Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Noodlers

In a cold, northern city, a small tribe of Noodlers gathers on a dusky afternoon to encourage one another in a difficult and time consuming task. They bring the necessaries: bags of white flour, 15 dozen eggs, amazing muscular strength in hand, arm and shoulder, and a determination to create the ultimate in slow food... homemade egg noodles...

This one needs a lot more kneading to make it smooth and pretty...

The Noodlers make enough batches of smooth, hard yellow noodle dough to fill five or six icecream pails. They disperse to nurse their aching hands through the night, vowing that this is the last time they'll fulfill this crazy task.

The following day, the intrepid band regathers to complete their mission: the rolling and cutting of the noodles.

The large lumps of dough are formed into small, flat pieces 
that go through rollers to make larger flat pieces.

The larger pieces are then cranked through again to make long sheets
that go through several hands, sometimes flying through the air... 
to drying places throughout the house...

All of which is done in shifts... as some sheet noodles dry, 
some dough is just being cut and flattened for rolling, and
other sheets are cut into thin, chicken noodle soup noodles...

...put into pans... and run upstairs to a
highly specialized drying platform.

The same process occurs for the thick, comfort food noodles...

The Noodlers are an extremely shy people... 
I had to hide to catch this runner/spreader in action...

To prevent them from sticking together in clumps,
the Noodler below is airing the drying noodles...

which will rest on their drying beds for a day or two,
before being packed into containers and stored in cupboards.

After about nine hours (not including the drying and getting the noodles into ice cream pails), the Noodlers are pleased with their work. The noodles will be enjoyed in soups and cooked in the traditional Russian-German style (with potatoes and butter fried croutons) until they're all gone... Perhaps by then the Noodlers will have forgotten their sore hands and only remember the fun, camaraderie, and flying noodles that brought them together for two days in January, 2012.

P.S. If you want to make your own slow food egg noodles, take a dozen eggs and work in about one kilo of white flour (4-5 cups; depending on the size of your eggs, it might take more or less). We used 15 kilos of flour for 15 dozen eggs. Make a really firm (read knuckle-busting) dough, and roll out thin before cutting (Grandma did it by hand, but there are pasta machines like ours still available for about $60 if you want to do it that way). Cook noodles in salted water or soup broth. Yummmmy!

1 comment:

  1. Hee Hee The Noodlers
    That has me giggling like a maniac.

    Noodle making looks like a whole lot of fun!

    I make noodles sometimes for Tibetan soup.
    In small batches, by hand. There is something comforting about stretching out the strips of

    I really like the idea of a whole day of noodle making! I wonder if I can convince the girlie to help me?? I hope so! It must feel so rewarding to see a whole bed piled with drying noodles!


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