Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Rockwell Relay–2014 Part 2


Attempting to stay true to my quest of shorter posts this is a continuation of my Rockwell Relay report the first part it here.

I apologize for not having more pictures to entertain you, my friends and readers, but I was
  1. having a pity party
  2. secondly, I just wasn’t thinking “blog” like I have in the past, I think mainly because I was having a pity party
  3. third, we were in race mode, we were doing this to improve and NOT come in last place like we did last year
  4. fourth, at least for me, I didn’t want to be passed by the noon group, which meant my focus was somewhere else other than pictures.
  5. I KNEW Superman was going to be awesome and I wanted to be awesome too, but with this first leg it wasn’t happening. . . stupid wind! 


Yeah, I was having a pity party

So the photographer in me. . . well, wasn’t

Continuing with my obsession with pizza! 


Our pizza from Paradox Pizza was on its way to our hotel we determined that we should probably head that direction and fortunately we did just that. . . as we were crossing the street to our destination, up came the pizza delivery car!


paradox pizza logo

We ordered a tomato basil with white sauce concoction, but after eating my bratwurst I wasn’t much into the hungry thing any longer, which created a unique problem. . .

Superman just ordered ME a pizza, that I ASKED for and WANTED and now I felt the NEED to consume at least one piece. . .  I didn’t want to be rude or appear unappreciative or something like that. . .  so I ate a piece and. . .

it was some of the MOST DELICIOUS pizza I have ever had. . .

Period

and all of a sudden, I could have eaten another slice! 



It was so tasty that I could have eaten TWO more slices . . .

so now I had an entirely new problem. . .

I didn’t want to appear as a glutinous pig. . .



so I restrained myself to one piece saving the remainder for the ride that would last over the next two days.




it was a good decision. . . and pizza is now on the list of “we are going to get pizza next year too"!




Fast forward to Friday morning. . .

we were in bed by about 11:00 and slept very peacefully then the alarms went off at 5:00 am time to get up and moving. . . the race was about to begin, with Doug being our first rider he was feeling the stress of the day first.



picture from 2013 Rockwell files - taken by Rockwell photographer

As a group we decided not to all ride the first mile together like we did last year.  As we reflected on last year it was decided that starting as a group was more of a distraction to the first rider, we ended up falling behind and had to regroup anyway, so we skipped that part.

We went to Swanny Park, got Doug on his way then back to the hotel for a waffle for breakfast. . . YUM!  a happy thing for beginning my day. . . I got breakfast, even with the early start!

Isn't it great how sometimes life just works out.

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Now it was time to get down to business.  Doug was 35 minutes down the road and we needed to get to him and make sure he had what he needed to keep going. . . it was early, not to hot and he was the first rider so we weren't too concerned but the wind, as predicted was going to be a problem. . . that was obvious.

Doug appeared to be doing well, exceptionally well.

It was obvious the wind was blowing as the weatherman said it would be, both Rod and Linda made note of that fact and was glad we changed our time slot. . .


I still wasn’t sure. . .
I silently agreed basically remaining quiet on the subject

Rockwell File Photo from 2013

As we arrived at the first exchange,

I was ready,

                                                                 ready to ride

and began to warm up just a bit.  Around the block I went,


                                                                      around the block again

. . . and again

. . . from my perspective, the wind didn’t seem too bad and I was still questioning whether or not 6:00 was a good idea, as I finished my 4th lap around the block, Doug still hadn't arrived and now it was after 9:00. . . I was getting grumpy within my mind. . . mix that with the anxiousness that sets in as your leg is coming up is not always a good thing.  I couldn't find Superman or Linda and decided it was just as well and so I waited at the top of the street for Doug.

He arrived with a slower time than we were hoping for on this first leg, it was evident the wind was taking it's toll. . .  he handed off the bracelet thingy (the baton of sorts)


                                                       it was my turn.

and I was off. . .

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Happy to be on my way I began my first leg of 44 miles, this was one of my favorite legs last year, so I was excited.

As I crested my first intsty wincy hill the wind started to hit me but all was good, I was riding and it felt good.  starting out riding alone. . . I was passed by a couple of guys, but I was not strong enough to hang on so I remained solo for the majority of the first half, this appeared to be a good sign, if people aren't passing then you aren't going too slow. . . it all figures into the equation.

One of the guys who passed me was wearing a black jersey with a big pink stripe down the middle. . . very identifiable. . . as we began the next climb I started to gain on him and my confidence was boosted. . .

. . . he became my carrot

and I spent the next hour trying to close the gap between us.  I soon realized it would be on the climbs because that is where I made progress in my quest.

The wind had begun to pick-up and was RELENTLESS and I wondered in my mind if it would be this way the whole way, ultimately deciding that this was the way it would be. . .

ALL DAY. . . 

I continually wondered if it would be like this for the 9:00 starters, would it be
worse?
better?
there was no way to know . . . what I did know is that they were only about 45 minutes into their ride and then I wondered how long it would take for the faster riders to catch us.

This question would plague me for the rest of the day

The question I thought about and haunted me the most was. . . 


Would I have to battle these winds up Boulder Mountain???
the possibility scared me just a little.

As I came to one of my favorite sections of the ride the wind was blowing so hard that even though I was going downhill on a 5% grade was still only able to muster up 19-20 mph. . .

not good


I was also watching the clock. . . it was my goal was to do this leg in 2:30 and at this rate it WAS NOT going to happen and I began to be frustrated and doubt myself.

STUPID WIND!!!

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As I arrived at this amazingly cool part of the road where the road is literally carved between two cliffs of red rock.  I looked ahead and saw superman standing at the mouth waving his arms.  The wind had subsided slightly and I was picking up speed which I was finding enjoyable.

Then I noticed the motion he was using to wave me down. . .

SEVERE CROSSWINDS HERE!!!

as I came out from behind the wall of rock.  I slowed down to nearly a stop and was about blown off the road!

How grateful I was that they were there to warn me.  The wind hit with such gusting force that it would have blown me off the road.

Shortly after this the road dipped down into a ravine, then up again to a long steep 8% uphill pull.  My “carrot” was about half way up talking to his team.  They got him going again and shortly after they drove off he got off his bike and was walking up the hill.  I smiled to myself and gloated with one of those internal conversations about how I was actually out climbing him which made me AWESOME. . . .

Shame on me. . .

I later found out that the guy that I had deemed as my carrot WAS blown off the road into an oncoming car, which had to swerve into the opposite lane to avoid hitting him because he was in their lane at the mercy of the wind blowing him into a rock on the opposite side of the road due to that viscous, nasty crosswind. . .

which is what alerted my team to stop and warn me of, saving me from the same fate! 

Now you see why I felt bad!  Shame on me!!!

at the summit of this last big hill, I was stocked up with water and fizz tab bottle and my team was on their way to approx 5 miles up the road, still uphill but not sporting nearly the grades of steepness of the previous one.

That was the arrangement.   We would go 2 1/2 – 5 miles find a place to pull over and wait to see what the rider needed, and it was working perfectly until now. . .

Which is where I will pick up on my next post. . .
As this is already getting kind of long. . .




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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rockwell Relay–2014 part 1


Holding to my promise that I would try to keep posts shorter this race report will come out in several installments. . .

This is the first part of . . . 

Well, I’m not quite sure,
but more than one for sure

2014-06-12 18.46.00

It was finally here, The Rockwell Relay. . . the event we have been talking about, planning, and training for, for the past 362 days!

Preparing the trailer for this event began over a two months ago when we went to Frog Hollow, but it wasn’t until the week of the event that it truly began to take shape specifically for the Rockwell Relay.

At last it was Wednesday evening when the loading and organizing took place that everything began to feel so real. . . Our new favorite event was finally here!

We finally left our home approx 1 hour behind schedule on Thursday morning headed for Moab, UT where we begin our journey of riding our bikes 527 miles across the barren, desolate, dessert of Southern Utah.

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Seriously, this is what the landscape consists of for 75% of the route

As we drove to Moab where the event begins, the topic of Rockwell dominated the conversation . . . we talked about our dreams, anticipation, and strategy,  we discussed our game plan, how we wanted to improve on our performance as a team, personally and at exchanges, and what we had been doing in our training to make that happen

. . .  we were full of high expectations for the outcome of this years race

One of the biggest debates we had was what time to start this crazy adventure.  We had three options
  • 6:00 AM
  • 9:00 AM
  • 12:00 Noon
When we registered we choose to go with the 6:00 AM time slot, but when looking at last years data, considering our improvements in performance and the penalty associated with getting to exchanges early we seriously reconsidered. . .


ultimately deciding on Wednesday, June 4, to switch to a 9:00 AM start time


Then on Thursday afternoon, we looked at the weather reports as we settled into our hotel

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As a group of cyclists, this report is NOT a good thing, causing deep concern about what would present itself in the miles and miles of road ahead.

As we contemplated the potential effects of this news that followed the same report across the desert for Panguitch, Cedar City, AND St. George


we again reconsidered our options


and as a team determined that a 6:00 am start time was best and we changed our status as we picked up our packet at check in.

I was bummed!  I was looking forward to waking up, taking my time, having a waffle for breakfast and taking a leisurely approach to beginning my weekend living in a car and riding a bicycle.

Oh, Yes, this was a difficult decision for me to accept and it affected my attitude as I began my first leg.  I was bummed that we were not sticking to our original plan.

2014-06-13 08.00.04_thumb[7]

New for this year was the Rockwell Stamp. . . kind of a cool addition and having it made us truly feel part of the crowd as we sported around for the next two days.
 
2014-06-12 18.34.35

UGH, I hate it when I forget to take off my glasses!

Thanks to Superman who met up with Fatty on the 6 hours in Frog Hollow race, struck up a simple conversation and we ended up with a photo shoot.. .  Cool Stuff!

Team Fatty is a class act team and are top notch riders. . . they are a tough competitive team, COMPLETELY out of our league, but to say we associate with them is an awesome thing!


The second disappointment came as for two weeks I had made up my mind that we wanted Pizza for dinner, saving the leftovers for the ride in the following hours as we finished each leg.  I LOVE pizza and it just sounded like it would hit that special yummy spot in my tummy. . . that little thing to look forward. . . it was going to be my reward, as I finished a hard ride.

But it became very apparent as we were wandering about at packet pick-up/check-in that Superman was not excited about driving ANYWHERE else that evening and the only pizza place I could find was several blocks away and none of us wanted to walk that far for pizza so I resigned my desire and want of pizza and was desperately trying to not let it affect my attitude.

As we wandered around and I decided to go ahead and get a free bratwurst from Team Fatty as my only option for food that night . . . then

Then, I spotted it!



a whole stack of PIZZA BOXES!!!


As you can see (in the yellow circle with the arrow pointing), even though it’s VERY out of focus, the pizza boxes are right there in fatty’s little tent where they were cooking up the brats!

my eyes became riveted on those precious little boxes full of assumingly delicious mouthwatering pizza. . . I almost asked if Fatty would SELL me a sliver of pizza instead of giving me a free brat!  The only problem was I had already eaten my hot dog. . . dang

secondly, it would be just a little awkward to ask for a piece of pizza that wasn’t being offered from well, basically, a total stranger . . . even though Fatty is in celebrity status for me . . . I just couldn’t bring myself to ask for such things as pizza, and my brain was in overdrive trying to figure out how to do such a thing . . ..

I choose instead to ask where they got pizza from. . . to discover that the pizza was delivered right there to the park!


. . . this news made my whole day better


. . . I mean there was hope in the air-
and suddenly this day was looking more positive with each passing moment!!!
 
Superman observed the phone number was on the box, in big bold colorful letters. . .

Superman, my hero, dialed the number and a few minutes later we had a pizza on its way!!!


I LOVE Superman. . . he takes such good care of me!

And that is enough for today. . .
There will be more about our race in the next couple of days

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

6 hours in Frog Hollow

                            . . . a Mountain Bike Race!



there are a couple of things I need to clarify
1.   I hate rocks
2.  I dislike narrow roads with random obstacles in my path
                      . . . I’m more of a predictable type of girl
3.  I am terrified of cliffs
so now you understand these points you will know that . . .

                            this race is NOT about me!!!


for all of the above reasons.


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But Superman and the Hobo LOVE mountain biking and this was their first Mountain Bike race and they were both pretty stoked about it.

Superman is trying to convert me to the "dirt" and I have agreed to ride my mountain bike at least once a week, but I am here to announce that my first love will always be on the Road. . . NOT in the dirt on the trails. . .


. . . refer to the above list if you have further questions


Actually the Hobo was pretty nervous.
 he had allowed himself to get pretty soft over the winter and didn’t feel very prepared. 

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Frog Hollow is a circuit race, meaning that you ride a 12.88 mile loop as many times, as fast as you can in 6 hours.

We had done a lot of looking on-line prior to Frog Hollow so we had a rough idea of what to expect, but until you have actually done a specific event it seems there are always dozens of unanswered questions that you just sort of figure out along the way.

but we figured it out pretty quick and overall had a great time!


Because Superman was involved we came VERY prepared for anything to happen, my job was to keep everyone fed, hydrated, and assist with any other oddity that came up to help get it taken care of. . .  such as oiling chains that were so dusty/dirty that they were squeaking, thus no longer shifting smoothly.


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The weather was sunshine warm and absolutely PERFECT for a race in the dessert with plenty of dust and NO trees.  We came prepared and were expecting such conditions, so our tent cover was a wonderful addition to all the stuff that is required for a bike ride.

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Despite our research and reading blogs about Frog Hollow, we were still a little uncertain of how it worked exactly 


The start was one of those.


Riders park their bikes somewhere along the way about
1/4 mile up the road from the actual starting line

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then go back with everyone else and 

wait . . .


                           wait . . .


                                                            wait . . .


                                                                                                               . . . BANG

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and everyone takes off running for their bike 

this is referred to as a LaManns start


Or as Superman dubbed it . . .
“the Spandex, buffalo stampede!”


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It was interesting as a spectator

if you have never seen approx 200 adults running full tilt wearing
 cycling shoes, spandex, and cycling helmets


Not only does it look sort of odd, but it sounds sort of like a herd of. . .

well . . .


I’m not sure how to describe it, 


I’m pretty sure a herd of horses sound more graceful


but I think cows would be louder


these guys just sounded like running in cycling shoes was awkward and cumbersome


perhaps Superman pegged it correctly. . . Buffalo

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When the Hobo arrived at the support tent after his first lap, he was LOVING this race and became very excited and quite animated about the event. . . sort  like his dad, but he fully understood that this WAS a race and got out of there pretty quick.
(This is quite possibly my favorite picture. . . 

the hair tells all. . .

awesome!

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Superman came in on his first lap, he was happy and loving life!


He started up a friendly chat with our “tent” neighbors and I had to remind him he was in a race and that he had better get a move on it. . .


yeah, that’s my Superman.

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And so it was around and around for six hours, 
both riders averaged just over an hour per lap. 

It’s easy to observe the support peeps were highly entertained and VERY Supportive. ..


honestly, we had a good time and it was a Wonderful day


Superman was hoping for 5 laps, but fell short of that by about 20 minutes. . . 


The Hobo did better than he thought he would, but was pretty sore the week after, but said he would rather do this again than have his wisdom teeth out. . . now, that’s saying something  


. . . I would be tempted to opt for the teeth.


And as is true to form for most races, Superman is already planning what he would do differently next year to get his 5 laps in. . . The Hobo is anxiously waiting to get home from his mission to do this again. . . Yes, I think it’s safe to say they had a grand ol time.


As for me, I sort of caught the fever from the fun and energy that is generated at an event, and thought to myself, maybe I should try this race, it seems fun,

and everyone looked like they were having a good time. . .


                                                  But it ended right there. . . 

with my thoughts!


As I heard the stories, and saw some of the event pictures of the real terrain and thought better than to verbalize my thoughts. . . I will be perfectly content being support crew.


As for life in general, trust me, life is plenty busy and with me experiencing some interesting health challenges it has been difficult for me as it has impacted my training and those euphoric  moments of success, as I’m just not having them, despite my diligent training all winter and spring.  There is nothing serious going on, but it has dramatically slowed me down, which is extremely frustrating!

It has been discouraging and we are desperately trying to figure out what exactly is going on, Right now I yo-yo between hopeful and positive thinking that all will be well and go the way I think it will which is also the way I want, which would be optimal . . .


to the exact opposite of thinking that I’ll be broken forever!  


Time will tell, but in the mean time life is definitely busy and moving forward, and that my friends is always a good thing!

As always, thanks for stopping in and sharing our adventure with us. . .  Friends are always welcome!

Have a great weekend . . . 
and find the joy in your journey!


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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gender Revealing Party


What is a gender revealing party????


I’ve never heard of one of those before. . . .


DSC03885

When I was a kid, we knew a baby was coming, and we anxiously and patiently waited until said baby was here to KNOW whether it was a boy or a girl. . .


we had fun in the process, hence all the theories, wives tales, and silly things we came up with to pre-determine what a baby was going to be. . . but alas, Technology has taken all of the fun suspense away and the daughter and her husband decided to “find out” what they are having, and then they had a Gender Revealing Party to inform the rest of us. . .


technology has made life so complicated!



. . . But it also created an excuse for me to make a cake!


And that was fun

So I got to work, the limited creative juices began to trickle in and I came up with an idea!
It turned out to be a brand new adventure and a path of exploration but in the end I had a marvelous time.

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Building a cake is always a process that creates a mess, but this particular venture was EXTRA MESSY one that completely dominated the kitchen for like an entire week as I ventured for the first time ever with creating figures with gum-paste. . .


I have never been remotely gifted in the artistic arena but couldn’t figure out a better way to pull this off. . . so here’s how it all went together:


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The flowers were first, and overall pretty easy and SUPER fun to do!  I think they turned out pretty good in the end. . . but I like flowers so that helped.

My second challenge was that I decided in the very beginning that this baby was a girl.  

As hard as I tried, it was difficult to make the cake non-gender specific, it just wanted to look “girly” . . . similar to when I did the non-gender specific cupcakes for the Oreo’s baby shower a couple of years ago, It just wanted to say “boy” and I could not get it to change, no matter how hard I tried. . . period.

DSC03873
 
I ended up with a little red wagon with a stuffed bear, some leaves, (I forgot the sticks), and a basket ball. . . seemed boyish enough, oh, and the little worm in the grass and a bug sitting on the wagon, actually it was a dragon fly. . . super cute.  the modeling and painting job needs some help, but it served it’s purpose.


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One thing I discovered is the need to invest in a few more supplies if I am going to do this more, and after some research and education, next time I will try using modeling chocolate instead of gumpaste. . . it seems a little more forgiving and appears to be much easier to work with.

Regardless of the medium, it's much better than play dough, as it allows much smaller and more detail, it hardens, as in rock hard, you can paint it, or pre-color the dough and then just have fun, sort of like playing with play-dough. . . what could be better than that???



. . . um, more artistic talent, that would help a great deal!



This experience brought back vivid memories of being in 4th grade art class playing with clay, I wanted to make a piano, and it was a mess, my teacher finally recruited a class mate to help me


. . . who, by the way, had made the most awesome dragon I have ever seen. . . 



. . . yes, that would be my fate: no artistic ability what-so-ever


. . . sometimes life just isn't fair.


okay, I will quit sulking now and move onward.

 

for the “girl” I determined to create a stroller with a doll and stuffed bear. . . It


turned out cute, minus the lack of artistic ability, but we will keep it anyway.


In the end I had fun and learned a lot and even though I will never be on the same elevated level as some of the pros where their work is absolutely incredible, next time will be even better. . . 


Besides, it’s the effort, the thought, and the labor of love that counts. . . right???

                                     


. . . and, I’ve seen worse Smile


in my world, that’s a redeeming factor anyway


I'll take handicap points where ever I can


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I elected for a soft yellow icing with a pink and blue sidewalk for the outside



and on the inside. . .

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As a fun surprise, the actual cake was a pink/blue torte cake

the Oreo was eyeing dessert and we caught him at the perfect moment

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sorry little Oreo, not just yet

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The daughter and the business man went to great lengths to give their little party a fun flair

pink and blue popcorn, cotton candy and punch.

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We as the guests were to wear the color that we thought the baby would wear. .  . 

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The parents tried to throw us all off by wearing opposite colors!


nice try guys. . . 


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naturally we all wore pink. . . 

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They had several wives tales posted on the wall that we as guests answered as a fun little starter game, in addition to a scrabble where they put letters on the bottom of each plate and those sitting at the table were to unscramble the letters into a potential name. . . with six tables they had 3 girl names and 3 boy names for us to solve.


In the end, the little party event turned out very nice and we had a wonderful time


we found out that the once again the cake told the true story . . .



we are having a. . .


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girl



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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pasta. . . Homemade is the only way to have it!

 
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Around these parts we make most of our own pasta

. . . that’s a statement, a fact, reality. 


Some question our motivation and logic, but I am here to tell you, once you have had fresh homemade pasta going back to the dehydrated version from the grocery store seems . . .

                                                                well 


um. . . not so great
 

Pasta is EASY to make, you just need to plan a little time and invest in a couple of tools to help simplify the process which will help it come together MUCH faster 

 
Here I only discuss the basics of basics of how I make our pasta. . . 


shaping pasta could easily become 


                                                           an obsession,


                                                                               it is an art, 


                                                                                                        a science,


a love. . . 


one that could easily pull you in and open your taste buds to a whole new delectable experience!
 
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There are other brands of pasta makers out there, but the Atlas Marcato is the one I decided to go with. . . I have NO regrets about my decision, and it works flawlessly!  I have had it for over 20 years.

As you ask, why on earth would I want to make my own pasta?


your arguments are valid:

I can buy it easily, and readily, there are a huge variety of shapes to choose from . . .


and it’s relatively inexpensive. . . 


so what’s the point?


Let me tell you why we have chosen to in most cases make our own pasta . . . 


I also readily admit that the first pasta I made was Lasagna, easy, easy, easy!


I am here to say, I’m not going back!
 

Ask yourself. . .  what is one of the biggest frustrations of store packaged lasagna noodles?
  • Lasagna noodles rarely, if ever fit in YOUR pan quite right.
  • Those said noodles are kind of a pain to cook. . . mine usually tend to stick together, they stick to the pan, they boil over. . .
  • purchased noodles are thick and ChEwY. . . gross . . . even when they are cooked to a “perfect” al-dente
did I miss anything here?
                       oh, yes

                                             . . . see above list


With making your own lasagna noodles, you eliminate literally ALL of these problems,

  • fresh
  • tender
  • cut to size 
  • and you determine the thickness

. . . and the best part. . . NO Pre-cooking, 

simply put them in your pan and assemble!
                   

Delectable, 

tasty Homemade noodles . . .
the only way to go! 



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I have concluded that my favorite blend is equal parts flour and semolina flour.  when we made pasta for a Relief Society function we made our lasagna noodles for about 1/2 the cost of the no-bake variety and for about the same as the thick chewy variety out of a box, and that is using the Red Mill brand flour that tends to be much more expensive than purchasing flour in bulk.

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begin by combining the flours and pinch of salt, creating a volcano type mound directly on your countertop.

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inside the “well” or “depression” in the mound add egg and olive oil

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with your fingers begin kneading and mixing it all together.  

The dough will probably be crumbly and you will need to add a little water to make it come together into a stiff but pliable dough that holds together.  After some time and experience you will intuitively know when the dough is “just right”.

I NEVER measure my water as the amount will be determined by the amount of humidity in the air on any particular day.

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Wrap the disk of dough in plastic wrap and let rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.


set up your pasta machine, or if you do not have a pasta machine, you can easily use a rolling pin. . . but trust me, the pasta machine is honestly the best way to tackle this project, easy fast, and produces a perfectly even thickness sheet of dough.

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begin with the widest setting. . . on mine that would be setting #1

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tear off a chunk of dough and flatten.  Think about a thin slice of bread for comparison

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roll it through the pasta machine.  plan on 4-6 passes on the first setting.
Another advantage to having a pasta maker like this one is that the attachment is ready for pasta that will cut them into narrow strips that you would use in soup or for spaghetti.

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The first round often produces a less than desirable sheet. the goal is one flat sheet without rips or tears.  Fold the dough in half and roll through again until you have something that
resembles this.

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Then as you increase the setting the dough begins to flatten and grow
this is after rolling it through setting #3
and this is what we have after setting #5.  yes, this is the same ball of dough

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Then with a pizza cutter, cut your pasta to the desired size.  

whether it be for tortellini, Farfalle (bowtie), lasagna, chicken noodle soup, garganelli (otherwise known as penne), linguine or spaghetti. . . this is all there is to it.

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I used to have a pasta drying rack.  It was presumably packed in a box, but I have yet been unable to find all of the pieces since moving.  but in this tragedy, I have discovered that drying pasta on a “flour sack towel” works great!

I have pretty much adopted this new method.  A pasta drying rack is nice if doing long strips of linguine or spaghetti, or soup noodles (before cutting them) but most of the time especially the smaller or hand-shaped pasta the flour sack towels work perfectly.

From this point I have launched into different shapes and styles of noodles.  Again, I admit that shaping your own pasta like penne is not difficult, after investing in a couple of additional tools, but it is time consuming.

For me, in a warped sort of way, I find it relaxing and enjoyable.


Again, I want to emphasize that making your own pasta is well worth the time and effort, because, in all honesty, there isn’t much effort involved. . . besides, it undoubtedly beats anything you can purchase from the store . . . hands down. 

To keep with my goal of posts that are not too long I will spare you my tutorials for handmade/hand crafted pasta and provide you a couple of links that are EXCELLENT tutorials that you may begin exploring for yourself. . .

Garganelli







Home crafted/made tortellini is especially tasty!  tortellini from thekitchn.com



 from a you-tube presentation


There are so many types of pasta shapes you can create!

 

and just in case you want to make your own pasta here is the recipe we use at our house


If you would like to learn more about shaping different pastas, as you can see there are multiple on-line tutorials both from blogs and you-tube that give wonderful instructions and ideas that you can access, much better tutorials, with much more experienced chefs than myself. 

With that statement, be forewarned that you may run into some you-tube tutorials that are done completely in ITALIAN!  I found it amazing how much I was still able to learn by just watching.


Hints and Notes about cooking and Eating Fresh Pasta
  • Toss the pasta into a large saucepan of boiling, salted water. (You will need about 4 quarts water and 3 tablespoons of salt for every pound of fresh pasta).
  • It is the large volume of water that will prevent the pasta from sticking together.
  • Stir the pasta only once or twice—if you have enough water in the pan and you stir the pasta as it goes in, it shouldn’t stick together.
  • DO NOT COVER the pot or the water WILL boil over.
  • Quickly bring the pasta back to a rolling boil, stir, and boil until al dente, or firm to the bite, about 2 minutes.
  • The pasta should not have a hard center or be soggy and floppy when done.
  • Drain the pasta, holding back 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan (the dissolved starch in the water helps the sauce cling to the pasta).
  • Add sauce directly the pasta (or the other way around works too) in the pan (The Italian way is ALWAYS to toss the cooked, hot pasta with the sauce before serving.)
  • Serve the hot pasta immediately with your favorite sauce.
Try a drizzle of olive oil or melted butter—cooked just to the point of taking on a slightly nutty, toasty brown tinge—and a smattering of fresh herbs constitutes a sauce when the pasta is as tender and tasty as this.


I challenge you to have fun exploring the world of handmade pasta! 



As always thanks for stopping, feel free to come and stay awhile
we will cook up a fresh batch of pasta and enjoy it together




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