As I said in my post yesterday, I’ve loved this song from the first time I heard it. I think it’s a lovely tribute to friendship.
Friends get us through good times and bad. They laugh with us when we need someone to laugh with; they cry with us when we don’t want to cry alone. They can be diplomatic about whether the outfit make us look fat(ter) or not; they can tell us the unabashed truth — and live to tell the tale! — when no one else can.
In short: friends rule. 🙂 They share in your joy when you feel like you’ve won the lottery and help you hang on when you feel like Sam and Frodo on the edge of Mount Doom. And I’m grateful for every friend I have. 🙂
Another thing that friends who enjoy cooking do is that they talk about food and share recipes…which brings me to my post today. 🙂
Another good friend (not the one I spoke of yesterday) who really enjoys cooking (we talk food frequently!) mentioned making homemade noodles. She learned how to make them from her beloved gramma, and she was looking forward to teaching one of her grandsons when he came over to stay the night — “Noodle-making with Gramma!” 🙂
Well, I was intrigued, to say the least. My mom had tried making noodles once, years ago, when she was living in West Germany with my late dad (he was stationed there at the time) and the PX was out of noodles. Mom was really craving them for something, and so attempted to make her own, and she said it was a disastrous mess.
Mom’s intrepid in the kitchen — the woman’s even made Baked Alaska, for cripe’s sake — and so if she found making noodles to be a disappointing experience, I certainly wasn’t looking to give it a go.
But my friend kept telling me how tasty homemade noodles are, and the fun memories she had of making them with her gramma, and how she was so looking forward to make memories with her grandson, that I decided to give them go and make a batch to go with my other friend’s CrockPot Chicken with Mushrooms and Sour Cream. After all, the CrockPot meal was so easy, why not spend some fun time puttering in the kitchen to make noodles?
The first time I made them, we really enjoyed them and they were yummy, but they plumped up more like dumplings instead of being noodle-like. I told my friend about this, and she said that I hadn’t used enough flour when rolling them out and cutting them. So, the next time I made them, I was more generous with the flour when I rolled them out, and sure enough — they came out like delicious noodles. 🙂
These yummy homemade noodles have become a special treat for us when I have the time and a hankering to putter in the kitchen. They aren’t difficult, but they do require that you allot time to let the dough rest and then to let it dry out a bit before cooking it. I don’t have a pasta machine and roll the dough out by hand and cut it with my pastry wheel.
It really is true — I get by with a little help from my friends. 🙂 (Go on, play the video — you know that seeing and hearing the four lads will make you feel better.)
The recipe below is a cross between how my friend told me to make them and my Betty Crocker’s Cookbook: The Big Red Cookbook. I’ve gotten more confident and sometimes now will add in an herb — when I made these on Sunday, I seasoned the noodle dough with dried parsley — YUMMY! You can halve the recipe easily.
Homemade Noodles (Makes 6 to 8 servings)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute (I use eggs)
- 1/4 cup (or more) water (I usually end up using about a 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon oil (suggest olive or canola)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon (or more, or less, to taste) crushed, dried or fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, etc.)
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour and salt. (Stir in dried herb(s), as well, if you’re making herb noodles.) Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add eggs, water (start with 1/4 cup), and oil and mix thoroughly. Add in additional water as needed if dough is too dry, until it reaches a consistency where you can handle it and knead it.
- Shape dough into a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface (suggest a wooden board or plastic-laminated surface, NOT metal or marble) until dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 or 10 minutes). Cover lightly with a lint-free towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Divide dough into fourths. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one quarter of the dough at a time in a rectangular shape as thin as possible (1/8″ to 1/16″). Lightly fold into thirds, cut with sharp knife or pastry cutter into desired width. Unfold, lightly shake out strips, and place on a rack or in a single layer on a clean, lint free towel. Let pasta dry for about 30 minutes before cooking.
- In a large pot bring water (salted, if desired) to a boil. Drop in pasta and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pasta reaches desired level of doneness. Fresh pasta will cook more quickly than dried commercial pasta, so it may be done in as little as 5 minutes.
- Drain and enjoy! Refrigerate (or freeze) leftovers.
And remember — never run out on your friends if they sing out of key — instead, help them find their keys 🙂