It’s the little things that count.

The way to a man’s heart,

lies in his stomach” 

Old wives tale.

There’s so very often more than a grain of truth in some old wives tales!

The witches…. sorry, women in my family learn this one at a very early age, around about the time they first learn to cook…

To cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients is something generations of us have done, and my generation, and the generations after mine, are also taught to do the same.

It’s the little things that count.

Season your food with herbs, spices and salt; there is much magic in this very action – the salt blesses the food, clears out impurities and therefore all kinds of nasty subversive energies.

Herbs, even culinary one’s have both medicinal and magical actions ~ herb salt is a must on my table!

As is pepper, white, black, pink, green, not to mention Allspice.

Spices too, add a touch of the exotic…

By now it’s clear that we have all been excellent cooks in my family, using fresh ingredients, some of which we have either reared, or grown ourselves. This stretches back, as I said for generations; farmers wives mostly, with the odd butcher, and more than a fair sprinkling of Blacksmiths, all hard working men who needed good wives, who could cook food to feed them, and big families to feed too, sometimes so large that there would be two sittings at the table!

My Grandmother used to churn the most amazing butter, laced heavily with sea salt – to preserve it. As a small child I’d sneak into the pantry, where the butter would be kept on an old earthen ware brown plate, on the cold slab. I remember the door used to squeak, so opening it was a risky thing to do if she was in ear shot, but worth it, just for that finger full of creamy salty butter!

When she retired from the farm, I asked for her butter pads when she had ‘finished’ with them… I’ve kept them all these years, even though I now am a Grandmother. They’ve graced my kitchens in all my many moves and often I have had to put down a firm foot to keep them in my possession!

Now I have found a practical use for them.

I make pasta, yes, fresh pasta – it’s so easy too and far more tasty than shop bought.

One large egg, to 100g strong white bread flour, with a pinch of salt of course!

(I double this for two to three people, depending on how hungry they are!)

Simply mix to a dough (with a little water if needed) and kneed till smooth ~ though I use a mixer with a dough hook these days to save my hands!

You can then either roll the dough, with a rolling-pin, or use a pasta machine… expensive them things! But they do come up in charity shops, and I’m all for second hand, as you will know!

Recently, I’ve learnt how to make these.IMG_4396

Note the shape… very feminine shall we say 😉 and what better way to honour the feminine energies of our Mothers than with our food?

Especially at this time of year, as Mother Nature lies dormant, asleep, awaiting the kiss of warmth from her lover as he rises from his dark depths of midwinter ~ a time when we need to nourish ourselves too, with good food and company, to brighten the long winter nights.

Plus, the implement I need to make them was right under my nose!

Yes, my late Grandmother’s butter pats!

IMG_4398

Showing that heirlooms are not only full of old memories, but sometime, they can make new ones too 🙂 Hands long gone, live on in these hands, and the hands of my children, and my children’s children… there is much magic here, in this simple act of creation.

I have a nice big pan of rich Bolognese (my own creation) on the stove too!

IMG_4397

Let me know if you’d like the recipe 🙂

The kitchen truly is a place where magic happens, in so many ways, to make life just a tad better in so many delicious ways 😉

Happy cooking, and remember to add that extra dash of something special to your dishes too.

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2 thoughts on “It’s the little things that count.

  1. Yes, yes, yes! Recipe! Please. We make our own sauces here as well, and I’m always on the look out for new ideas.

    Tonight we’re trying my love’s first attempt at a homemade soft cheese. Home made from scratch is special.

  2. For give me then, as this is in old money… 😉 but first a note about thickening; if you use gravy granules thicken at the end of cooking, if you use plain flour, add that after frying the meat, mushrooms and green pepper and before you add the tomatoes. 🙂

    Take a pound of good minced beef and fry in a little olive oil.

    When brown, add a good sized chopped onion, about a 1/4lb sliced button mushrooms, a diced green pepper, at least one can of plum tomatoes – and a good squeeze of tomato paste.

    Stir well, bring to boil and add, a good stock cube, veg or beef. Also a teaspoon or so of sugar, to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes (you can use fresh tomatoes if you have a glut in the summer), sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, a good dash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce (it’s the best!) a shake of white pepper, either fresh or dried marjoram or oregano, with one dried bay leaf or two if fresh.

    Simmer for half an hour or so, taste to test the seasonings and while cooking the pasta add the last ingredient – a good sized clove of garlic, chopped and tired in a few minutes before dishing out – serve on pasta of your choice, topped with cheese and extra Worcestershire sauce and a good Italian wine, such as Chanti.

    Enjoy!

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