September 6, 2009: Yankee Doodle, Kevin Makes a Noodle

*Second post for today, please scroll down for the earlier one.*

Grandson Kevin has an insatiable appetite for learning. It can be anything from gardening to dinosaurs or, in this case, cooking. Out of the clear blue sky (that is rather gray today), I hear "Grandma, how do they make noodles?"

What is the best way to learn? By doing!

I reached back through the cobwebs in my old brain, trying to remember how I made noodles years and years ago. I had him break an egg into the food processor, then fill half the empty shell with water, and add that to the egg. Next he measured in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and turned on the processor. He began adding flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until he had a really firm dough...about a cup, I think. Now it was time for the hard work to begin.

With a well floured board and rolling pin, he sprinkled the dough with more flour, then began rolling.

He rolled....

and rolled.....

and rolled some more.

And when it was as thin as he could possibly get it, he dusted it with more flour, then began rolling it up loosely.....

until he had rolled it up into a neat tube shape.

He then sliced it into narrow strips.

Then unrolled the strips onto the cutting board.

Once all the strips had been unrolled, he used the scissors to cut them into approximately 2" lengths, and spread them out on the board to dry for a bit. After a couple of hours, we boiled the noodles in salted water until they were tender, about 10 minutes.

I made them into a delicious chicken and noodles skillet. We had freshly picked green beans, cooked with bacon and onion....

Along with sliced red and yellow tomatoes and jalapeno corn muffins with real butter. Mmmm!

Kevin's noodles were delicious! In fact, the entire meal was delicious! The muffins were a real winner, too. Even if Mr. H refused to taste them. Kevin and I ate our share and more!

As if that wasn't enough food for the evening, we also had a moist, delicious zucchini cake, with some Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate ice cream. *MissyM, don't you dare read any farther!

Zucchini Fudge Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour milk (1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar + milk to make 1 cup)
3 cups shredded zucchini

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in zucchini.

Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. (All of my round cake pans are in my AZ kitchen, where I do most of my baking, so I baked this in a 9" square pan and an 11" x 7" pan, and still had enough batter for a couple of cupcakes that I cooked in the microwave oven. Of course, I had to increase the baking time for the larger cakes by about 10 minutes or so.)

Cocoa Fudge Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup HERSHEY®'S Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup milk
3 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat; stir in cocoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat; stir in milk. Pour mixture into a small mixer bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. Spread frosting while warm. Makes about 2-1/2 cups frosting.

I ran out of cocoa, so I made a vanilla buttercream frosting. I think I liked it even better than the fudge frosting! I beat half a stick of soft butter, a bit of vanilla, powdered sugar and some evaporated skim milk together until it was smooth. Sorry, I didn't measure anything.


  1. I tell you, you all eat like royalty. I love making pasta, especially when I have time. So good and so much fun.

  2. Stefaneener, sometimes I make Hamburger Helper.

    I think I should invest in a pasta roller. I really don't like ready made pasta, but simple homemade is delicious. I just don't have the patience to roll it out by hand. Kevin got it much thinner than I ever do. Mine is akin to dumplings :-D

  3. How wonderful that your grandson is willing to get down in the kitchen with you. My 7yo used to love helping me, but has been more of a big brother when I cook lately. Well, I had the chance to pull him into the kitchen to make biscuits the other day, and he did almost all of it by himself! Now I need to figure out whether it's more helpful to have him play with his bro, or help me cook dinner LOL...

  4. Momma_S, Kevin is a joy to have around. He is my only kitchen/garden helper.

  5. Gosh, that brought back memories of me and my grandmother making chicken and dumplings many years ago. Cooking together builds a special bond.

    You might try a Free Cycle wanted on the pasta machine. I think I've only posted two wanteds in the entire time I've been on Free Cycle, but you'd be surprised at how willing people are to see their good stuff that they don't use anymore go to somebody who wants to put it to good use.

  6. Ack-I'm reading this in the wee hours of the morning in a hotel room with NOTHING MORE TO EAT than a lousy pack of sugar/creamer that comes with the coffeemaker. You're killing me here.
    I think it's great that Kevin will cook with you.
    And sounds like Mr. H is up to his old tricks again.....well, more muffins for you and Kevin!!

  7. Kevin is awesome! The noodles looked delicious!

  8. Hi, That is SO nice to hear, how you taught your Grandson to make homemade pasta!! It makes me really happy to know that he has such a wonderful loving Grandma to teach him. He will benefit from these experiences so much!! What a yummy recipe for Zucchini Fudge Cake, too!! Thanks.
    Peace, Stephanie

  9. Superior looking noodles! Kevin is to be commended for his rolling work. I have a pasta roller and it makes the task so much easier. I generally do not bother doing homemade noodles during the summer months but come winter time I am definitely more than likely to do a meal from bare bones scratch including making noodles and tortillas which during summer months I tend to just buy premade for convenience.

  10. Cheryl, Sue, Erin, Stephanie and KitsapFG: Good morning all! I'm running behind, fixing brunch for grandchildren. Just want you all to know I have read your comments and appreciate that you take the time to write. Have a wonderful Labor Day (but I hope none of you are going into Labor, LOL!)

  11. I love when children develop an interest in cooking and growing...things that have taken a back seat to video games and ipods these days. I'm looking forward to instilling some of these values onto my own son. I'm sure Kevin was very proud of his noodles!

  12. Thomas, all three of my sons took an interest in cooking, and all three are/were excellent cooks (only two of my sons are now living). My two daughters are more career minded. One is quite good in the kitchen, but the other is more like "What's a kitchen?". She, the youngest, was never interested in learning to cook.

    I'm afraid Kevin is the ultimate couch potato. It's only when he comes here to visit that he gets up off his chubby little butt and actually does something. He loves my garden, and he loves to help with the cooking. The rest of the time he's glued to the TV. At least his interests are Discovery, The History Channel, Animal Planet and The Food Network. It could be worse.