Paradise ponders, homemade egg noodles edition... Debbie and I had a very pleasant day yesterday, except for being cold. Our furnace is still acting up, though toward the end of the day it suddenly started working correctly. We made up for the cold by keeping a roaring fire going in our living room, which ended up being downright toasty!
After gorging ourselves on panettone (which we polished off this morning), we set to work cooking (a collaborative effort) and wrapping presents (that was all Debbie, so they actually look nice). First we made the carrot-ginger soup, all but the last step (adding cream and a final heating). That will be our appetizer this evening. Then we made tartar sauce, using a recipe we've made several times before, from Julia Child. The recipe she gives is quite basic, but includes a clause where you just throw any old fresh herbs you feel like into it. For this batch we used a base of Duke's mayonnaise, with minced sour dill pickle, capers (lots of them!), tarragon, sage, thyme, Thai basil, chives (lots!), parsley, and marjoram. This year's batch has the highest herb-to-mayonnaise ratio of any we've made – and it's really, really good. And that's even before we let it stand overnight! Then we made bread crumbs (from a fresh loaf of country white bread from Great Harvest, a local bakery). Finally, we made homemade egg noodles for our beef stroganoff tomorrow. Here are some shots of the the work in progress:
If you've never made noodles before, it's really rather ridiculously easy – but quite a bit of physical work. The dough is just flour, eggs, and milk; it comes out fairly stiff and tough. Then you roll it into a big flat pancake, as seen in the first photo. That's a lot of rolling to get it to that point! The next step is to simply cut it into thin strips – easy, but very repetitious. Finally you just peel up the strips and curl them up onto a pan for drying (or you can hang them on a drying rack, if you have one). That's it! They are delicious when homemade, and if you're a noodles fan it's well worth making them like this. Also, you get to experiment with the different recipes, with different flours, herbs, egg content, etc.
Today we're making it an easy day. I'll be bringing in some firewood, and this afternoon we'll be making (and eating!) crab cakes. We might accidentally dispose of a bottle of champagne while we're at it, and I think there might be a Christmas movie somewhere along the line. We watched the 1951 version of Scrooge last night, and It's a Wonderful Life the evening before. Both are traditions with us, as is Miracle on 34th Street, which I suspect will be cued up tonight.
Merry Christmas, everyone!