Doing home visits, I get an intimate view of people, their families and their past. Old photographs show the vigour and beauty of youth. Gardens, books, houseplants, hobby rooms and kitchens display the personality and interests that occupied a previously healthy person.
I visited one lady over a period of three years as she suffered several fractures due to severe osteoporosis. Sitting down too hard would fracture her pelvis and she broke both her hips and shoulders in succession from falls. She was as fragile as Humpty Dumpty. One day she took me into her kitchen and showed me her recipe file and some of her cooking tools. She loved to cook and it was important to her that I knew she once was a capable and productive woman. Of German heritage, she was an expert at making stews, soups and homemade noodles.
Shortly before she died, she presented me with her well used spaetzle press. Fresh spaetzle noodles are delicious and our family is delighted when they are served for dinner. I serve them with goulash soup or rouladin. They would be very good with vegetable stew or soup as well. The Pennsylvania Dutch use eggs, milk and flour to make a number of styles of noodles and dumplings. I have included recipes for the dishes mentioned here in my cooking blog.
Every time I use the press, I remember my patient, not frail and broken, but as a strong, healthy wife and mother, providing home made meals for her family.