On Monday we got an order in: 25 pounds of figs.
So in typical Carrie fashion, she climbed the tree and we started picking. Well there were actually 5 of us picking, and finished in only 20 minutes!
That’s a lot of figs!
Figs release this white milk like stuff when you pick them. But the figs are seriously sweet and so good! We can’t get enough— and we’re especially into the dried ones lately. mmm…
After delivering the fig order, we visited a few wineries since it’s now time to start harvesting the grapes. There is a lot going on, and they are so busy at this time of the year!
The process was really fun to watch. We already have helped out on the vineyards and have done our share of tasting. When the grapes reach peak ripeness, they are ready to snipped and picked, and placed in bins for some sorting…
They go into this big machine that separates grapes from most of their leaves/stems.
The stems come out one end, and the grapes to the other.
Sometimes wood chips are added into the containers for flavors.
Once the grapes are in their bins, they sit and require a punching down once in a while.
Some wineries are very small and do it all by hand, but there are much larger operations as well around here.
And all of them have incredible views!
When we got home, we made another very authentic dinner that took us like 3 hours to complete. Last time it was Mexican food with homemade corn tortillas, 2 homemade salsas, guacamole, refried beans, etc.
This time it was Italian. Including pasta from scratch.
I have done this 2 or 3 times now, but never with semolina flour. And Quince and Carrie really wanted to try it too.
You start with a mound of flour, and make a well in the middle.
Add 2 eggs and a bit of water, and start swirling the moisture into the flour, slowly incorporating more and more flour…
Until you can knead it. And form into a ball.
Pasta dough is pretty elastic.
Take a bit of that ball of dough and roll it with a rolling pin, just until it’s thin enough to put into the pasta roller.
Roll it through at the largest thickness option of the pasta machine. Fold in half, and rotate the dough and put the other end through this time. Keep doing this, slowly thinning out the dough.
We chose the fetuccini shape.
To dry it out, we had to improvise. Arrows stuck under the microwave? Why not!?
I also made (another) pasta sauce using the tomatoes from out back, and a bunch of herbs, garlic, and onion. You really can’t mess anything up when using these tomatoes. They are so incredibly sweet!
We turned the sauce and some sliced eggplant into an eggplant parmesan of sorts! Sabina, Daniel’s friend, assembled the dish. She did such a beautiful job!
The rest of the dinner was so so great. John, Daniel’s friend too, had been cooking a garlic butter sauce all day so he can make his famous garlic bread. Which was incredible!!!
Carrie made a healthy version of a bechamel sauce for the pasta, with a lot of onions too and cheese on top. Mmmm.
I love how we’ve been visiting so many different types of farms/vineyards/wineries here. It’s good to compare techniques and methods and to see how much potential there is with these small farms/ gardens.
I’m going to do a post soon on why it’s important to buy from local farms, and what’s so different about the things that they grow. Daniel’s gonna help me write that one!
Tonight we have our second farmers’ market, and then tomorrow we’re off to Yosemite and some other areas for a camping trip. I probably won’t post ’til after that… but I will most likely have some excellent pictures for you once I’m back!