Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Peek Inside An Amish Kitchen

A couple or three years ago we bought a noodle-maker from the Amish store. I tried my hand at it once or twice, but my noodles didn't turn out that great. In fact, after 'drying' they molded in the bags that I put them in. Ever since then I've been trying to glean information here and there, but, to date haven't had the nerve to try my hand at noodle-making again.

A few days ago an Amish friend called me and told me that her and her daughters were going to be making noodles soon, and she asked if I'd like to come out and join them. Would I? You bet! I had never had the pleasure of visiting my friend in her home and I was, not only a little more than excited about the prospect, but a little nervous, as well.

When I arrived at my friend's house I learned that she and her four daughters had ended up making their noodles another day. Today was for me!

Long tables were set out...completely covered with a layer of fresh towels with a layer of clean, white, flat sheets on top of that. The girls had already made one batch of noodles for me and another batch of dough was ready and waiting to go. My friend walked me through the process of dough-making...which was really simple...but the dough had to sit for an hour or two before using (that's why it was already done and waiting by the time I got there). Next, my friend and her daughters showed me how to roll the dough thin, then cut the noodles, and lay them out to dry.

Now drying...that's the problem I would have here. I don't have a place to let the noodles air dry for an extended period of time, but my friend is taking care of that, too. She is letting my noodles dry at her house. What she does is, she let's the noodles lay on the towel and sheet covered tables for the first day, then pulls the edges of the top sheet up, and over, the noodles and allows the whole batch to sit until they are completely dry (two to three weeks, I think she said, and she said that she does 'fluff them up' every now and then to allow even drying). She said that she will call me when they're dry and, then, I will go back over and pick them up. 

When we were done, I helped my friend and her daughters clean up and put things away. We chatted while doing so and I learned a little more about my Amish friend, and she a little bit more about me. We talked about chickens and aprons and gardens. Much to my surprise, when I got ready to leave, my friend and her daughters presented me with a beautiful angel food cake which they had made with the egg whites leftover from noodle-making and two tubs of fresh strawberries. I was touched to the core of my being at all they had done to make me comfortable in their home and to teach me the art of noodle-making.

When I left I felt that I was walking away with much more than just a peek inside an Amish kitchen. I was walking away with the blessing of genuine friendship.

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