I have had the immense privilege to be chosen by Christianne to guest blog for today and Friday. I'm nervous as all get out. I mean, seriously, you guys read her blog. It's beautiful, polished, immaculate, girly, pretty and hundreds of other adjectives that my little family blog could only dream of being. Especially the girly part, cause lets face it, only in my wildest of dreams would there be an ounce of lace, ribbons, and bows tossed in among the mismatched socks, lego towers, nerf guns, light sabres, and cowboys costumes strewn from one end of my abode to what concievabley is the other side. I am mom to three fantastically rambunctious, LOUD, crazy, audacious, giggly, genius smart, insane boys ages 10, 4, and 15 months. There is never a dull moment here in Arters town.
Oh and by the way, perhaps I should take this small moment to introduce myself as Emily Arters and a little kick back to my own un-fancy, hodgepodge of a blog I call my own. If you click on the "about" you'll find out a little more about me and my fantastic husband who makes all the madness possible.
So in honor of the content here, I have chosen a book and an activity to share with you. My oldest son has always adored this book and it was no surprise when my middlest found it tucked and worn into the bookshelf and has added new shreds and tears to the pages and bindings.
Spaghetti Eddie by Ryan SanAngelo
Eddie is a young boy living in a New York, brownstone style neighborhood sent on an errand by his mother. Along the streets he encounters friends needing help and is only too happy to offer assistance in an unusual way. The illustrations by Jacki Urbanovic are stunning water colors and there are people of all shapes, sizes and colors. I absolutely love that they are an unusual bunch given you'd expect a good 'ole Italian family with a title like Spaghetti Eddie.
And with that in mind, and having married into a fabulous Italian family, we decided our activity would be a MYO noodle tutorial. I admit, I didn't take as many photos as I ought to have so I apologize in advance and will try to be detailed in my recipe and instructions to make up for my goof. Prepare yourself to make at least 1 or 2 trial batches and a pretty significant mess. My boys do love a good messy project.
Arters Noodle Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs olive oil
Dash of salt
A cup of water to be added until desired consistency (this will ALWAYS vary)
Flour on hand for dusting your table where you'll lay the finished noodles
Now before you go tossing this all in a pile here's the how to. Put the flour on your counter and make a well in the center, building the sides as tall as they'll stay. Crack the eggs into the center, add the oil and salt and be sure it doesn't spill out.
Scramble the wet ingredients inside the well and start incorporating the flour.
Here comes the messy party. Once the fork is becoming moot in the scrambling you'll get your fingers in and start mixing until the consistency looks a bit like cooked scrambled eggs. When you're at this point you'll start adding the water. I know I know, it sounds complicated and hard but you're basically making play dough.
The finished consistency with the water should be elasticy and this is where you'll shoot me for not taking a picture, but my hands were gooey, Luke's hands were gooey and nobody else was on hand. Once the ball is formed you'll take turns kneading the dough for about 5 solid minutes. DO NOT skip this step or the noodles just fall apart once they hit the boiling water to cook.
Now that you have your ball of dough there's two ways to achieve noodles at this point. If you're lucky and have a noodle machine either electric or manual you'll divide the dough into 4 or 5 sections and run them through the machine. Start at the largest press setting and work down to the next to last. You don't wanna rip or tear your dough.
If you aren't fortunate enough to own the machine, you'll divide your dough into 4 or 5 sections and roll them out with a rolling pin and use a butter knife to cut the noodles into strips. My guys love either way. Frankly they enjoy any excuse to get their hands on a knife. Little cutthroats!!
Here's what our finished dough looks like.
We keep the strips wide for lasagna and of course use the spaghetti setting for spaghetti. This day we were making lasagna noodles which are out-of-this-world freshly made. Be sure your table and each of the strips has a fair amount of flour coating them to keep them from sticking before they're all ready to go into your pot of boiling water. And oh yeah, you'll need a pot of boiling water to cook the finished product.
Don't be afraid to get totally messy with your kids and it may take a few batches to get it just right, but your kids will remember the hilarity of your goopy hands and flour everywhere and a really tasty end to a fantastic afternoon spent together. And really, that's all you can hope for!
Stop back here on Friday for a much simpler craft but equally as much fun!