The ravioli instructor handed out pre-made dough, dismissing that stage saying “Everyone knows how to make basic noodle dough.” Beth wanted to share her new ravioli skill, but needed to get over the basic noodle dough barrier. She also wanted a noodle machine, but recalled there had been one in use when she was a child.
The noodle machine came to live with us in the ‘70’s. In fact, it was responsible for the reconciliation between Jan and Grandma Rolf. Grandma never approved of her, and Jan responded in kind. Grandma was still an independent woman when she got her last grandchild, but becoming rigid and unforgiving.
Back in the kitchen in Mentor, Jan and I used to throw parties that featured a house full of friends. Lots of noise and confusion and the sort of food we normally didn’t have. There were Jan’s famous Thanksgiving in July parties; her Chinese egg roll parties. And, the beef stroganoff party. Except ours would feature homemade noodles, just like Grandma Rolf used to make. Recalling all the time Grandma also spent rolling them out, I decided to spring for the noodle rolling machine. Jan recalls it cost $49.95. In 1975. That was a chunk a change.
There we were, a party coming up and the noodle machine on the table. We didn’t know how to make noodles. Jan called Grandma Rolf. Grandma was pleased beyond words to tell her long haired hippy granddaughter how to put flour on the counter, make a well, crack the eggs into the well, how many egg shells of water, start working the flour in with the fork. All the way up to rolling and drying. Jan didn’t tell her about the noodle machine, in respect of the new rapport.
Jan told Beth exactly how to do it, and she did. Uncle Walt was hanging out in the kitchen, having planked the apple wood. We reminisced about the drying noodles when we were kids and Grandma Rolf was in our kitchen. Noodles hung over the backs of every chair, in addition to being on towels on every counter. Walt also told me about beans on the shelf. He hated green beans. He noticed his older sister’s method of disposing of runny scrambled eggs, and immediately added green beans to the ledge. The cat didn’t eat green beans. Walt got in trouble.
Because it was St. Patrick’s day, and because her mother and her Uncle Walt are very Irish, Beth made spinach ravioli. When she and Caroline went home, they took the noodle machine and the apple wood planks. The machine will live in her kitchen and her restaurant will feature apple wood planked scallops next week.