to be happy is a good thing. if happiness is your goal, then it sure doesn’t hurt to be an optimist and to learn to think positive (i’ve had to learn). duh, it’s often such hard work to be happy, non? sometimes i downright rebel against the thought to wake up to a day full of trying to be happy. it’s exhausting. but it can be just as exhausting – if not even more so – to be blue. i assure you, i’ve been there. i don’t like the look blue gives me, wrinkly and worried and gray. it’s not a darling look. especially pointless when there is no imminent, particular reason for being blue. just a waste of the day, really. so, often times, i’ll end up with the determination to live towards happiness, come what may, and all doubts and worries aside. here are a couple of happy thoughts, a list of the best things in the world, so to say, that help me transcend in the general direction of good humoured, blissful, pink cloudy, candy cotton happiness (and we all know the world needs more of this). alas, the happy list, exclusively for you, my friends.
long, tight hugs
crisp hotel bed sheets
hot bubble baths with scented oils (when from a decadent label, the effect is double)
weekend (girls’) nights in
a good cocktail (not to sweet, not too sour or bitter, definitely not creamy)
the blank pages of a brand new notebook
a handwritten note or letter in the mail (i tear them open with vigour)
a day at the beach (being sun kissed gives you that sexy feeling)
firsts (first kisses, learning something new, a new city…)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
up to1 cup of lukewarm water
combine the semolina, flour and salt in a bowl. create a well in the center. add a few tablespoons of water at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon (or your fingers, ahem) to incorporate the flour until the flour has absorbed as much water as it can. don’t make it too sticky! remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a floured work surface. knead it thoroughly with your palm (really, there is a whole bible about the technique of pasta dough kneading… but don’t worry, you can’t really mess it up! just go for it and invest your biceps) for at least (this, however, is important) 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic (bingo!). wrap in plastic and let rest at least 15 minutes.
take half the dough (leaving the other half in plastic) and roll the ball into a long, thin “worm”, about 1cm in thickness. with a sharp knife, slice into very thin disks. place the disk in the palm of one hand, place the thumb of your other hand in the center of the disk, pressing and twisting your thumb, to create a little ear or cup-like shape. tepeat with the remaining dough, placing the orecchiette (which, btw. means ‘little ears’, cute, huh?) on a clean kitchen towel in the meantime.
note: you might want to consume them immediately. or you might find you made a whole lot of orecchiette and that there are plenty to store for later. so if you are not using them right away, spread them out onto the kitchen towel and leave to dry for 24 hours (at least). you can then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a long time.
by the way… for the committed readers: remember this quest i was on? well, it was that cacio cheese i was looking for, especially for this orecchiette dinner… it was a hassle – but also so totally worth it. here you see it in all it’s glory.
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