Tuesday, November 22, 2016


In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is about tradition.  Some people don't mind shaking things up each year and some people carve their expectations for the day in stone.   As our family grew and evolved we managed to hang on to Thanksgiving Day as we have known it.  And for that we are thankful. Part of the expectation is the traditional foods and we hang onto those with both hands.  There's the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, because Thanksgiving wouldn't be right without them.  But in PH's family there was always a big bowl of noodles on the table, too.  Homemade noodles. Noodles kneaded and rolled and cut with a knife.  Dried, and then simmered in homemade chicken stock.  And shame on me, I never learned how to make them.  But my daughter did. 

 From the left:  Lucinda, PH's mother, Aunt Celeste in the middle and Aunt Marcella.  Don't you just love those names?  These three ruled their own roost and everyone else's, too.  We called them The Big Three and they kept the family in line and together.  They were so synced with each other they independently bought the same dresses, fixed the same things for dinner and picked up the phone to call and found each other on the other line.  But each of them made a different noodle.  Same recipe.  Lucinda's noodles were thick, like a kluske, and yellow and cooked in home made chicken stock.  Aunt Celeste's were thick cut, white and cooked with chicken stock.  Aunt Marcella's were very thin, white and cooked in beef stock.  You could walk up to a buffet table and know exactly whose you were looking at and you better walk away from that buffet table with a little of each on your plate!

Our daughter knew the value of maintaining the food traditions and learned how to make grandma's noodles but the first time she tried it on her own she couldn't figure out why hers weren't yellow like grandma's.  She called PH's brother to ask and he said she put a little drop of yellow food coloring in hers.  Voila!   She now officially has the job of making noodles for the holidays and she is passing it on to the girls.
 In preparation for this Thursday, yesterday was noodle making day at their house.  On the way home from school today I told the girls I was impressed with these pictures their momma took and that it looked like they were doing it all themselves.  Elizabeth said, "Pretty much" but this was the first year she felt she had the strength to really crank the noodle maker and get it to work.
 It was harder for Adelaide, she's younger and doesn't yet have the muscle power, but she did her part.  No more rolling them out by hand and cutting them with a knife.  Sometimes you make a concession.

 Adelaide said she had a harder time controlling the flour. 

Now the wait begins.  The noodles need time to dry but this is the part the girls like best.  Today they will be dried enough to eat them raw.  Sometimes momma has to hide them so there are some left to cook.  Sometimes she makes a bigger recipe so they can nibble as much as they want. That doesn't matter, what matters is the tradition continues.


  1. What a lovely story. I love seeing children getting involved in tradition. Is your husbands mother Italian? Such a nice tradition thanksgiving. I am gearing up for Christmas and have been slack blogging so its catch up time for me.

  2. I am a traditionalist, through and through! The thought of noodles for a feast day is intriguing. What would be their heritage?
    I am making new traditions too, I clipped a recipe years ago for a chocolate drambuie rich fruit cake and hence have made it each year for at least 10 years. I knew it had become a tradition when my daughter asked me when we were going to start collecting the ingredients to soak the fruit. It has become a rythmn in her life and now a new tradition will continue.....I hope!
    As ever your grandchildren are so sweet and starting their traditions as well as continuing others, the future is in good hands.