Pasta Perfection

It all started with an innocent question.

“What do you feel like having for dinner, honey?”

Now, one of the things I love about my hubby is that he is NOT a picky eater. The only down side is that when faced with a question like this, he can think of any number of dinner menus that would make him perfectly happy. And so, his answer almost always is, “I don’t care. Whatever you feel like making.”

Not exactly the answer I wanted to hear at 5:30. I craved guidance, and I told him so, in no uncertain terms. Finally he admitted that Beef Stroganoff sounded really good. I latched onto the idea with gusto.

Too much gusto, perhaps. I remembered—-

Have you read the book If you Give A Moose A Muffin? Sometimes I think my brain works like the brain of the moose. Just a little too random. Read the book. You’ll like it.

Anyway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself– instead of just calmly going and making the dinner, I remembered the very cool pasta machine hubby gave me for Christmas and decided that not only would I make stroganoff, I would make it with homemade noodles. (Hubby wants the record to state at this point that the homemade noodles were NOT part of his request.)

Remember I said it was 5:30. I have 10 people to feed, four of whom were already complaining of hunger. This, perhaps, was NOT the most brilliant time to start such a large-scale project. But I, being me, lunged in gamely anyway. Nevermind that the baby was alreay fussing. Nevermind that my right arm (otherwise known as my three teenagers) was currently at youth group.

Within five minutes I had 5 cups of flour and 5 eggs all over the counter. I mixed, surrounded by the hungry faces of my 4 youngest. (I did toss the baby a few raisins to appease her temporarily.) Soon the first batch was ready to go through my ever-so-cool pasta machine. Turning the crank I realized soon that the thing had a much smaller capacity than I envisioned. The right size of dough for my machine was about the size of an egg. And I had a lotta eggs sitting on that counter.

Not one to panic, I enlisted the 7 year olds to run the crank for me. We cranked. And cranked. And cranked. The baby, when she got sick of raisins, cranked too– outright hollered, in fact. I assigned the 11 year old to play with her, and the younger ones and I kept cranking. Although they’d started out delighted by the machine, after half an hour or so they started complaining of arms cramps.

“Keep cranking,” I hissed, through gritted teeth. Along about 6:45, we had a lovely, if meager, heap of egg noodles.

Water boiling. Hamburger and garlic cooking. Finally, along about 7:00, I finally had dinner for my poor long-suffering family. Let the record also state that it was WONDERFUL!

(Note to self: begin the home-made noodles MUCH sooner next time.)


  1. Mary, the noodles look wonderful! Almost makes me want to own a pasta machine of my own. Almost.

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Please come back often! I'm putting you in my favorites…

  2. OH! I forgot to say that your kids are absolutely GORGEOUS. I am longing to adopt as well, so I may be picking your brain about that at a future date…

  3. Really nice site you have here. I’ve been reading for a while but this post made me want to say 2 thumbs up. Keep up the great work

  4. You are so like me. It is hilarious!! I had to read this to my husband cause I do this kind of stunt all the time. And you write so REAL!! LOVE it!!!