The Not Quite Bare Cupboard Update II - Plans and Substitutions


The other morning, I got up and wrote out a list of things to do.  "Strain yogurt to make Greek yogurt, make egg noodles for soup...".  Then I went out to sit on the front porch with Maddie so she'd eat her food (she's a very spoiled doggy.  She likes company at mealtimes.  The cat doesn't seem to count).  It was cold and blustery and suddenly that chicken noodle soup seemed like the absolutely only fitting meal for the day.  So when I came in, I put the yogurt in a lined strainer over a bowl, covered it and shoved it back in the fridge.  And then I forgot for a little bit about dinner and worked at other things.

One thing I am surely learning as I go about these challenges.  It takes time.  It makes work.  It's not quick.  At 10:30 I finally sat down with the cookbook and scanned the recipe for egg noodles.  3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg!  Wow.  I hadn't counted on that.  Note to self, look at recipes next time when planning meals.  But, being the substitute cook I am, I decided I could sub in 2 eggs and forget the whole business of using up four eggs (with whites leftover).  I also determined if I was going to use 2 eggs, I'd best make half a recipe, so I cut the flour in half.  Now I have half the noodles and fewer eggs than I'd planned as my leftovers.  Now, at this moment, I realize that I likely could have made the whole recipe since I was using the two whole eggs.  Another fail on my part. 

Making egg noodles was not hard.  The most work required was all the kneading.  The recipe says to knead the dough for ten minutes.  I'm not really sure I needed to.  The dough felt right to me earlier into the process but I don't know exactly what it's meant to feel like.  Here's where my planning ahead would have benefitted me: there's a ten minute rest period for the dough. I took this time to read ahead through the rest of the recipe.  Oops.  You let the dough rest ten minutes. Then you divide and roll out each section and sort of fold it and cut it and unroll it (why?  I'm not sure.  Why not just cut the long pieces from the unfolded dough?)  You do all that and then you must let the noodles dry out for at least two hours. 

Uhmmm....I meant to have dinner ready in 1 hour.  I'd even started my soup base while I was waiting on the ten minute rest time for the dough because I was going to be all super efficient. Apparently I'm not super efficient.  Super efficient would have looked at the recipe early in the week when I was planning.  Efficient would have checked the recipe first thing this morning after I made my plans.  And read it all the way through.  Then I'd have known that the noodles also require 15 minutes to cook.  I should never assume I know anything until I've read the recipe.  I kept thinking of all the cooks who said fresh pasta only required a few minutes.  No.  15-20 minutes is what the recipe says.

Dinner was not horribly late today.  We ate somewhere around 1:15, not so terribly late but later than we're wont to eat.  And it was good.  Hunger didn't hurt the flavor in the least.  The noodles were tender.  Not as thin as they ought to have been but thin enough to be tender and not fluffy. 

                                           Chicken Noodle Soup for lunch.  Yum!

                  The leftovers.  Rhonda will recognize that towel.  I use it for all my baking.

I learned a lot in making up this simple recipe.  I learned that I need to plan more.  I need to plan more fully.  I need to read the recipe when I have never made an item before.  I don't need to assume that something is as simple (or more difficult) as I think it might be.  I need to plan meals more fully if they require me to do more than open a package and pour into a pot of boiling water.  I have also learned over this past month of cooking for John's Daniel Fast, as well as for these challenge meals of mine (I've made all the main dishes I've planned.  The menu may vary but the main entrée stands), that convenience is nice but cooking real food from scratch is a process that takes time and rewards one with a deeper satisfaction not just in the eating of the food but in the preparation. 

We had chicken noodle soup for dinner.  It was meant to serve two meals.  It served us for dinner and for supper tonight.  I used 1 1/2 quarts of broth to make my soup and I put 3/4 cup chicken into the freezer. I need to put the last quart in the freezer too.It's a little less than I thought I'd have.  That is sufficient to make my favorite Spaghetti a la Diable, even a little bit more than the recipe calls for.  I'll have at least one less egg and only one quart of broth.  At the end of the challenge period I'll list all my leftovers and compare them side by side with what I thought I'd have.

There are still quite a few meals to go this for this challenge week.  I still have the chicken legs and the mac and cheese.  I also have the yogurt draining to make the cheese pizza.  Since I'm having unexpected company this weekend and I'm unsure how long they will be here or even when they are actually arriving,  it will be next week before we have those meals. 


Rhonda said...

Hi Terri, I do recognize your towel ❤
Noodles are a funny thing. My mom would roll her dough really thin and then roll them up and slice them like cinnamon rolls.
I make noodles too but never could get mine as thin as hers. And if I roll them up to slice them, then getting them to unroll and be like a noodle instead of a blob is difficult. When I do make noodles, I prefer to make them in the morning to cook in the evening, or even making the day before is good.
Your noodles look good!

Anonymous said...

I agree that cooking from scratch takes a long time. I tend to make things over and over, because I can do it more quickly. When I do try a new recipe, it always seems to take forever. But each time I make it, it gets faster. I'll bet when you make noodles again, you will get faster at them. I've never done it, myself, but my mother=in=law has made them a lot.

Enjoy your company! I always love when people come to visit. I also love knowing ahead of time when they are coming, how many, etc., so I can prepare ahead of time. Hopefully, they will let you know soon. It's less stressful that way, at least to me. That being said, I do have 1 friend in particular that I would welcome if she called 10 minutes ahead or just plain showed up because she lives so far away now, and doesn't get here often.

Lana said...

Yum! Homemade noodles! It has been a long time since I have taken the time to make them. I believe that you could mix and knead them in your Kitchen Aid but I don't remember ever kneading for 10 minutes. My Mom rolled her dough up and sliced and then dried them on a long sheet of wax paper on the ironing board. She made them early in the morning and dried them all day. She did use a lot of flour and that is probably why hers did not stick together like mine often do.

Our oldest son and family are coming from Alabama this weekend. Those three grands have not seen their Poppa Bill since his heart attack and have been wanting to come for weeks. Our son will help with some chores Dad cannot do right now while he is here.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Terri, SO happy your egg noodles turned out so well. I agree cooking from scratch does require so much more time [Thus, I think that is why, I am so lazy to just buy the noodles? lol]
Hope you enjoy your company's visit.. our granddaughter came and stayed last weekend.. Was really nice.

Lana.. proud your son and family are coming and the kids will get to see Poppa.. How is he doing? Please update us.. Praying for you both.. I tried to find an email for you, but couldn't find a blog? Do you not have a blog?/ hugs, Judy

Anonymous said...

Ummm, hmmm, maybe you need to look at several recipes for noodles?? Your recipe seems a lot harder/more involved than they need to be.

I've made noodles throughout the years. They can be fast if you want fast. I use 1 c. flour (white or home ground whole wheat), 1 egg, a bit of salt and enough water to help moisten the dough. I don't knead them - I make them kind of like you do pie crust. Then I roll them out and cut them with a pizza cutter. I like thick noodles but you can roll/cut them however thick/thin you want. I never let mine dry either, I cooked them right away. The flour on them helps thicken the soup. Honestly, they don't take much more time to make than opening a well-glued package of store bought noodles! ;0) Pam

Lana said...

Judy, I do not have a blog. My husband is doing quite well now except for getting tired easily. I have to keep an eye on him to keep him from overdoing it. Thanks for asking and praying for him all these weeks!

Debby in KS said...

Noodles seem crazy tedious to me! I think I'd rather learn to make matzo balls! My friend's mom made hers so light and fluffy so that's the way I need to learn.

I made bread today and had to knead for 10 minutes. My wrists are not happy. Carpal tunnel sure took care of those for life. Youch!!
But the bread is yummy. It's the easy Cuban bread from The Tightwad Gazette. It only takes about 75 minutes from beginning to end.

Anonymous said...

I just went from your blog Terri to and she is doing pasta too. She gives some hints you might like to know. One thing is she kneads with her knuckles now that she is older. :) Sarah

Terri Cheney said...

Thank you ALL for commenting. I was able to break up the rest of those noodles this morning and put them in a jar to keep for another meal. It's not really an air tight jar so if they should need to dry a little more, they will. Lana is quite right that letting the Kitchen Aid do the kneading would likely be best. I didn't have any problems with them sticking together once they were rolled/folded up to cut. I think perhaps all that kneading helped to insure just that. Pam, I will try other recipes before I settle on this one. I like to get a feel for how to make things when I've never done it before. I think NOT drying the noodles would make them fluffy and more like Granny's dumplings which were always delicious, where I really wanted more of a noodle type item in my soup. My recipe was 1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 eggs (should have probably used one) and 1tbsp to 1/4 cup water. We had leftovers for supper and they were still delicious. I'm curious to see how the truly dried ones turn out. On a Frugal Food group on Facebook, it was suggested I get a pasta machine. I can actually get an attachment to go on my Kitchen Aid, so that's something to think about. It would cut down on a lot of the hand work.

Lana said...

I often see the hand crank pasta machines at thrift stores. They are really easy to use.

Anonymous said...

I have always kneaded my bread and rolls with my knuckles. That's how mama taught me and we all know mama knows best! Always thought it would be interesting to try noodles but it has always sounded like so much work and i would be up to my elbows in dough, i am afraid. Guess i will either have to go to the grocery or take a 20 hour drive to see Terri! LOL. Gramma D

Chef Owings said...

Heavens, my family makes noodles all the time and don't do all that. Usually it's one egg to one cup of might need to add a bit(half egg shell ?) of water if it's not moist enough. I have a friend that adds oil instead of water. Mix it well , let it rest for 15-20 min this is so it's easier to roll out due to the gluten it is forming. I usually toss a bit of Easy Roll from King Arthur Flour so I don't let it rest as long. Cut it and either toss it in the pot (cooks in 2-4 min ) or dry it. Nonna came from Northern Italy, they used fresh pasta always and my other side is from the Appalachians, they used dryer noodles. I have dried my in the dehydrator and stored in jars in the pantry.

Time Out

Notice her obvious confusion?  It's kinda how I feel at present.  I'm not just sure what I should be doing to fix something tha...