Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Homespun Year.... Fresh 3 Ingredient Gnocchi...

Happy New Year everyone!

I've thought long and hard about my goals for 2016.
There'll be no resolutions from me. Yes I'll treat myself more kindly if anything, but New Years Resolutions aren't for me these days. I find they lead to a sense of failure, rather than one of accomplishment.

Instead I want to have a Homespun Year and I'd love you to join me.

Just the word Homespun conjures visions of clouds of pastel wool knitted into fluffy rugs to nestle under in chilly Winters, rows of jars of sunny lemon butter and ruby red jam in Summer, heirloom lawn nightgowns trimmed with baby blue ribbon and soft pink rosebuds, iced tea on the porch, creamy hot chocolates and hand crocheted beanies. This is what memories are made of over a lifetime, not possessions bought in a moment of guilt, weakness, excitement or for the thrill.

How can fresh home grown herbs, snipped into buttery eggs, scrambled into mouthwatering pleats, not be better than any cafe Big Breakfast.

No restaurant can compete with the ambiance of a happy home and a partner or family replete from a meal cooked with love?
A dozen designer nightgowns don't hold a candle to one stitched by a Mothers careful hand and embellished with roses and vines that are echoes of a garden nurtured and coaxed into life from nothing.
A generation from now, what will be your legacy?
A pile of consumer stuff? Or items of lasting beauty and functionality fashioned with careworn 
My first homespun item is my gnocchi. Just three ingredients, a little time and these morsels hit our plates, a joy in every bite.
My Perfect Gnocchi
For three serves (multiply ingredients accordingly for more), bake 8 medium washed potatoes in a moderate oven till soft. Allow to cool but don't refrigerate. 
When cool enough to handle, peel carefully and mash. Do not add any liquid or butter. Add 2 eggs and mix with a fork until barely combined. Add plain flour a quarter of a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. It should look like cookie dough. 
Dust your bench lightly with more flour, and take one quarter of the dough, rolling it into a long cigar, about thumb thick. Take a knife and cut the cigar into thumbnail sized chunks. Press the back of a fork into the gnocchi to form indentations which will hold the sauce. Repeat with remaining dough, setting the gnocchi aside on a large platter or two. 
Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer (not a rolling boil as you don't want the delicate gnocchi to disintegrate), and drop in enough gnocchi to barely cover the bottom of the saucepan. Any more and they'll stick together. Simmer gently for two minutes. Once they float to the top, they're pretty much ready but I usually give another 30 seconds at that point. 
Set out your bowls, and add a knob of butter to each. Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi to each bowl, adding more uncooked gnocchi to the pan as you go. Toss the gnocchi in the butter, and top with freshly grated Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Enjoy every delicious mouthful. Add fresh herbs if you wish but we like them plain.
Peasant cuisine, the absolute epitome of Homespun.
Welcome to a gentle, homespun year here at A Tray of Bliss. I hope that together we can make Home the place we all want to be....


  1. Oh Mimi, that looks delish!

    And I love your idea of a Homespun Year, too!

    Happy New Year!

  2. I agree, a homespun year sounds lovely. I'm planning to make a crochet blanket and a quilt for our home this year. Both were ideas I had last year but didn't even get started. I'm really excited to get going with them.

    I absolutely cherish the things I have that my mum made me, and love to share them with my children. I have cross stitched all of my boys alphabet samplers and have one to do for my daughter. I love to make things for my children's rooms, and that they want me to! I am happy to hang superhero posters as well, but I really enjoy the handmade touches. They are what make their rooms their special places.

    I like that you plan to include food in your homespun year, I always find your food posts so inspiring! I'm in a bit of a rut in terms of dinners and baking, I always seem to make the same old. Which is fine of course, but not overly exciting! I've never made jam or sushi and am very keen to try both this year. Things like lemon curd I generally only make for gifts, but with a lemon tree that's just silly, I must make it for our family too.

    I'm so excited to read your posts this year Mimi, I really enjoy the way you place such importance on everyday things like feeding your family. It's just lovely.

    Happy new year,

  3. Beautiful Mimi thank you. I have heaps of resolutions but I achieved last years (mostly) and they do me good. I really love the homespun year theme. I will be in and enthusiastically! Happy New Year to you. What a nice start! Xxx

  4. You had me drooling. I love the way you write about food! Oh, and I meant to tell you the olive oil you gifted me is outrageously good!!! I can see why the Diva asked for it on her school lunch!!! We had it drizzled on tomatoes and bocconcini cheese. :D xx happy New Year, Darling Mimi.

  5. Thankyou for this recipe Mimi and Happy New Year - yes a home spun year for me too.



  6. I love the idea of homespun, Mimi. Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year Mimi,
    Looking forward to your blog posts for the New Year........I love your thought about making home a place we want to be........cause I too, believe the home has the greatest influence on mankind, and that is what I want my
    legacy to be.................that
    anyone who enters my home will feel warmed and loved and that they would
    sense a spirit of peace and joy.
    Blessings to you and yours for a Wonderful New Year in 2016....

  8. Gnocchi sounds so good! Thank you for sharing your recipe and your plans for a homespun year. That sounds peaceful and lovely and just right.

    Blessings, Leigh

  9. I'm so thrilled to try these. I love gnocchi.

  10. I feel very excited about joining in with your Homespun year. I really enjoy reading your blog and I have found it very encouraging.
    Best wishes for the coming year.

  11. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can't wait to try it. :) We too are planning on having a more homespun year.

  12. I love homemade gnocchi, it is so simple and delicious!
    Happy New Year to you, Mimi xx Fiona

  13. What a wonderful theme for the year! I think the desire for a homespun life is rising in many peoples hearts. I'll be following along on your journey.

  14. Happy New Year, Mimi. You are off to a good start with a great recipe. I have never made Gnocchi but I have no excuse now. Thanks heaps.

  15. Hi Mimi,
    just wanted to say a Homespun Year sounds wonderful to me and thankyou very much for your lovely blog I have not commented before, but it gives me much joy and makes me realise what is important in this life.
    Cheers, Bev

  16. Love the idea of a homespun year! Thank you for a great post I love gnocchi!

  17. Dear Mimi, Happy New Year to you and yours! A generation from now, I want my legacy to be grown children knowing their worth, taking care of their families with love and care. I'm going to try your gnocchi. When I do I'll be sure to tell you! Thank you for the careful instructions :)
    Love, Colette xxx

  18. Hello Mimi,
    Wishing all the best for a happy and healthy new year.
    Julie xo

  19. Mimi, you have hit the nail on the head! We have outsourced the heart and soul from our homes and families, and it hasn't made us any happier. I will absolutely join you in your homespun year, although I expect you will do it with far more elegance, style, and actual talent than I will:)

  20. You are quite the poet, Mimi. I really enjoyed the visualization of this post. I've never eaten gnocchi. Now I think I'm going to have to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. I love the title "Homespun year!" Count me in!

  22. Hi Mimi, love your use of the humble word....... something about buttery pleats and folding in with a recipe on eggs a post or two ago. It was so lovely, I stopped my partner from what he was doing and read it out, said "doesn't she have a lovely way with words". I loved your crafty gift for Annabel too (I felt deeply honoured to have my tea towels below your gift), the folder with the pictures and the doily, and all the craft papers, what a great way of keeping things nice and neat and usable for the next project. When I have completed my surgery recovery and can use both arms to type, I will join your homespun year and Annabel's Christmas Challenge with gusto. Fi

  23. Hi Mimi,
    Just checking in on you to see if you are okay. Hope you are not sick or anything. Have just noticed you were missing from blogland and hoping it's
    cause you are having fun..........and not something else.
    Blessings Sweetie, sending up some prayers for you and yours just in case.

  24. I've not made gnocchi before. I may have to try it with gluten-free flour. I bet it will work.

  25. Love, love!!! this concept of a homespun year! Thank you for the inspiration! Also, sent some blog love your way ~

    Hoping your 2016 is off to a beautiful start! :)


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