APRIL CHEF’S CORNER WITH JOHN RUDY: NOODLE PUDDING

NOODLE PUDDING

This recipe came from my Grandmother Helen Rudy in about 1965.  She got it from her mother or grandmother.  As is usual with that generation, nothing was written down, so what is here is a tuning of the recipe based on making it–a lot.  Most commercial Noodle Puddings have a higher concentration of noodles, and that certainly can be arranged, but I like it softer and creamier.  Others have raisins, pineapple, and other stuff I don’t like to put in my noodle pudding, but there is no problem adding other ingredients unless they either absorb a lot of moisture or generate a lot of moisture.  If that is the case, moderate the milk to get the consistency you like.  This recipe makes 8-10 portions in a 9” x 13” pan (117 sq in).  A half recipe goes into an 8”x8” pan.  With two of us, the half size works just fine.

9×13 pan      8×8 pan

1 lb                  ½ lb         Cottage Cheese (standard size container)

8 oz                 4 oz        Cream Cheese, softened

4                       2              Eggs, Jumbo (adjust if using a smaller sized egg)

½ pint           ½ cup     Sour Cream

1¼ cup         ⅝ cup     Milk (note that 1/8th  cup is 2 tablespoons)

2½ Tbs         1¼          Sugar

8 oz              4oz         Broad Noodles.  (Note: Some bags are 12oz,                                                        others  are 16oz)

2 Tbs            1 Tbs      Butter

½ cup           ¼ cup     Cornflake crumbs (just pour from box till it is                                                      enough)

shakes          shakes    Cinnamon-Sugar

Except for when there will be a crowd, make ½ of this recipe

  1. Certain recipes require accurate measuring. A noodle pudding does not.  And you might as well play with the ingredients to tune it to your taste.
  2. Cook the noodles for 6-7 minutes, drain, and cool in water. Don’t make them too soft as they will continue to cook as you bake the pudding.
  3. Beat the Cream Cheese, then add the eggs, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, and Sugar. If you use “lite” sour cream or cottage cheese it will affect the taste.  Only you will know if you care.
  4. Slowly beat in the milk and then stir in the well drained noodles. It will be very liquid at this point but will thicken during cooking.
  5. Heat the oven to 350°
  6. Melt the butter in a Pyrex pan and make sure that the sides are also buttered. The amount of butter is approximate.  Place the pan onto an edged cookie tray (to collect leakage).  Pour in the pudding material.  This can, in fact, be done hours before the cooking.
  7. Sprinkle the top liberally but not thick with Cornflake crumbs, and then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
  8. Bake, uncovered, ~33 minutes until it browns on the top and it is reasonably solidified. It will not harden in the pan while hot.  If covered it will boil, not bake.  The smaller pan will take 28 minutes.
  9. The pudding can be prepared a day before cooking.

The pudding reheats well in the microwave.

CHEF’S CORNER Feature Writer John Rudy

John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age.  (She cooked vegetables in boil-able packages.)

APRIL SENIOR MOMENT with Liz David: “OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES”

“OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES”

By Liz David

The World’s Greatest Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

A few months ago, my 11-year-old grandson Ben and I were in the kitchen. He was sitting at the table, patiently waiting for lunch. I was preparing to serve him the world’s greatest grilled cheese sandwich ever.

Out of the blue he looked up and said, “Nana, I hope you live a long time.”

“I hope so too,” I said, moved.  I thought all he was interested in was his X-box, play station, texting, and winning at Monopoly.

At the time, I was 80. Now, I’m 81.  I’ve already lived a long time.  I don’t know what living a long time means to an 11-year-old.  I didn’t probe or ask questions, but I’ve been thinking about this question off and on since then.

So what does living a long life mean to me?  Is it the fullness of years or just another number to strive for?  So I’m 81. Will I reach 82 and, if so, what difference will it make?  What difference will I make?  Is being here enough? Or am I just existing? Does my continued existence matter? Of course, my family and friends would say yes.  And I say yes too!

But is my yes important? Will I live to see my oldest grandchild—and also my youngest grandchild who is 7—graduate 6th grade, 8th grade, high school, college.  Will I see them have careers, get married, make me a great-grandmother? Unlikely.  Very unlikely. Impossible. Do the math!

For me, it’s important to not only live well into a “ripe old age” but also to live a meaningful old age. Yet, a very wise person once said to me that all God wants us to do is to “be.”  I ask myself, “How can I ‘be’ as I do?” A conundrum that gets me into, may I say the word, spiritual stuff.

Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.  Really?

So, how about a conversation?

SENIOR MOMENTS Feature Writers Eleanor Jaffe (left) and Liz David (right)

Years ago, when we were in our 40’s, my husband and I bought a sundial with the saying “grow old along with me–the best is yet to be.”  I’m not sure whether or not I believed it then, and I’m wondering whether I believe it now. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL’S MYSTERY MAVEN MARILYN: ONE PERFECT LIE

ONE PERFECT LIE

I really don’t know how Lisa Scottoline keeps writing one excellent mystery after another, but she does.  Her latest had me completely fooled until the author revealed the secret she’d kept for more than a third of the book.

One Perfect Lie opens with Chris Brennan interviewing for a position at the high school in Central Valley, Pennsylvania.  He’s made it his business to know exactly the type of substitute teacher the school administration wants, and he presents himself accordingly.  He’s observed the male high school staff and is dressed the way they are in what might be termed “school casual;” he’s even had his hair cut locally so that nothing about him will stand out or seem unusual.

His resumé is perfect, and the reasons he gives for the many moves he’s made in his life ring true.  It also helps that the school needs a substitute Government teacher at once, as the regular teacher left suddenly due to a family emergency.  Chris gives the principal, the only member of the school’s administration he hasn’t met previously, all the answers she wants and needs to hear, and so, he gets the job.  Then he thinks to himself, “It was time to set (the) plan in motion, commencing with step one.”

Step one is finding out about renting a truck from a local man who’s not too fussy about legalities.  The man assumes the vehicle is needed for a move, but Chris knows that the available twelve footer is the perfect size for transporting an ANFO bomb, an explosive with ingredients that are easy and safe to assemble.

During his first class Chris sets out to win over all the students, especially the boys.  He’s already deciding who the leaders and who the followers are, and he’s narrowed down the ones he’s interested in to just a handful.  He plans to cull the handful even more until he finds the perfect boy.  Between his teaching assignment and agreeing to be the assistant coach of the school’s baseball team, he expects to find just the right one; he’s in a hurry because the bombing is only six days away.

Lisa Scottoline is a master storyteller.  She brings to life the three teenagers in whom Chris shows the most interest.  There’s Evan Kostis, the handsome, smart student from a wealthy but unhappy family; there’s Raz Samatov, bereft over the recent death of his father; there’s Jordan Larkin, whose single mother is guilty over how much time she needs to work in order to provide for the two of them.  So what exactly does Chris want from the boy he decides to choose?

All of these characters, and many more equally well done and believable, inhabit the pages of One Perfect Lie.  Ms. Scottoline has written one more thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.

You can read more about Scottoline at: https://scottoline.com/

AND check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at:  marilynsmysteryreads.com  

Our MYSTERY MAVEN Marilyn Brooks

I’ve always been a reader and, starting with Nancy Drew (my favorite, of course), I became a mystery fan.  I think I find mysteries so satisfying because there’s a definite plot to follow, a storyline that has to make sense to be successful.  And, of course, there’s always the fun of trying to guess the ending!