Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Cooking Agreement

Far Guy and I came to a cooking agreement about 7 years ago.  I had cooked for us for 35 years.  I am not a good cook, I didn’t enjoy it..the only part of cooking I like is the eating part.

The agreement was Far Guy would take over for the next 35 years..I figured that would get us well into the nursing home years where meals are provided.

Far Guy does really good, we keep the list on the fridge of menu choices that he can pick and choose from.  Approximately two days a week I cook, because he used to cook on his days off during the first 35 years of our life together. The girls made it through his experiments with French Meatballs, Gumbo that even our dog Snuffer wouldn’t eat and Bean Hotdish that had some kind of hot sauce in it that made the girls cry.

Last night was my night, it started off on the wrong foot..as my half hour nap turned into a three and an half hour sleep.  So that is exactly how long it took me to cook supper three and a half hours..what was I cooking..well it was a cheap steak that was baked in the oven, it was to be all tender and smothered in brown gravy to be plunked on a bed of spaetzle, accompanied by mixed peas and carrots. Spaetzle is a German Noodle or Dumpling if you prefer to call it that..I call it a noodle.

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The last two times I attempted Spaetzle from scratch it was a dish washing nightmare.  Trica said “ Mom anyone can do spaetzle, you just mix it up and push it through a strainer into the boiling water.”  Easy for her to say..I tried it..two gunked up strainers later I just threw clumps of dough into the water..it was edible.  Obviously I am not just “anyone.”

Then I read that you could use a ricer to make the noodles.  Now I had a ricer upstairs someplace..I located it and gave it a whirl…noodle dough just gunked up those little holes.  I then stood above the water and with a spoon dropped strings of noodle dough into the water. They were edible ..but not pretty.

I went back to purchased spaetzle imported from Germany.  One box was 5 dollars.  It really irked me that I could not conquer those noodles.  Both of my daughters make them for their families..why am I a noodle failure? What am I not getting?

A Christmas Jen brought over her spaetzle maker to make spaetzle for her Dad.  It looked easy to me, she whipped those noodles up and had them in the pot in no time. They were great! “Easy peasy..even you can do it Mom.”

Far Guy and I looked for our very own spaetzle maker, we finally found one in Grand Forks at the Home of Economy…that is where Jen got hers.  10 dollars..well after two bunches of noodles I will be saving money…and dreams of being a perfect spaetzle maker are dancing in my head.  I can do this..I CAN make spaetzle for Far Guy.

IMG_1416 A Spaetzle Maker

Spaetzle is a simple recipe, three eggs whipped till they are frothy,  then add a cup of milk and then slowly add three cups of flour and a dash of salt..(Nutmeg is optional) we don’t like nutmeggy noodles.  I opened the cupboard and said a “bad word”..I was out of flour.. but I did have some special blend flour half white/ half wheat for the bread maker.  Wheat flour should be ok..it will just make those noodles healthier.

At 7PM Chance is beside himself..he is hungry and I am not moving supper along fast enough for him.  He is underfoot and obnoxious..finally Far Guy feeds him..he refuses to eat until I say “ You better eat while you can, because I am not sure when supper will be done.”  Looking guilty he wolfs down his food.

Supper was fashionably late way after  8PM, but only after I created a floury mess and was asked “Honey, what is burning?”  It was spaetzle that had escaped the maker and ended up on the cook top.  About that time Far Guy broke a bowl, Chance and I both in our bare feet were relegated to a small portion of the kitchen right in front of the stove that was safe from slivers of glass.  After Far Guy cleaned up that mess I asked for help using the spaetzle maker.. when he got the last of the noodles pushed through.  He said “Perhaps we should just go back to the old ways, I will cook and you can just tell me how to do it.”

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The spaetzle was a hit, Far Guy loved it..I thought it was really good too.  However I did close my eyes while eating it as it kind of looks like oatmeal..possible the whole wheat flour effect..but I can make noodles! :)

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25 comments:

  1. Oh what a funny spatzel story, I have never had spatzel. My husband and I share cooking, so I relate to you two.

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  2. I am not a noodle lover - - goes back to having to eat them as a child when I was sick with the flu. However, I like your tenaciousness regarding the idea, "If they can do it, so can I." You have to have that attitude to survive those winters! Your efforts were definitely rewarded.

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  3. Hi Far Side:
    Don't feel bad - not only do I not know how to make spaetzel - I never had it and never even heard of it, which is unusual- since my mother came from a German family. We did have spaghetti mixed with melted cheese though, and it is still my favorite comfort food.

    You are so lucky to have a hsuband who cooks. Many of us are envious!Just one of his many talents.

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  4. Sounds good, I'll have to give that a try. I'll have to see what I have around that I can use as a spatzel maker:)

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  5. What a trying process. Congratulations on finally mastering spatzel making. I don't think I would have the patience to go to all that effort. I have never had any aspirations of being another Julia Child. Noodles or spatzel out of the box works for me. My hubby doesn't do any cooking but he always cleans up afterward and does the dishes. Since I hate doing dishes, it's a good compromise.

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  6. I love spatzel and I have a hard time making it too. I have to admit, I do not own a spatzel maker. That would help. I also can appreciate your cooking pack. I have 29 years in so I am ready to give it up. I stopped working 2 years ago( somehow cannot say the words "retired") so I do feel a little bit guilty saying you now have to work and cook. Our orignal agreement was whoever got home first cooked. That worked very well.

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  7. I've never tried to make noodles, and now I never will, because, honestly, if you can't master it, there's NO WAY I'd be able to.

    Glad it was yummy, anyway!

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  8. If both your girls can make spatzel, that is an accomplishment. What a nice guy Far Guy is to volunteer to cook full time. Or survival. Ha.

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  9. I clicked on your blog in google reader thinking, OK I need a good FarSide laugh. Something farsided, and opinionated to get my day going even better.

    You delivered. A laugh, a sigh, drama, and worry, and then....spatlzel conquered. Hooray for FarSide the Spatlzel queen.

    Hey, I can't grow Zucchini, now I am sure everyone in the world can grow it, but me. One handed and that one tied behind their back.

    Maybe this is my year.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  10. I have seen this device for noodle making on a couple of different cooking shows. I think they had two people doing the work to get the job done.

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  11. That is like the agreement we have...except, it's more like, if you want something to eat, cook it.

    Although today I cleaned the fridge and always cook something out of that...call it refridgerator stew.

    When we had German exchange students, they made noodles but they just rolled them out and cut them into strings. I had no equipment either.

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  12. You are right, they do look ghastly. However, looks are not everything, especially if they taste great. But who cares, if Far Guy is going to cook full time? Was there any thought of causing this to happen? Sounds like a plan to me! :-)

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  13. Well if you can spatzel I guess I can try as I like noodley goodness.

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  14. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog, and have enjoyed my time visiting here. I laughed when I read about our cooking agreement with Far Guy :) I, too, hate the kitchen these days...after nearly 39 years of it! You've given me an idea--I'm going to have talk with hubby, just as soon as he retires:)

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  15. Just noticed a typo in my comment...that should read "I laughed when I read about your cooking agreement"!

    I forgot to mention that I am now following your delightful blog, too.

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  16. Ah, spatzel! I usually wait until New Ulm (German town) to get it on the Saturday meal made by the lovely German ladies when at the Trade Fair. However, if I want spatzel more than once a year, I have started making a runny dough, like it's supposed to be, and then drizzle it into the pot. I have struggled with far too many devices! And I refuse to have a failure, which is why I resorted to the "cheatin' way."

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  17. Hahahaha oh my... Perhaps you might try a salad and sandwich next time? ;)

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  18. I enjoyed your spatzel/noodle story. But, now that you have the proper spatzel "tool" you (or should I say Far Guy?) are sure to become pros at making it! All you need is regular flour.

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  19. Quite a day for cooking and you still sound happy about everything.
    I can see that it's hard to be motivated to cook after a steady grind of 35 years. I like cooking and do all breakfasts , lunches and some dinners.
    Now the spatzel thing that's special. Keep at it!

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  20. What an adventure! But after all that mess and trouble, it's probably worth the money to buy those noodles..

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  21. First off, I love your kitchen, well what I've seen so far. Dig the green tile and the iron.

    Dirt and I really enjoy spaetzle but we've never tried it at home. I'm surprised that Dirt hasn't, well maybe he has and we just didn't recognize it. He has made somethings that made starving girls skip dinner and go for walks.

    We may just have to give it a whirl this week. No body has thought of anything to fill our week of menus as of yet - sometimes the mood hits and sometimes we... eat popcorn.

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  22. Never tryed spaetzle. the tool looks like a cheese grater with a extra piece of hard ware on it huh never seen one before, Great post thanx for the lesson it was interesting, Glad to hear all went well in the end. I do all the cooking hubby is the bbqer . Have a great day !

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  23. I've made homemade noodles all my life but have never ever heard of a spaetzle. Now I want one!!!

    I've always done the cookin' here on the Ponderosa and am always lookin' for a new delish dish! Thanks for the laugh and the recipe girl!

    Have a marvelously blessed Monday sweetie!!!

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  24. I would like to try to make spaetzle.
    Someone I was friends with made it for me -- and I was sold.
    But never tried it.

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  25. I think they make spaetzle in Fredericksburg, it's a nearby German town. But I have never tried it. I have an Italian pasta maker that I am going to give a whirl. I hope it is not as difficult as what you've been through!

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie