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User of little pieces -- of time, fabric, food, land, even trash. I am fascinated with the mighty power of the Small and Bypassed to transform into usefulness and beauty. As a mother of seven, living for decades on one income, I have practice using up Every Little Bit of Every Little Thing. My treasures have grown now and I have the joy of teaching preschool. I find this gift for making practical use of the Small and Bypassed, PLUS the gift of time to create, has channeled into simple, artistic expressions of small things.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Life, the bazaar and chicken soup with homemade noodles . . .

The military is flying overhead; an unintentional reminder of traumas and dramas rocking our world. So much devastation and so many broken hearts and baked-hard hearts -- and how weird that life just goes on. Recently I spoke to My Little Elephant and we noted the speed of life and that maybe it's a good thing. Time may or may not be short on this planet, but there's eternity waiting in the wings. 
We need to take better care of each other.
Grandfriendboy is snuggling on my lap which is a sign that he isn't quite himself. Catching a cold or an allergy or a sinus thing. He is usually too busy to cuddle with me except at naptime. Then he needs to be close to see the pictures in "The Monster at the End of This Book," and "Silly Tilly," and "We're Going on a Bear Hunt." 
Today, before entering his sleepy haze, he asks if he can nap with his eyes open. I say, "Sure." He tells me, "Sometimes I snore" and begins making buzzsaw noises. I close my eyes and return gusty reciprocal saw snores. I find myself a solo snorer in a few seconds and find his eyes fixed on me in apparent fascination. I can only assume my snoring is causing my face to vibrate in a curious way -- our skin gets a little loose, you know, when we get older, allowing this to happen. Sad but true.
Soon he is gently snoring, for real, and I slip downstairs, remembering I need to post pix of the Bazaar Saturday, and thinking, as I do SO often, how grateful I am that my daughters are good cooks. Saturday I called home after the bazaar and asked Anna to make homemade noodles, and by the time Mamasan and I walked in the front door twenty minutes later they are nearly ready to toss into soup which I quickly throw together with:
a couple cups of leftover corn and baked potatoes
8 cups of water, give or take
a couple tbsp. chicken bouillon give or take
a couple tbsp. dehydrated onions
a 15 oz can of green beans
3 cups chopped leftover chicken
about a tsp. each of black pepper, oregano, ground celery seed
about a tbsp. of curry powder
This made a lot -- more than enough for the eight of us that evening, which means lunch the next day was taken care of.
Here's what it takes for Anna's noodles, but noodles are not rocket science and the variations are legion:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or pasta flour
1 tsp. salt (you can leave it out)
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
Stir this all together and knead until it's smooth and elastic like bread dough.  If the dough is too wet, add a bit of flour at a time.  If it's too dry, add some liquid, but try to gauge it for dryness before it's well kneaded, because it's hard to knead in liquid.
When I was learning to make pasta, the recipes I used said you want a stiff dough.  I was frustrated because in trying to achieve stiffness my dough was always too dry to roll out well, and I would have to knead in more milk or water, which made the dough slimy!  I finally gave up on "a stiff dough" and started making a soft, pliable dough, which is much easier to roll out, and therefore more fun.  Which is good!
Cover with plastic if you want to let it sit for 20 minutes or so.  Letting it rest helps it not to snap back when you roll it out.    I never want to wait, so I just keeping rolling along. . .
Dust your rolling surface with flour, pluck off a piece of dough maybe the size of a couple of biscuits, flour it if needed, and roll it out to about 1/8" thickness or thinness.    Slice the noodles into the widths you like -- I use a pizza cutter, toss them with flour so they don't stick together (The flour will thicken the soup), or just drop them right into your simmering soup.  They will take about 15 minutes to cook depending on how thick/thin they are.

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Finding value in the Bypassed and the Small . . .