Dev and I met when I was 12. He was living at a stable called Omega, with 360 acres of playground. He was simple and patient, and we became immediate friends. I have memories of the trail rides we did together, of the summers and searching for hidden wild strawberries in the fields, and of the frosty winters and galloping bareback through almost 3 feet of snow.
Grandpa Pardee bought Devon for me in November of 2000, almost 10 years ago. I would spend hours grooming him and pampering him with bran mashes, picking his hooves and fussing over him. And in return, he was my best friend during the hard early years of adolescence.
Dev, however, let us know he was not show material right from the get-go. I decided, maybe a year after having owned him, that I wanted to go to a horse show with him. I prettied him up and with my mom and sisters' help, we entered in a contest. Well, just the sight of the trailer made him poop his pants. We made it through the show, but he set his limits and stubbornly designated himself to be a homey kind of guy.
Today, I love that about him. I love that he was caring, giving, and patient, but at the same time had so much personality. It's hard to think that Dev isn't with us anymore, and that I didn't spend time with him really the last 5 years of his life. But the good memories are the ones that count. Thanks, Dev, for being all that a best friend and a wonderful should- simple and loving.
Here are two simple and loving foods that are also very comforting. I made the pasta with Em yesterday, the recipe is hers. Today we made the baguette. Both are perfect for light summery meals.
2 cups of flour, (measured with scoop and level technique, see here)
Small amount of water, for sprinkling
Mix together the flour and eggs in a medium-large bowl, kneading slightly as you mix. The dough should be thick and somewhat tough, but not sticky. Add sprinkles of water with your fingers to make the dough more workable.
Form the dough into a ball and let it rest in the bowl for an hour, covered. After an hour, roll out the dough into a very thin sheet (about ⅛ of an inch). Cut into strips as wide as you like to form spaghetti, linguine, fettucine or pappardelle (or use pasta roller machine).
Cook in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on width of pasta. Serves 3 to 4.
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ cups warm water (105- 115 F)
4- 4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp salt
In a large bowl, mix yeast and sugar into warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy. In your stand mixer or by hand, stir 2 cups of flour into the yeast mixture until combined. Stir in salt and remaining 2 cups of flour to form a stiff dough (using paddle attachment). Knead dough with dough hook or on a lightly floured surface. By hand about 8 minutes, with the stand mixer about 4, or until smooth and elastic. If needed, add the remaining ½ cup of flour to keep dough from being sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled deep bowl, turning to coat with oil. Let rise, covered for about 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 400 F and place tray in the middle of the oven.
Punch down the dough and form a long, slender log. It should be about 21 inches long and 3 inches wide. Place on a large, lightly greased baking sheet (on the diagonal if necessary). Let rise for about 30 minutes, uncovered.
With a sharp knife, make 3 to 4 slashes in the dough on the diagonal. Lightly brush the top of the dough with cool water (this makes it crispy). Bake baguette about 30 minutes, or until golden. Cool on wire rack.