Friday, May 23, 2008

Some Family Recipes

Every family has recipes that are handed down through the generations. This soup recipe came from my maternal grandmother and she brought it from the "old country" with her. I honestly don't know why the vegetables are strained from the broth - but they were eaten separately and enjoyed (usually by the cook). Maybe when the kids were little they objected to the veggies in the soup and this was a way to get them to eat it, but I don't know. The Compadre would like me to leave them in but it just wouldn't be right. It has to be this way to bring back all the wonderful memories of childhood! The runny noodles and Cream of Wheat dumplings are part of the whole experience. Runny noodles are easy to make and taste so good. The dumplings take a little practice and I'll admit that I have a failure every so often - but they are good enough to keep me trying. I'm sorry I don't have pictures this time - the last time I made it the dumplings fell apart and I couldn't take a picture of my failure!

Vegetable Beef Broth Soup (family recipe)

As dictated to me by Aunt Ann over the phone

Boil a beef soup bone (one with meat on it) in large pot – about 5-6 quarts. Cut up four stalks of celery, and 4-5 carrots into large chunks and add it to the pot. Add 1 -1 ½ tsp. whole peppercorns and 5 bay leaves.

After the soup has cooked for a little while add 2 big onions cut into 4-5 pieces and salt to taste – about 1 to 1 ½ tsp.

Towards the end of the time add 2 cans of diced tomatoes. Total cooking time is 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Then strain the solids from the broth with a colander. The cooked veggies and meat from the bone are fair game for anyone that wants them!

Serve with runny noodles or Cream of Wheat dumplings.

Runny Noodles

Beat 1 egg in a cup and add enough flour so it still slowly runs off of spoon but is thickened. When the soup is boiling hard let it slowly run off the spoon into the soup. Cook a few minutes more.

Cream of Wheat Dumplings

Beat 1 egg and add 1 T. water and 1 tsp. soft butter. Add cream of wheat slowly and stir until it forms the consistency of dumplings on a spoon. Drop the dumplings by teaspoonfuls into boiling soup and cook until done. It is tricky to get the consistency correct – too thick and they will not be cooked in the inside and too thin and they fall apart.

We’ve also enjoyed this soup with just loose Cream of Wheat in it. Just sprinkle it in the soup and cook for a few minutes. When I was a kid I added ketchup to the soup! Aunt Ann says that when she was little she was given the meat from the bone cut up with vinegar and oil on it. I've never tried that, it might be good - maybe some day.

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