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Noodles!

With the days of summer heat behind us, I'm finding myself more and more in the kitchen.  I love the aromas that take me back to Grandma's or Mom's kitchens.  (You can read more about that here.)  It's also fun to see the boys enjoy helping me like I helped when I was younger.  Along with making the goodies, now that they are tall enough to reach over the stove without getting hurt, they get to help cook them, too.  Alex likes to flip things like pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Tim just helped take burgers off the grill last night.  (I'd say they were in training for short order cooking at Waffle House, but their futures jobs  include sweeping the parking lot and driving a forklift for CMS).  They will make their friends happy by being able to cook, though.
Just last week, my friend Jackie, who grew up in the Midwest and in the Mennonite church like I did, and her husband were coming for dinner.  I took this opportunity before me to cook a pretty typical Mennonite meal.  I don't cook like this much anymore, mainly because I have come to love a variety of tastes that even surprise me sometimes.  :)  However, this dinner called for food that gives "warm fuzzies" to those of us who have great memories of moments around the tables surrounded by our families and friends. 
Menu:  Baked chicken, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, corn, red beets (these two items were from grandpa's garden) salad, and rolls with homemade applebutter.  For dessert, I made cheesecake and thickened blackberries that I had in the freezer from when I picked them earlier this year. 
It was such a fun day in the kitchen!  Aside from having to run out to get cornstarch to thicken my blackberries, everything was at hand's grasp.  I like days like this.  After the boys finished their schooling, they jumped in and helped make the noodles.  I must confess that my stand up mixer did most of the work for me...it came with a pasta hook and made making noodle dough a snap.  (Shhh!....this is our little secret).  The boys love cranking out the noodles.  I think it's funny that my noodle maker (aka a pasta maker) squeaks just like the one we used growing up at Grandma's house.  I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the table full of cut noodles laid out to dry...must have been too busy.  But this is very unlike me to forget that and to not take pictures with my friends.  What was I thinking???    
Everything came out perfectly and we had a very wonderful evening together, but next time I think we'll go out for pizza. :)           

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