Sunday Column: Winter and heavy whipping cream…

IMG_9739Out here, in this season, snow comes and goes quickly. We froze our butts off early last week, only to be welcomed by a thaw at the end of it, followed by 30 mph winds that blew the snow sideways on Sunday.

Coincidently this is also the day we chose to clean out the shop and our basement, sending me winging boxes of unusable crap into the garbage pit only to have it all fly back into my face…like three of four times…before I decided to approach the whole chore from the opposite direction. You know, wind at my back…always the right choice.

A choice made after almost the entire contents in the back of the pickup blew out across the prairie on my way to the dump, sending me flailing after it.

A choice made after the old pickup without a parking brake nearly rolled into said garbage pit while my back was turned, you know, flinging things.

Winter. Some days you’re such a bitch.


Oh, but we have ways of coping around here.

Because when the season of snow-pelting-you-so-hard-in-the-eyeballs-they-threaten-to- freeze-shut is upon us, we strip off our forty-seven layers and head to the kitchen to whip up something warm, preferably with noodles and heavy whipping cream.

Yes, if we have to have winter, at least we have heavy whipping cream to get us through.

IMG_9779So that’s what this week’s column is about. It’s about the recipes Husband and I concoct in our little kitchen to pass the time on long winter nights.

Coming Home: Bring on the heavy cream, butter and winter weather
by Jessie Veeder
Forum Communications

IMG_2906And I realize that the holiday season is just starting, and we have a trip to Cabo in the works to help ring in the new year, so really, I should just take it easy and have a salad for gawd sake, but for some reason the thought of squeezing my pasty white squishy body in a bathing suit in a month or so is not scary enough to keep me from a second helping of Husband’s famous cream noodles.

Yes. You read it up there. Homemade noodles fried and smothered in cream.

There’s that. And then there’s the two giant pots of knoephla soup mom and I cooked up for the crew of hunters/family this weekend. And yes, it was me who convinced her to add another pot.

Because you can’t have enough creamy soup. You can’t have too much! You can always save it and have it for lunch every day until Christmas!

Want to see how it’s done? I show ya here:
Cowboy Cooks Knoephla

And don’t even get me started on the traditional holiday cheese ball I’ll be concocting on Thursday…

Or the fact that all I want for breakfast for the rest of my life is a caramel roll followed by a donut washed down with seven cups of coffee.

Because it’s winter and I’m ssstttaarrrvvinnnggg.

It’s winter and my primal instincts are kicking in.

“Stock up, stock up, stock up…” they whisper. “You don’t know where your next meal is coming from.”

And I believe the voices. Even though I do.

I do know where my next meal is coming from.

It’s coming from my refrigerator and from the imagination of the man with deep German immigrant roots who can make anything with enough butter, flour, cream, potatoes and a side of pork.

Ugh, I’m so hungry. I can’t wait until 6:00.


Cowboy Cooks Noodles and Crunchies

Today in Cowboy’s Kitchen we feature a long-standing German tradition in Cowboy’s family. It is a special treat his momma makes him when he is over for a visit.

It is “I love you so much I’m  gonna fatten you up” food.

It is weird.

Just weird enough to win my mom and pops over when Cowboy prepared this for them when we were dating….you know, back in the day.

So we invited them over for a taste, because my momma claims that Cowboy hasn’t made this particular dish for her in “a hundred years.”

Now I will list the four reasons this dish has stood the test of time and has won mothers and girlfriends over for generations (and now that I’m thinking about it, probably won some women husbands as well)…

Because it is:

1. Mostly white
2. Buttery
3. Fried
4. Carb loaded

Perfect for that slimming waistline and to keep you warm in the unexpected weather.

It is also really great because it sure isn’t fancy. You probably all have these items fully stocked in your cupboards and fridges as we speak.

But before we begin, Cowboy would like to express his embarrassment. Because due to the blizzard, we don’t have the good booze.

Hence, his drink of choice tonight….Svedka Vodka…(Cowboy says he got this on sale)


Swedish vodka
German Food

It’s a blending of cultures…just like us.

Also, Cowboy decided after last time we needed some good music to set the proper frame of mind.

Now playing: Fred Eaglesmith

…with a splash of Red Bull

Our little kitchen is rockin’

Rock.  ‘N.

First things first:

Cowboy says you don’t cut anything, not even a potato, until the knife is sharp enough to shave with.

I waited a good fifteen minutes while this went on…and on…

…and on…

So much preparation.

Whew…deep breath as I remember Cowboy’s motto: “No bitch’n in the kitchen.”

Lesson learned.

Here we go.

Cowboy Cooks Homemade Noodles and Crunchies

The simple cast of characters:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 slices bread or 4 buns
  • sprinkle of salt

See what I’m saying about the carbs….
and the white…

Oh, and a side of meat….cause this is a Cowboy’s kitchen after all.

*Note: Cowboy usually serves this dish with a side of deer or breakfast sausage of some sort. Here is where I admit that I was put in charge of thawing out the meat and I unintentionally forgot that our ancient microwave doesn’t have a proper defrost setting and proceeded to cook the sausage until it took on the consistency of a rubber mask.

Anyway, we had to resort to the ham slab that brother in law brought us.

Another lesson learned.

Step One: The Potatoes

  • Peel 4  medium sized potatoes (or more, depending on how gaunt your guests are)
  • Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces (the actual size depends on how big your guests’ mouths are…)
  • Place cut potatoes in boiling water with “three to four twists on a sea salt grinder.”(But before you do, quickly add a ½ tablespoon of butter to the boiling water. And be quiet about it cause it’s Cowboy’s secret ingredient)

  • Boil for 10-15 minutes

Now step outside and call a couple coyotes (seriously, that is what he did)…what did I say about Cowboy’s methods? Slow and steady, it’s about the process.

The Red Bull doesn’t even budge this.

Now, while you’re waiting, and after the coyote call, begin the noodles. And be prepared to impress your big mouthed guests (or your future wife or husband or mother in law). Cause this is what I call seriously homemade.

Step 2: The Noodles

  • Using the one hand egg crack technique, crack one egg into a liquid measuring cup
  • Whisk with fork
  • Add a little salt
  • Add 1 cup of milk to the egg, whisk again and pour into a bowl
  • Now add a handful and a half  of flour to the mixture and stir

Cowboy says dough is all about the feel, not precise measurements…

  • So…stir and add flour until the dough is knead-able
  • Then sprinkle a bit of flour on your surface to avoid stick
  • Knead the dough while continuing to sprinkle flour on the mix, adding flour as you knead to help roll the dough out evenly

  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8th of an inch thick

Here you can see Cowboy showing off a little by tossing the dough in the air. You can do this too, if you want.

But if you’re like me and don’t really like the idea of cleaning dough off of the ceiling and shampooing it out of you and your guest’s hair, you can skip it…a rolling pin will do fine.

  • Now cut the dough into strips, about 1 inch wide

Cowboy uses a pizza cutter cause he’s not the type of guy who is opposed to new technology. If you want to do it old school, use a knife.

  • Then cut the dough again the opposite direction, creating nice little rectangles
  • Now check your potatoes to make sure they are on their way to being done
  • Add the noodles to the boiling potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes (the noodles will float when they are done)

Also a really great excuse to use his man sized spatula.

Uff da.

Step 3: The Crunchies

Now for the best part….the crunchies. You were wondering about these weren’t ya!

  • While cooking the noodles, melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a pan (Cowboy prefers cast iron…typical) and melt completely

While the butter is melting, tear apart bread or buns into bite sized pieces.(It’s ok if they are stale and old, this is what you do with that stuff)

  • Now welcome you’re guests because they bring wine
  • Add the bread to the butter and fry, stirring occasionally, until the bread pieces are golden brown and “crunchy”
    Get it? 

    Note: some of the crunchies may be a little black and that’s ok because it adds a rustic flavor. But just be sure not to burn them to a char, I warn you. That’ll really piss you off.

  • Remove from heat.

Step 4: Pull it Together

  • Strain noodle and potato mixture and put in a serving bowl
  • Add crunchies to the potato and noodle mix
  • Stir with your favorite big spoon

Step 5: Sit Down and Eat

Now don’t forget that meat…any kind of meat, cause it aint a meal unless there’s meat—no matter the butter and carbohydrates.

Oh, and I added my own touch to this meal…snarky napkins.

Just had-ta.

Weirdly delicious isn’t it?

Told ya!

Ahhh, it just doesn’t matter how much Red Bull you consume, the carbs always win.

The carbs always win.

Now lay back and enjoy your coma. You earned it.