September 30, 2010

Grandma's Ladle

Jeffrey was able to locate Grandma's ladle!  He'd brought it to serve Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai) at a work potluck, and then later the ladle disappeared.  I was a bit sad about that, but today the lost was found!  It turned out that someone at Jeffrey's office had helpfully washed it-  and then buried it away in a drawer under a bunch of other stuff.

Sorry about the shadows!

I have such fond memories of Grandma's cooking, and this ladle in particular. Grandma sometimes used it to serve up chicken and noodles (among other things), which was a family favorite. 

Actually, pretty much any kind of noodle was a specialty of hers, but the chicken noodles were the absolute best.  My mom, sister and I all tried making them while Grandma was still alive, with non-spectacular results- it's a family joke that Mom's first attempt was more like boiled rubber bands than noodles.

Here is the recipe:

Grandma's Noodles

2                     eggs
1 tablespoon   water
1 1/2 cups       flour plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 quarts          broth
drop or two    yellow food coloring

Beat eggs and water and stir in flour and salt and roll out on a floured board.    Knead in more flour as needed to get a rollable dough. 

Put flour on board and roll out thin.  Then fold or roll up and cut thin.  Noodles can be dried or frozen at this point if you don't want to cook them right away.

Heat broth in a Dutch oven.  Have broth boiling hot and add a drop or two of yellow food coloring.  Stir well, then drop the noodles in, stirring constantly.  Turn heat to low.  Put  a lid on the pot for the first 15 minutes of cooking.  Cook for about an hour total. 

When Grandma had to go to hospice care, she told mom one of her secrets- she never exactly measured the water, just filled one of the broken egg-shells.  I'm not sure that's the difference between Noodle Nirvana and Boiled Rubber Bands, but I thought I'd pass along the info just in case.

Anyway, have you taken a look at what passes for a ladle these days?  Pathetic!  I don't trust meltable plastic with boiling hot liquids, and this one has an off-kilter angle to the bowl of the ladle that I don't care for.

Here's the sad spoon we were using until the Plastic Ladle was brought home:  it has a very shallow bowl, and again, an awkward angle.

Ah, the glory of the old-fashioned ladle!

In case you're interested, I've identified this as the Ekco Forge Stainless Steel Ladle.  I'm guessing it was made in the 50's or 60's.  Do you have a favorite kitchen tool?  Leave us a comment below!

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