Since the passing of my wife six years ago, and my children all being grown with families of their own, the Christmas Day celebration has changed drastically for me, than from what it once was. From the days as a child heading for my grandparents farm at Centralia to my adult years, spending Christmas Day at the farm of my late wife’s family. To be honest, now on Christmas Day, I have no idea what I will be doing, where I will go, if anywhere, or what I will be eating?
For many, many years this was not the case. Christmas dinner was always a feast. As a youngster the meal that my grandmother would prepare on Christmas was always spectacular. As a young adult, most of the holiday cooking chores were left up to my wife, as she would always prepare the cornbread dressing and homemade noodles. To this day, I have never eaten homemade noodles any better than what she prepared, so I always feel obliged to share her recipe on holidays with others, so that her noodles can still be enjoyed by others, even though she is no longer with us.
I think back to the first Christmas she and I spent together in 1974. I cannot remember exactly where we went that year, but if I were to guess, I’m sure that we went to her grandmother’s house, my grandparents’ home, or probably both? We were engaged to be married the following March and I remember one of my grandparents commenting to my mother once, when they thought I wasn’t listening, “As good as cook as that girl is, I sure hope Donnie doesn’t end up getting big and fat, after they are married”. You have to love grandparents, as they are always looking out for the well-being of their grandchildren, and obviously, my grandma Mildred was doing just that. It is strange, but I remember almost all of the Thanksgiving holiday that year, but remember little to nothing about Christmas from that year?
The one memory I will always have from the next several Christmas’s after that is, how she would be rolling out those noodles on the counter every Christmas morning with her rolling pen, and the sound of that rolling pen banging on the counter as she made noodles. That distinct sound is still etched into my memory and if I close my eyes and think about it, I can still hear that rolling pen banging on the counter.
Nowadays in my home, you would never know it is Christmas, as I have not put up a tree or decorated since she passed away, because to be honest, she was the one that always did that anyway! In fact, she would go so overboard on decorations, as others were counting down the days to Christmas, I was counting down the days to when the decorations came down!
But regardless of where I may end up on Christmas Day this year, or what I may be eating, I always hope that someone out there will put forth the effort to make and treat their family with her noodle recipe for Christmas dinner and build the same memories I now have of when I would spend my Christmas Day dining on them…..Merry Christmas!
Homemade Egg Noodles
6 eggs (whole)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yellow food coloring
Beat 6 whole eggs and add 1 tsp. yellow food coloring. Add enough flour to make very stiff dough. It will be very stiff and hard to knead. Roll very thin on floured board or countertop. Keep plenty of flour under dough and dusted on top. Keep rolling until paper thin. Cut with rolling noodle cutter or cut with knife, about a ¼” wide. Let then dry some before dropping in boiling broth. Salt and pepper to taste.