Wednesday, May 09, 2012
A Family Affair
Today is Ellie's birthday. I could go into all the dramatic details of where I was this time last year and all the chaos of the hospital, but for some reason that just didn't seem fitting. This blog is about food and crafty things, and while creating a child is probably the most epic craft I will ever create, it was food that I felt compelled to write about today. Food is such a huge part of my family, it's where we gather, where we share and where we reconnect. Often even after the table is cleared we're still there, talking and laughing and telling stories. The same stories. Over and over and over again. I think the foods I love, I love because I have many memories connected to them. I want to share that with Ellie.
Ellie is named after two people: Laurene, Nick's aunt, who passed away not long after becoming a mother, much too young. We wanted to honor her memory, her sister, Ellie's Nana, and her daughter, Ellie's Aunt Meg. Eleanor, my great-grandmother, mother of 12 children, clearly a strong woman, and a really good cook.
Today was Ellie's birthday, but it was all about a melding of all things family, in the form of dinner. I made chicken and noodles. I know, you're thinking, why did you make the stereotypical sick food for a birthday dinner? This isn't that chicken and noodles. This is my Grandma Taylor's chicken and noodles which is much more serious than a bowl of broth with a few noodles and bits of chicken floating around. Grandma Taylor's chicken and noodles is thick, creamy and warms your soul. Or at least mine. I feel like I'm in her house again whenever I eat it. But I had to up the ante.
So I made my great-grandma's noodles. I had never made pasta of any kind. I always considered it, but never did it. This was apparently one of my grandpa's favorite things to eat, but I had never eaten it. Ever since my family put together a cookbook, I've been itching to try her noodle recipe. Ellie's birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity. So Grandma Dietz's noodles went into Grandma Taylor's recipe and it was a match made in heaven.
We shared our dinner with Ellie's Nana and Papa and I had this sense that there were a lot more family members present than the five of us seated at the table. It was perfect.