Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Noodle Party!


Sister Gift Shop Guru had a new idea for our holiday sale ~ noodles. Another of our sisters had been making noodles (in smaller batches) to give as gifts; when these two connected, this idea was developed into a plan that required many hands to work with the noodles. The "Nun-Better Noodles" would be mixed, kneaded, cut, and dried by our sister volunteers at the monastery for the family, friends, and serious shoppers this winter.

The mixers were none other than the two sisters who dreamt up the plot to create the "Nun-Better Noodles"! Sr. Margo had been tweaking and double checking her noodle recipe for the last few months...just the right balance of flour, salt, and egg was needed to make the proper consistency for the noodle dough.

The noodle kneaders were a hard working group of sisters! The noodle dough needed to be kneaded for at least fifteen minutes to create the proper glutton strength. Some of us had to knead our one pound of dough for thirty minutes to create the elasticity...one sister had to knead for almost an HOUR! While the stiff dough did challenge the noodle kneaders, we had a wonderful time visiting, singing, telling stories, and pondering how all twenty-five of the one pound lumps of dough would look as noodles.
Even the prioress joined in the noodle activity as she rolled out sections of the dough through one of the two noodle cutters we used. The whole pound of dough would not fit through the noodle cutter; so each pound was cut into slices or sections by another sister assisting the one cranking out the noodles. This part of the production moved from the monastery bakery to our refectory (dinning room). In fact, the noodles soon covered over half of the tables!
After being cut, each noodle was laid out one by one on our sheet covered tables! Soon there were sisters moving between the tables in a carefully choreographed dance of the noodle. Some chose to catch the noodles as they were cut and then pass them on to those setting them out. Other sisters preferred to catch and lay out the noodles. The refectory was abuzz with the activity of the noodle production. The sisters had to be very careful that the sisters did not touch while drying or they would stick permanently.

These are three of the NINE tables bedecked with noodles drying in the refectory! To aid in the drying process, the air conditioning in the room was turned way down to combat our ever present heat and humidity during these late July summer days. Soon the next crew of sister volunteers will come together to break the noodles in proper sizes and weigh them out to fill each bag with 1/2 pounds of noodley goodness.

I hope you have enjoyed this little view in our "Nun-Better Noodles" production and I pray that our nun made noodles will be a great seller at our holiday sale!


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