1000 of each flavor. Add to that the need to individually mark batch number coding and “best by” dates and you have a bit of a conundrum.
Plus what happens when we come across a farm producing amazing peaches or a stand of blackberries… without labels we’d have to pass that up.
So we broke down and decided to print them ourselves.
this little mini history behind jam jar currency in England – great little write up by Pam Corbin concerning jar deposits during the 20′s and their use as currency for entrance into social clubs and movie theaters
this list of gin cocktails – gin being Sam’s favorite but rarely drank liquor I figure it’s about time we tried some variations
Todd McFarlane’s art book – the comic book geek in me is in love with the subtitle of this book – so very apropos
David Lebovitz’s write up regarding his new book – a wonderful insight into process and some really kick ass photos, all mixed with David’s spunky personality
this food magazine personality test – if you mix my favorites you get “You will retire to the country and wear beautiful English galoshes while gardening… You probably grew up somewhere with wide open fields and dark woods… You don’t like bright colors and screaming babies.” Fascinatingly accurate…
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This is the sign that we’ve made for our market and show booth. As this can be easily translated into any type of sign – family name, child’s name, favorite quote – we’ve decided to give a quick tutorial to show just how easy wooden lettered signs are to make!
During the last few months we’ve been designing, planning and purchasing everything we’ll need for our market booth props. We’ve been thinking over colors and flow, how to create height and how to still have open uncluttered space. Most importantly how to best present our wares in a simple and clean manner.
This past weekend in the workshop was very productive. We churned out a whole plethora of kitchen utensils and a few cutting boards.
Made out of maple, these tools have a wonderfully satisfying heft. Over the last few months the prototypes have been in steady rotation in our kitchen. I have noticed myself gravitating to them more and more.
The scraper is my go-to for any sauteing, it’s so much more tactile for flipping and tossing and with it’s wide profile it fits more comfortably in your hand for increased control. Plus it’s great for making stews and soups where you need a broad flat edge for scraping the bottom of the pot.
The spatula has been great for mixing batters and dough, it’s curved edge aiding in bowl scraping so not a drop is wasted with the back side being useful to get into any corners if your bowl happens to have that type of bottom.
The jam spreader has the means to make toast into it’s own special ritual and has assisted in filling cookies and tarts. It’s also been frequently complimented by house guests when brought out to our breakfast table when serving pancakes. It’s been surprising just how rewarding using a spreader truly designed just for jam can be.
For some reason I have always wanted a bundt pan. I really don’t know why. They’re pretty kitschy and are very 70′s. I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy a full priced brand new one since it’s a specialty pan that will get very little use in my kitchen. While out thrifting I’ve kept an eye out for a vintage Nordic Ware pan, the heavier version. A few weeks ago, it’s day finally came and for a whole dollar I picked up this baby.
This week we’ve been so concentrated on business that very little has occurred in the studio proper. There has been a lot of computer work regarding textile product design and research. To that end there is a package of quilting fabric currently in the mail on its way here, various thoughts in progress regarding screen printing and a search on for the best fabric prices.
So, in deference to this little studio lull, today we’re sharing a quilt that we made quite a while ago. The fabrics used in this quilt are vintage Vera napkins we used at our wedding. Though we were married out in a field with no electricity or running water, we still had all the conveniences of milk glass vases full of flowers, cloth tablecloths and napkins, and even silverware and china plates.