I was just at Kerro's Korner and she mentioned short-bread and yo-yos that her mother made for the holidays. Because I might be alone this Christmas, I want to do something special because December is the most difficult month for me. I want to make it different. This year, I'll be in a new house and I want to BE different.
So, I've asked Kerro to please share her recipe for short-bread and yo-yos (I'm excited to learn what yo-yos are), and I would love it if you would all share with me a special recipe, dish, or meal for the holidays. I would absolutely love it if you would share a story with it such as what country this dish or meal is enjoyed in and a story to go along with it. I will share the first one:
On Christmas Eve, my mother has always made ButterBalls and Noodles. (Recipe at the bottom). Everyone I shared my Christmas with loved butterballs and noodles - family, friends of family and church family - even the man I married knew what they are. I was young, I didn't realize the whole world didn't eat butter balls and noodles on Christmas Eve. Anyway, after I got married, we moved to another state and our soon to be best friends had never even heard of butterballs and noodles! So, I made a huge pot of them and invited our friends over to feast. They loved them and began a little tradition of their own!
Admittedly, the dish sounds odd, but the butterballs are made from dried bread crumbs, cream and butter. The noodles are homemade from eggs and flour. The butterballs are cooked in a deep pot of rich chicken broth, added after the noodles are done (only a few minutes!). The soup is served with the boiled chicken parts used to make the broth, as well as varied favorite salads, vegetables, dessert, etc.
Butterballs and noodles are of German decent, but came from the German Colonies in Russia. I don't know if any part of it was influenced by the Russian people, but it has been a specialty to my family for over 100 years.
Butterballs and Noodles
12 egg yolks and 1 whole egg (beaten until yellowy)
Add to 3 C flour (add a bit of salt)
Mix until stiff and smooth (you will eventually have to put in a large bowl and mix by hand)
If it's too dry add a few drops of water at a time as it is easy to over water and have mushy noodle dough. You will know it's too dry if after kneading it for several minutes you can still see small spots of flour.
Cut dough into 2 or 3 pieces and roll into sausage shapes about 1 1/2 inches diameter. Then slice into about 3/8 thick disks. Lay each disk on a cloth in single layers.
Using the smooth, flat setting on a noodle machine, roll each disk thru the thickest setting and lay on cloth (this setting will flatten a bit to about 2-3 inches long). Let air dry for a few minutes and turn over and let dry. The drying time between each rolling will increase as each piece gets thinner.
When you can roll using a thinner setting, without the dough sticking to the machine, roll each one again and lay on cloth to dry (each piece should be about 6-8 inches long after this roll). Turn after several minutes to dry and then again roll using a thinner setting. Do this until each piece is about 24 - 30 inches long and as thin as tissue paper; I roll about 4 times.
Let the pieces dry a bit and then roll them thru the noodle rollers (we do the narrow ones), letting them fall and spiral on a large plate. I usually cover the top of my bed with a clean flat sheet and sprinkle them on it. Every 30 minutes I "fluff" the noodles carefully, so they will dry uniformly and separately.
This takes all day and the noodles can be made several days or weeks ahead of time, just put them into large plastic bags and freeze them if you make them more than a few days before you plan to eat them.
5 cups of finely ground bread crumbs
1 1/2 cubes butter (3/4 C)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 beaten eggs
1 cup cream
salt to taste
Mix well and roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Boil test one before you roll them all to assure it holds its shape by dropping into a deep pot of lightly boiling water. If it holds shape, and floats when cooked thru, they are okay, if not then add another beaten egg to the mixture and try again. Refrigerate until you wish to use them.
After boiling a whole chicken, chicken parts, or use chicken stock in a large kettle, add a few hands full of noodles and after 1 - 2 minutes, add several butterballs (a usual serving is about 3-5 per person because they are rich). Stir gently after a minute, and when the butterballs begin to float to the surface, they are finished and ready to eat. The soup should be made after the whole table is set because it is done quickly and is best eaten as soon as it's done.
Note: we always put Allspice on the table and use like pepper or salt, to taste, and my mother often adds a bit of onion to the stock pot chopped into small pieces as the chicken boils.