Posted in Uncategorized

Plymouth – the Town & Rock


We have come to this Rock, to record here our homage for our Pilgrim Fathers; our sympathy in their sufferings; our gratitude for their labours; our admiration of their virtues; our veneration for their piety; and our attachment to those principles of civil and religious liberty, which they encountered the dangers of the ocean, the storms of heaven, the violence of savages, disease, exile, and famine, to enjoy and establish. ”
Daniel Webster, 1820


We spent a lovely day in Plymouth Massachusetts last weekend,  visiting the wharf  where Plymouth Rock and a replica of the MayFlower Ship resides.   I wondered if this rock, protected by roof and fence, could really be the one  on which Pilgrims set foot in 1620.  It turns out, that while the specific rock was not documented in the Pilgram’s generation,  maybe finding food and creating shelter was more important at the time,   the identity and location of the rock was passed down from  father to son (according to The History of the Town of Plymouth by James Thatcher, 1835).   What we see today is really a portion (estimated to be less then half) of the same rock from Plymouth history.  Wow!

So,  lets take a minute to be grateful  and admire the Pilgrim’s many sacrifices.  Their voyage and life in the New World was beyond difficult and as you may remember more then half died by the end of their first winter.

2016-08-25 08.54.12

Now back to our day,  we ate lunch at the Lobster Hut a casual  counter service style restaurant at  Town Wharf.  I enjoyed the fried haddock, which was lightly battered, well seasoned and very crisp.  My husband and son had lobster rolls, which were acceptable, and onion rings,  which unfortunately  were greasy.  We still recommend the restaurant for the menu items they did  well, nice customer service and beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.  The day ended with a walk down Long Beach,  a bit of sand five minutes from the wharf in the direction of the Plymouth Plantation.    At low tide the rocky strip  was not impressive, but once the tide went out  there was enough sandy beach to walk a long stretch.

As I said it was a lovely day trip and well worth the time.  I hope you are making some time for fun this summer and encourage you to find something for which  to give thanks.



Posted in Food and Cooking, Uncategorized

Fresh Homemade Pasta on a Weeknight

1471445382711-2046569584Hello Friends and Family,

Today I want to share how we do homemade pasta in our home.   First, for us it’s a family project. Not only because we enjoy creating  a great meal together, but because its difficult rolling and cutting the delicate noodles on our old hand crank machine alone.  Yes, I admit I’m challanged in shaping the pasta.   Second, we ‘ll make a batch anytime, even on the weekdays.  I love it too much  to have it only on weekends or special occasions.  So I needed  a way to reduce the hands on time before dinner when life can get crazy with family errands  or homework.  Here’s how  I do it.

My dough recipe is based on one from ” Lidia’s Italy”, an awesome cookbook by Lidia Bastianich, which also shares  local color from all across the regions of Italy (I love it). I replaced the 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks in the recipe with 4 extra large eggs and 1 yolk. Also I added a pinch of salt to the recipe for flavor.

1471442066436184048261.jpgNow here’s the trick that lets me pull together fresh pasta on a weeknight. In the morning the dough is mixed,  kneaded and shaped in a ball, then it can be wrapped in plastic and rest all day in the fridge.  This cuts down on time in the evening and makes the dough silkier and even more elastic to work.  It’s wonderful. You could also make several batches of dough on a Sunday and freeze the disks double wrapped first in plastic  then tin foil to stay fresh for the week.   Just bring it to room temperature before shaping your pasta.


My pasta roller is a very basic machine,  a low end unit bought years ago, but it keeps rolling and cutting the basic fettuccine we enjoy.  If you’ve never made pasta and don’t have a machine I encourage you to still try the recipe.  I’ve seen the dough shaped with a rolling pin (or even a wine bottle) and cut with a knife.  There are tons videos on YouTube for inspiration.  Try making fresh pasta once to compare, it’s an amazing flavor and so much better when you know what’s in your food.


Recipe for Fresh Pasta Dough for Fettuccine

3 cups “OO” flour ( or all purpose)

4 extra large eggs

1 egg yolk

3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil ( any one with a taste you enjoy)

Pinch salt

Ice water as needed

Pulse flour and salt once or twice in food processor .  Mix eggs and olive oil together then pour through the food tube with the processor running. If the dough doesn’t gather together add ice water a teaspoon at a time until it does. If the dough smears against the side of the bowl add a smalll amount of flour.

Knead the dough for 3 or 4 minutes on a floured surface, again if it’s sticky dust with more flour.  When it’s silky and smooth wrap then leave to rest un-refrigerated for 1/2 hour, for a day in the fridge,  or for a week in the freezer.  Once it’s back at room temperature, roll and cut with the instructions for your pasta machine.  I roll my dough twice through every setting down to number 4, where I can see my hand through the dough. For this thickness I cook the pasta in boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes,  drain and sauce.

When I started making pasta it helped me to take a cooking class (Draeger’s in Danville, Ca.) to see and feel the dough.  It might help you to watch an on-line video to know how the dough should look.   Or just jump in and have fun.  Either way I encourage you to try, it will taste great!






Posted in Uncategorized

European Adventure

My husband, teenage son, and I were recently blessed with an eleven day tour of Munich, Switzerland, and France by car.  Our trip was inspiring, amazing, breathtaking and above all else exhausting!   I kid my husband the trip becomes better every time I think of it, because I forget the tiredness and remember only the special moments.   I’m sharing our trip for my enjoyment, and hopefully yours.  Blessings.   

Posted in Uncategorized

Excerpt from a poem on Motherhood by William Ross Wallace

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

William Ross Wallace 1865