Unhelpful Recipe: Easy Peasy Handmade Pasta

Truth: Carbs are delicious. Truth: Fresh pasta is better than dried pasta. Truth: Making your own pasta is totally easy and totally worth it.

First of all, you need only a couple of basic ingredients, and while you may make improvements on the taste and texture with higher quality products, such as semolina flour or 00 flour, they’re not necessary for learning purposes.

I started this batch with 2 cups of flour, 3 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil.

Pasta purists may tell you to “Salt the water, not the dough” and skip the oil but… you know me, more is more!

Start by sharing your pics on Instagram, otherwise it didn’t happen.

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How to Reconcile Being Crafty and Being Green

This post was originally published at www.greenphonebooth.com where I contribute as the Mindful Echo. It’s a great blog for those of you interested in environmental issues of all sorts. Check it out!

Although I titled this entry as a “How to,” I really meant it more of a question. Seriously. How do I reconcile the two corners of this dichotomy?

In some ways, being crafty and being green make total sense together. Craftiness can be borne from a desire to be thrifty, to reuse, and to repurpose. However, if you’re anything like me, it takes no time at all to get lost in a list of attempted projects, many half-completed, and most requiring mountains of supplies.

I made this Venn Diagram to help me better understand this complex issue. 🙂 Craft Green Venn Diagram

Now that the holiday season is rapidly approaching (side note: Christmas music was playing in the grocery store yesterday!), I’m starting to organize myself for handmade gifts. Sure, there are some no-brainers that amalgamate being crafty and being green such as consumables (homemade jams, soaps, etc.), but what about the other stuff? What about the ornaments, decorations, and toys?

I guess the big question can be broken down to this: Is it worth purchasing *new* craft supplies for the purpose of a handmade gift? The answer, I think, is yes (but carefully). 

It is SO EASY to get caught up with every “____-in-a-jar” recipe, and book-page garlands, and designs for winter jackets made entirely from coffee filters. So I think the solution is two-fold: first is to get organized and second is to embrace that inner environmentalist.

Organize Yourself

  • Make a list of the handmade items you’re going to attempt.
  • Find detailed instructions or tutorials that clearly outline what products you will need.
  • Take an inventory of what needed craft items you already own.

Embrace your Inner Environmentalist

  • Decide if there are any items on the list that are particularly harmful to the environment. Does your wreath project really need a styrofoam base? Can those items be substituted for a less-harmful alternative?
  • Consider if you can find any of the items in your recycling bin. Jars, cans, paper bags, magazines, are often valuable items in the realm of craftiness.
  • Check your thrift stores. It’s no guarantee but I have often found packages of brand-new craft items at my local thrift store, including yarn and scrapbook paper.

Once you’ve gone through these steps, consider yourself cleared by moi for a trip to your craft store. I think by this point it safe to say that you’ve done well to stay green. Now, go forth and craft. And may the force be with you.