Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Kids are Cheap Dates

Our family has a financial motto:  Be miserly in some things so that you can be extravagant with experiences. 
We save money by carpooling, buying a minimal amount of clothes and shoes (usually on sale or at the thrift shop), baking our bread, growing a large portion of our own food, canning, freezing and drying, buying in bulk, eating very little meat, doing a very limited amount of interior decorating and remodeling, eating in season, limited eating out, giving simple or homemade gifts and generally living a simple life.
But, when it comes to experiences, we're often very extravagant.  We ski frequently in the winter which can be very expensive, but the time spent with the kids where we talk and laugh is worth it.  We travel much of the summer (although we save a lot by camping and cooking our own food). We go to museums and plays.  We travel frequently to see family and friends and don't worry about the gas. 
Although we splurge on our entertainment for trips, and cultural experiences, the rest of the time we try to keep our entertainment costs fairly low.    Usually, we get movies from the library, pop the popcorn we raised and play games.  However, this night was different. 
The Woodsman is training to run a marathon this spring, so right after school on Friday he headed out for a long run.  He planned to be gone for several hours.  I had a blistering headache and no idea what I was making for dinner. 
My grocery buying is still at a minimum -  there's still plenty of bulk items and lots of food left in the freezer.  So, I went shopping in the pantry.  At the bottom of the bulk bin I found a bag of semolina flour.  I also remembered the pasta making machine my Dad gave me for Christmas several years ago. 
I called Soccer Boy (my new sous chef) and told him that we were going to make home made pasta for dinner.  He's usually pretty enthusiastic about kitchen projects - and this time was no exception. 
Before I knew it Reading Girl was in the kitchen and they had pretty much taken over the process.  We made four different kinds of pasta (shells, tagliatelle, spaghetti and fusilli).  We spent about an hour, and the whole experience was simple and highly entertaining.  As an added side bonus the pasta was also really, really delicious. 
We had spaghetti and fusilli with tomato sauce for dinner.  I put the shells in the fridge for Monday's Pumpkin Pasta, and the tagliatelle in the freezer to wait for an Alfredo sauce sometime in the future. 
I'm so glad that my kids are so easily (and cheaply) entertained.  Who knew that flour + eggs + kids + pasta machine would equal so much fun?
Cutting off the spaghetti.


Fusilli - cooked with sauce

Finished pasta