Food Friday

My youngest, like his father, and unlike his siblings isn't much of an eater. So when he makes a request for a patricular food, particularly when it is home made rather than the packaged garbage that he usually loves, I will nearly always try to honor that request.

Most weeks we eat chicken or meat for Shabbat. My two big kids adore meat, and for my culinarily traditional husband too, Shabbat means meat. This week though, our dinner guests are vegetarians. Last night I was looking through cookbooks for ideas  for what to serve tonight. My youngest suggested home made noodles. I had made them for the first time several months ago. When I had made them , we had a quart of sour milk hanging around so I also made a soft riccota like cheese. So my son requested that I also make the cheese.

I agreed to make the noodles, but left the cheese question open. After I put up the challa, I got to work making the noodle dough. It's just three eggs and two cups of flour mixed togther kneaded and then allowed to rest under a bowl. The hard part is rolling the noodle dough thin enough. I used my father in law's mother's long, narrow rolling pin. Perhaps it had belonged to her mother, Pessa Itta. My father in law, who turns 96 on Sunday talks about how his grandmother used to come to his house to cook for his family when he was a young boy. She was, apparently a wonderful cook and would fill up their house with delicious food.

While the dough was resting, I heated up a 1/2 gallon of milk in a big pot had read somewhere that salt aids in the cheesemaking process so I added about a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Once the milk was fairly warm I added a large glug of vinegar. Sorry, I didn't measure, just a hefty pour from a gallon bottle of white vinegar . The mixture immediately curdled into a repulsive mess.

I then poured the repulsive looking stuff into a cloth lined colander. I gathered the edges of the cloth and rubber banded glop filled bag to my sink faucet so the liquids could drain away. After about an hour, took the cloth off of my sink faucet and opened it up. The glop and turned itself into a cottage cheesy looking mixture. I tasted it, and it needed a bit more salt. It also tasted a bit dry. Remembering reading about the preparation of
"Cheese for the Table", from the Settlement Cookbook, I kneaded in a couple of tablespoons of butter. Closer to Shabbat, I will boil up the noodles, drain them and then add the cheese.

This is such a peasanty meal I could imagine one of my great grandmothers making it in Europe.


  1. Sounds delicious. I used to make fresh pasta with my son, now grown and he, like his dad have since been diagnosed with celiac disease. No homemade pasta or challah for us any more.
    I live vicariously.

  2. Nancy-

    My guys would just die if they got Celiac. They eat tons of bread. I probably bake between 2-3 loaves of peasant bread during the week, not counting the challa that I make.

    my youngest is one of those carb and white food boys.

    And a note on the noodles... last time I rolled them rather thick. I decided to take the time and roll out the noodles realy thin. it made the noodles seem no different than box noodles. I think next time we will have the noodles thick, so they will appear home made in addition to being home made.


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