Grandma Cella heard that all 11 of her great-grandbabies (and a great-great!) were making an appearance at Christmas this year so she pulled out all the stops: fried chicken AND her infamous noodles over mashed potatoes. If heaven flows with rivers of honey, you can be sure there are small ponds of Grandma’s noodles.
|Cella and her babies. The bloggy police will take away my picture-posting license for the bad lighting,
but YOLO, right?
I asked Grandma a while back to give me a ‘tute (that’s “tutorial” for those of you who don’t pin sewing projects) on these slivers of ecstasy so she came over for an afternoon. We used flour and water and egg yolks. How many? Oh, you know – just “what it needs.” Then we kneaded it. How long? Oh, just “when it’s ready.” Then we added a bit of flour and rolled it out. How much flour? “Oh, just enough.” How do you know it’s enough? I asked. Well, she said, it just feels right.
I’m pretty sure she’ll take those fingertips on to glory, which has me in a bit of a pickle. She’s taught my mom the same noodles and I have the “recipe” for a little bit of flour, some egg yolks and a touch of water, but it’s not the same. Even my mom doesn’t get that same perfectly thin and soft texture.
Doomed. I’m absolutely doomed to hate all noodles forever after I loose Grandma.
I feel completely blessed that my kids are growing up in a relationship with their great grandmother. She even kept H Boy once a week, as an infant. She’d totally ignore any kind of eating or napping rhythm and just sit and rock him. Sentimental Michele kicked Practical Michele in the kneecap when she got upset. There’s nothing more beautiful in the world than a grandma rocking a baby.
Even though we’ve had her cooking family dinners all these years and she’s a lively and active woman, I know we won’t get to keep her forever. And among many things I’ll miss, those noodles will never grace my tongue once she’s left to take on a heavenly square dance.
So, I feast. These things are full of flour and flour and all kinds of flour that makes my belly go crazy and sends me directly into a state of “bread drunk.” If you see me an hour or so after consuming, my squinty eyes and bobbing head might tell you that illicit chemicals are altering my state of mind, but you’d be wrong. It’s the noodles.
I try to take my health pretty seriously. “Just a little” always winds up being every other day if I’m not careful. Just a bite becomes a plateful. And if I let a little in, why not make it worth it and eat a whole bunch? This is how I work, you see. I know my limits and I’m careful to abide by them or stomp them into oblivion.
But I throw it all in the air and clap my hands with glee when it comes to Cella’s noodles. Because food is more than the sum of its ingredients and nutrients. It nourishes our souls as much as our bodies. Those noodles may have done nothing for my gut, but they warmed my heart and deepened my soul. I even heaped on some for my kids because I couldn’t bear to think I was raising them in a world where they wouldn’t know the goodness of their great-grandmothers legacy.