Monday, January 25, 2010

A Nebraska Tradition... Homemade Egg Noodles

In a sign of her ever-increasing domesticity, having been a married lady for nearly two years now, the Number One daughter asked her father to teach her how to make homemade egg noodles.

She expressed dismay when she saw the classic Betty Crocker cookbook opened on the counter to the recipe for egg noodles - she thought the recipe had been handed down from generation to generation in her family. Which, truly it has, only via Betty Crocker.

The day started a little earlier than the girls may have liked. An evening that began at Ole's Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge, then on to 5 Trails Winery in Paxton ended at the Longhorn Bar (Or as the Nebraska Outback family affectionately calls it, either the 'Horn or the Longbranch). For mom and dad, the evening ended much earlier, so we had no pity on the night owls. After the ingredients were all assembled, came the measuring, carefully leveling off the flour in the cup. Then the careful separation of the eggs. To his credit, the Mister actually let each one of the girls try their hand at separating an egg, rather than doing it all himself. It is a trial for him – you know, they might not do it right! After that the aerobic workout begins, hand mixing, then kneading. The daughter’s friend got the honors for all of this, as her hands were already gooey. No sense in making more of a mess than was already in progress.To make sure they do it right, the Mister stands close by.Lots of flour is called for, to make sure they don't stick to the surface (sorry, no cloth covered board here). And the action moves to the dining room table, to get the proper angle for the kneading. The girls might have skimped a little on the ten minutes of kneading called for in the recipe, but Dad is anxious to make sure they do the rolling out properly. I think they've got the idea.
Now dad has to demonstrate the proper rolling up technique. Note that the dough had to sit to dry for quite a while - until the edges turn crusty.
Only the thinnest of egg noodles will satisfy the Mister in his chicken and noodles.
He's got to make sure they're doing it right.
He's not going to let them get away with making them too thick.
Now there's nothing left to do but go on a ROAD TRIP while the noodles dry completely.
So we head for the hills. It's a beautiful day for a drive in the Sandhills, up to the ranch where we startle a Mule deer doe in the trees.
She stands and watches for awhile before she decides it's time to get the heck out of Dodge.



Of course, she really put some distance between herself and us when we started target practicing. No, we weren't aiming at the deer with a .22 pistol - it was only an aluminum can.
We had quite an audience. The resident bulls had to see what all the noise was about.
In case you were wondering, this friendly soul is #1409.
The water has to keep flowing so the tank doesn't freeze, but the overflow has frozen into quite an ice berg.
It was no match for the Mister's Ford F150, though. It hardly skittered while crossing the ice.
And now we're back home, the noodles are dry, and it's time to put the chicken on.
Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.
Oh, and here's the recipe, according to Betty Crocker and family tradition:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
Measure flour into bowl; make a well in the center and add egg yolks, whole egg and salt. With hands, thoroughly mix egg into flour. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. (Add only enough water to form dough into a ball.)
Turn dough onto well-floured cloth-covered board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover, let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll dough, 1 part at a time, into paper-thin rectangle, keeping remaining dough covered. Roll rectangle around rolling pin; slip out rolling pin.
Cut dough crosswise into 1/8-inch strips for narrow noodles and 1/4-inch strips for wide noodles. Shake out strips and place on towel to dry, about 2 hours.
When dry, break dry strips into smaller pieces. Cook in 3 quarts boiled salted water (1 tablespoon salt) 12 to 13 minutes or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

ShareThis