Of noodles and raisins and Knepfla/dumpling soup

Barbara Lea Goetz, Bismarck, N.D., has written a marvelous book titled, “Adventures in Faith & Motherhood.” It is a 320 page, 52-week exploration of the Bible that is interspersed with insightful family stories about when her children were growing up.

This mother of five and grandmother of 15 hopes the words in her book, along with the Word of God, will serve as a compass, a guide and an anchor for other mothers as they strive to raise godly and upright children in today’s world.

My “In the Spirit,” column in today’s (Jan. 14, 2012) Grand Forks Herald tells all about Barbara’s book. It sells for $16.95. Contact Barbara at: (701) 258-7333. It’s also available at the Rainbow Shop in Fargo, or go to: www.NewBookPublishing.com/AdventuresFaithMotherhood or www.Amazon.com.

Tucked inside almost every chapter, Barbara has a favorite family recipe and since there was not enough column space to include a recipe or two, I invited readers to click on over to this Ruby Girls’ blog for some of Barbara’s recipes.

One chapter is titled, “Endeavor to Become an Excellent Cook.”

Barbara writes: “First of all, you want to build your children’s bodies in a healthy way; this includes you and your husband. Second, you want your spouse and children to remember the good food and happy times around the table.”

I know of what Barbara speaks for those times around the table with our sons when they were young definitely are ones that we and they cherish.

So, I’m chatting with my good friend, Marlys, on the phone when out of the blue she starts talking about “noodles and raisins.” When I interviewed Barbara by phone she told me about her recipe (in the book) for “Unbelievable Noodles and Raisins.”

I think it was a sign. Marlys loves them, Barbara loves them and I’m going to make them.

Barbara says she calls hers “unbelievable because everyone who has them absolutely loves them.” The recipe was handed down to Barbara by her mother-in-law years ago. The “everybody who loves them,” most assuredly includes Barbara’s husband, LaRue.

Unbelievable Noodles and Raisins

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup buttered bread crumbs, depending on how many noodles you use
  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine (or use a buttery substitute that has no Trans fat or cholesterol)
  • 3/4 package (12 oz.) medium noodles or as many as you need for your family
  • Salt to taste

In small saucepan, boil raisins in one cup water for a few minutes to soften; drain and set aside. I usually put 6 slices of bread in oven at about 300 degrees until they are thoroughly dry and then crush or cut them into crumbs. Don’t make crumbs too fine. Put crumbs in skillet and add enough butter or margarine to saturate the crumbs; let them brown slightly. In separate kettle, cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain. Rinse drained noodles with hot water and drain again. I usually add about 1 tablespoon of butter to drained noodles so they won’t stick together. Pour noodles into large serving bowl. Add drained raisins and buttered bread crumbs. Mix all together and salt to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 5 or 6.

Another of the 52 recipes Barbara includes in her book that sounds scrumptious is Knepfla/Dumpling Soup. Wouldn’t you know it – this is a favorite of Marlys’ family, too. Barbara writes: “Even if you are not from a German background, this delicious hearty soup will warm you up on a cold night.”

Taste of Home

Knepfla/Dumpling Soup

  • 8 cups all natural chicken broth (can use part water)
  • 2 large stalks celery, diced or chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced or chopped
  • 1 small to medium onion, diced or chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp. butter (or butter substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

You can use a food processor to chop up the celery, carrot and onion. Bring all the above to a boil, except for evaporated milk. Cook until the ingredients are tender and tasty. Prepare dough while the soup is boiling at low heat.

Dough

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup water (or more)

Mix all together to make a dough that is soft and you can handle it easily. Add more flour if necessary. On floured counter or cutter board, knead dough until smooth. Roll out dough about 3/4 inch thick; cut dough into small pieces by cutting diagonally and then horizontally. Separate pieces and add to boiling soup. Cook soup uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or more. Then pour 1 cup evaporated milk into soup. Bring just to simmering. Serves 5 or more.

OK – just one more recipe from Barbara. This is one her mother passed along to her. Barbara writes, “This is an old-fashioned potato salad that my husband always wants me to make.”

Barb’s Potato Salad

  • 5 medium potatoes, boiled with skins on
  • 7 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 6 to 8 radishes, diced (optional)
  • 2 medium dill pickles, diced (optional)
  • 5 tbsp. salad dressing or mayonnaise (more or less)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • Skim milk or light cream to thin dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika

Remove skins and slice potatoes into large bowl. Add sliced eggs and thinly sliced onion. Use mainly the green part of the onion because some people can’t tolerate too much onion. Add diced celery, radishes and pickles. In separate bowl, mix the salad dressing or mayonnaise with mustard and sugar; thin this dressing mixture with a little milk. If you like creamy potato salad, dilute with a little light cream. Add this dressing mixture gently into your potato salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle top with paprika. Keep refrigerated. Serves 8 to 10.

So these are three recipes from Barbara’s book that struck my fancy. I’ve got to run now — to Hugo’s. No raisins on my shelf. I’ve got to give their marriage to noodles a try.

Until Soon

Click on the following link to read Naomi’s In the Spirit column on Barbara and her book: http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/226549/publisher_ID/40/

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