The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 7, 2017
 
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2014-01-09

Chores

Carolyn B. Edwards

When you grow up on a farm, you learn about chores. Growing things, whether it be plants or animals, requires time and effort. And when those plants or animals are grown in order to have food on the table, it's doubly important that everyone do their part to make sure of production.
The Bandera County Junior Livestock Show and Sale is this week. The event, held for 77 years out at Mansfield Park, always brings back memories of farm animals and activities.
My chief duty regarding animals on the farm was to take care of the chickens. I made sure they had food and fresh water every day. I collected and cleaned the eggs, then packed them into cartons to be taken to town to sell.
When Saturday rolled around, I'd be sent down to the chicken coop to catch a couple of the oldest hens, or an extra rooster, and bring them to the house for Mom to butcher for Sunday dinner of fried chicken and noodle soup.
Good noodle soup requires an old tough rooster or hen to give it that depth of flavor that chases away the germs of the cold and any other maladies. Cut up the bird and put it in a soup pot, just covering with salted water. Bring to a boil, and simmer.
To make the noodles, crack six eggs into a bowl, sprinkle in a couple of teaspoons of salt and beat vigorously. Add flour a cup at a time, stirring in thoroughly. As the dough forms, keep adding flour, but only a handful at a time, so the dough doesn't get too heavy.
Turn out the ball of dough onto a pastry cloth and knead with your fingers until the flour is worked in with the eggs and the dough is smooth.
Cut the ball into four or five smaller pieces.
Generously flour the cloth and roll out the balls into large, thin circles. Place the circles on a flat surface covered with absorbent paper towels.
Depending on the humidity of the day, the circles will take several hours to dry. Flip them over every half hour or so to help them dry evenly. When the edges begin to curl up, cut the circles into strips about three inches wide. Stack the strips and cut into noodles as fine as you can make them.
While your noodles were drying, your bird was cooking. Remove from the pot and cut the meat off the bones and chop for your soup.
You can season the broth however you like. I throw in a carrot and celery for some color and use a commercial chicken broth base that's already seasoned.
Put the chicken meat back in the pot, bring to a boil and toss in the noodles. They'll be done in about 15 minutes.

Enjoy after you get home from the stock show!