Saturday, November 28, 2009

Share Your Christmas With Me!

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.


Grace said...

Hi Ivory, I also have a difficult time during the holidays :-(...I don't have any personal "holiday experiences to share" (any that are positive, at least) - but as a little girl my best friend's grandma used to make lots of Christmas desserts, and Nin made a desert called Holly Dollies which were my favorite. So here's the recipe...
1 stick of butter/margarine
1 box of graham cracker crumbs
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups of coconut
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350
Melt the butter in a 9x13 pan
add graham cracker crumbs to butter and spread on bottom of pan to make crust
pour sweetened condensed milk over crust
add coconut, pecans, choc chips to top
bake @ 350 for 30 minutes...

Kerro said...

Ooooh, the butterballs and noodles sound absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing. I'll share my recipes back on my blog :)

I'm really glad you're trying something different, too. Well done!

Thanks for the link back, too. :)

Ivory said...

Butterballs and noodles are good, but they are rich. If you make them I hope you like them. Your welcome for the link back and I can't wait to find out what Yo Yos are!

Ivory said...

Oh, I've never heard of Holly Dollies! They look absolutely wonderful! I know my daughter will like them so I think I'll make them and save her some - or maybe if they come early... Thanks for sharing!!

Michael Finley said...

When it snows make snowballs and put them in the freezer. Put tin foil, wax paper or something between them. Then on Christmas Eve take the snow balls out and pile them in kind of a pyramid leaving the middle hollow.. Then put a candle in the middle. Instant luminary. The snow melts but does not drip on the candle. It runs down the snowballs.

Or hope you have snow on Christmas. One year I forgot the snowballs and there was no snow. I went to a lake and got sheets of ice. That worked.

I have a system now that I make ones out of ice and carve them with the sprayer in the sink with hot water. Most fun!

Ivory said...

Michael! This is a wonderful idea! I will definitely do this. We get lots of snow this time of year, I will collect some asap. I think sheets of ice would be beautiful! Thank you, much!

This reminds me of when I used to crush ice and put it in a washed paper milk carton (tall/skinny) with a wick held up by a tying it to a pencil, and then pour hot wax over it and when the wax hardened, I could pour out the water and cut away the carton. The resulting candle was pretty - but it left a lot of runny wax when it burned.

Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

I'd love to take part, but I am I don't know much about cooking or baking, sorry I am cooking deprived and deficient.

I will try to think of a good story. One thing that I really love to do is go to see Christmas lights and then stop somewhere and have hot chocolate with whipped cream. I don't know.. that does it for me.

I also made a Christmas ornament in school one year and every year after that I got to put it on the tree. That was great and when I got big I took it with me when I moved out. Finally it got too broken down but I keep hoping that I make some more. I will try to do that this year... you know, new traditions.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


Ivory said...


I am so honored that you shared your stories, whether you cook, or not. Looking at the Christmas lights brought back good memories for me, right down to the hot chocolate - with hands full of marshmallows! I hope you make a new ornament, for a new you.

jumpinginpuddles said...

wow we wish you were over here because we have a christmas at our house for eveyrone who has nowhere to go including us. Last year it was ten but word has got around adn now fourty people ar coming some who havent had a xmas in years.

Ivory said...

Oh, JIP you are so nice to want to invite me! If I were there, I'd come. I'm still hoping that my daughter comes, but this is her first "married" Christmas and she knows her father-in-law is on call and will be by himself if they all come here. She has a big heart, so I'm not pressing her, I don't want her to come over guilt.

You are so wonderful! Thank you so much.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks, Ivory, for sharing these traditions and recipes. What a lovely idea! I am sending all the comfort and joy vibes I can to you this season. And, if you want to see a little holiday cheer card I created at my blog, come on over and check it out!

Hey, would you like to exchange links to each other's blogs? Let me know if that's okay with you. Thanks!

Ivory said...


I would love to share links -

I will also come by and check out the card! Thank you very much for stopping by and for the joy vibes.

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