04 January 2010


This was our year to host Spouse's extended family after-Christmas gathering. This event started many, many years ago, back when his grandparents were alive. There may have been a gift exchange and other festivities at one time, but the only thing anyone remembers about the event is that Grandma served her famous homemade chicken and noodles. I had the pleasure of watching her make them once. She rolled out the noodles by hand and hung them over the back of her kitchen chairs to dry. It was quite a process, but the results were well worth the wait!

When she passed away, a few years went by when the family gathered without the noodles. Then, in a severe state of carb withdrawal, Spouse started a campaign which he called "Bring Back the Noodles!" He asked his mom to write down what she could remember of Grandma's original recipe so that the noodles could be re-created.

Nowadays, this after-Christmas event rotates between Spouse's cousins. The host family prepares the noodles. The rest of the menu is always the same: mashed potatoes (in a quantity which would serve a small army), a vegetable, a tossed salad, rolls, and leftover Christmas goodies for dessert. The menu is practically sacred: Don't even try to mess with it! It must be EXACTLY the way Grandma used to do it!

This was our year to host the event and our first time making the noodles in such a large quantity. Like Spouse's cousins, we used frozen noodles and rotisserie chicken.

But instead of cooking them on the stove or in crock pots, Spouse got the idea to try making the chicken and noodles in our big roaster. He could clearly see I was terrified by that notion, so he immediately took over. His noodles turned out perfectly, just like Grandma's used to taste!
It's amazing how a food from your childhood can bring back such great memories.


Sharon W. said...

I love chicken and noodles. My mom made them and draped them over the chairs to dry. She, however, never added nutmeg.Now, how do I become one of the extended Petersma family members??

Connie said...

Me too, me too! Can you ship some to Tennessee?