My mom was a great cook, and so were her three sisters. Mom was the last one living out of those three good cooks, and she passed away last year, August 1, 2010, at 90 years old. February 15 she would have been 91; our first birthday without her. She cooked a lot of meals in those 90 years; started as a young child learning how to cook. My sisters and brother and my cousins grew up eating Mom’s and the aunts’ vegetable beef soup with egg noodles, and adding their cornbread to our soup bowls. Mom taught me how to make noodles and dumplings a few years ago when she was too frail to make them herself anymore; sitting at the kitchen table telling me how much flour to put in the bowl; put in the egg or put in the chicken broth; how thin to roll the dough; whether to cut in squares for dumplings or thin strips for noodles. Wonderful memories.
She always wore an apron when she cooked, coming home from church, in a hurry to get the Sunday dinner on the table, throwing on an apron over her good clothes. And we always had to eat while it was hot, fresh out of the oven or off the stove. We always ate together, all six of us, and then five after my older sister left for college and on her own. All the way to the time we left home… and even after we brought husbands and children back for visits… we always sat down together at the kitchen table to eat our meals.
I have one of her aprons now.
Grandma Madeline’s Beef and Vegetable Soup with Noodles
(as written by my Aunt Alleen)
Beef chuck roast Cook chuck roast in boiling water;
potatoes till very tender; remove meat and cut in
cabbage pieces. Cook in broth. [note: vegetables]
onions Add noodles when veg. are done. (can
tomatoes cook noodles separately then add to soup.)
Flour in bowl, salt. Make hole in flour. 1 egg, 1/2 egg shell water. Work to stiff dough. Roll real thin. Put a little flour on top.
Serve with hot corn bread.
In an effort to give you a little more help in making this delicious soup, I will try to give you an idea of the amounts per ingredient:
For the soup:
medium-sized chuck roast with enough water to cover well for broth.
half a head of cabbage
1-2 medium onions
small stalk of celery (Mom used to just add the leafy part) the celery leaves can overpower the other vegetables so be careful when using them.
2 cans of tomatoes (Mom always added a can of tomato juice as well; usually a quart jar of her home-canned juice.)
And Mom always added a carrot or two and corn to her soup. So, naturally, I do too.
For the noodles:
a coffee cup of flour, just dip it in the flour and put it in the bowl. Rolling the noodles thin is the key.
I now make it with as many vegetables as I want, always leaving room for the noodles to go in at the last. It may look a little thin until the noodles are added. Mom never precooked the noodles, and I don’t either. Use a pizza cutter and cut them long and skinny. Mom also would make drop noodles on occasion by crumbling the dough into the broth instead of rolling it out and adding noodles to the broth.