Monday, June 22, 2009

Chicken and Noodles

When Jeff and I had first started getting serious in our relationship, he shared with me that his favorite meal was the chicken and noodles that his Grandma used to make. I'd never heard of chicken and noodles. I asked him to explain. "Chicken and noodles and sauce." Yeah- that really helps. We will now have been married 6 years this October. And I've never cooked chicken and noodles and he's never helped me better understand what it is. We've eaten it together one time and he told me that it wasn't "right." But couldn't tell me what wasn't "right" about it. Yeah- that really helps. So for Father's Day, I decided I was going to figure out this Indiana chicken and noodles phenomenon. I was born in California. I spent my childhood in Kentucky, my adolescence in Ohio, my young adulthood in Ohio, and then on to Indiana. I have connections in the deep South, the mid-South, the Midwest, the West Coast and even the East Coast. My mother, in her growing up, moved every 3 years. She's lived, eaten, and even cooked in many states, many regions. I called her to see if she'd heard of chicken and noodles. Nope. I decided that my best course of action was to turn to Hoosier moms. I am part of a local Moms site- an online community. I did a search for "chicken and noodles." I perused the postings and all of the shared recipes. 20 different versions of chicken and noodles. Some had carrots, celery, onion. Some didn't. Some used cream of chicken soup. Some didn't. So I started pressing Jeff for more info... I found a recipe online that seemed to match his memory. I boiled the chicken in chicken stock. I boiled the Reame's frozen egg noodles in chicken stock (had to be Reame's, by the way). I shredded the chicken. I melted 4 tb of butter. I took 4 tb of flour and mixed in "enough" milk to make it liquid. I added that to the melted butter. I whisked in a can of cream of chicken and herbs soup. I added the shredded chicken and the noodles and about 2 cups of chicken stock. Mixed it all together. Served it up. The kids (eventually) ate it and enjoyed it. I found it to be pretty tasty. I was pleased with it. Jeff? "Well, there's nothing wrong with it." Yeah- that really helps.


Jim and Garret said...

LOL. Amusing. I can relate when I cook for Jim.

I always seem to get the "It's OK" but never anything better than that.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Same here! Very frustrating. According to Jeff, "ok" means he likes it and would eat it again if I made it again. I'm looking to be able to make him happy with a meal I prepare for him... and I think I need to find a way to stop looking because he's never going to get excited in the way I'm looking for.

Jim and Garret said...

I bring it on myself. I need to stop asking "Well, how is it?" It's obvious food isn't an exciting thing.

I understand the exciting way you're looking for. I think I'm looking for the same. Maybe an occasional, "wow, this is fantastic" or "Are you sure you made this?" or "X needs to try this." etc.

Flartus said...

Do like my mom...she avoided making pierogies for 30 years b/c she didn't want to hear that it wasn't "like Mom used to make." (Turns out Mom never made pierogies!) She made her own good meals, and if Dad wanted his potato pancakes with "lacy edges," he'd make 'em his own fine self.

Me, I'm always grasping for compliments from Miss Chef when I cook. She used to be much better about it, but now I always have to ask, "How is it?" and when she says it's good, I feel like she's just saying that to make me feel better. It's been a long time since I've heard, "Wow, this is really good!"

On the other hand, if it's not good, she'll tell me why and how to fix it. So, yes, very helpful.

Still, Jeff gave you children & knows how to build a playset for them, so it all evens out, right?

Alix said...

To the moon, Jeff!

Amy said...

Hey, I grew up in Ohio, too. The Dayton area.

And you're post made me hungry for chicken and noodles. Thanks. :)