Here’s one for you Hoosiers, via reader Ann Fisher, who spotted it on a Chicago-area food board:
I have in-laws who live in Fort Wayne. Every time we go there, we are treated to “beef” and noodles. I thought it was just a family recipe, but when I was in line at the Meijer’s, an 80 yr old woman informed me they were also having beef and noodles for dinner. I asked if it was a regional specialty, and she wasn’t sure, but told me it was a good way to feed a family of nine (!)
The thing is, it’s pretty vile stuff. I have a feeling, after some research, that it’s a drastic perversion of “Amish beef and noodles” from the Amish in that area. Only because both dishes are intended to be served over mashed potatoes. Nothing like a double dose of carbs. But get this. My in-laws serve it with a side of (drumroll) white bread rolls! 3 starches in one sitting!
I believe the iteration of this recipe that I was served consisted of *cans* of a beef product, possibly Hormel. I didn’t want to go into the kitchen to find out, after the dog-food like aroma wafted out. The noodles are actually kind of nice, thick, german spaetzely things. Thus my question- anyone know of this dish, and what brand the noodles are that are generally used? They are maybe 2 in long and 1/4 in diameter, kind of chewy.
There’s so much to love in that post. The assumption that Hoosier beef and noodles must be a perversion of the more authentic Amish dish, assumptions of Amish authenticity being rampant in Chicagoland. (Trust me, honey: The Amish invented canned beef. These people don’t have refrigeration, remember. You wouldn’t believe some of the crap they eat.) The “dog-food like aroma.” The utter bafflement at its presentation, ladled over mashed potatoes. But hey, nice noodles. Where do you buy them?
I can answer her question right off the bat: You don’t. Those kind of noodles you make, but it’s pretty easy. You don’t need a pasta machine, just a rolling pin, a flat surface and a knife. My Jay County-raised neighbor used to make killer chicken and noodles, and she thought making noodles from scratch was about as difficult as opening a carton of milk. As for the triple-starch presentation, all I can say is, if you spent the morning baling hay and were about to spend the afternoon stacking it in the barn, all those carbs would burn off by 2 p.m. and your stomach would start on the protein. The first and only time I ate noodles over potatoes I was doing the rigorous duty of writing a newspaper column, and the effect was soporific. Within 90 minutes I slipped under my desk for a 20-minute nap, and the residue of that meal I carry on my hips to this day. The problem with country cooking is the problem with evolution — it takes a long time for the diet to catch up to the fact you left the farm two generations ago, hence the ample bottoms you see in Indiana, and all over the midwest, for that matter.
As for canned beef, I cannot say. Beef and noodles, in my experience, is usually made with braised chuck or round or another inexpensive cut suitable for the rural proletariat. But it could very well be canned, too. Your in-laws may consider fresh beef something to be reserved for special guests, not Chicago foodies.
The post concludes with a link to the Allen County Public Library’s photo archive, where we see this peculiar local dish being served in a firehouse. This makes me nervous. What if the alarm went off 90 minutes after lunchtime? You’d never be able to rouse the firefighters from their carb coma. Your house would burn down while the safety forces slept off the potatoes.
I know I’ve said this before, but when I was doing talk radio? The most calls I ever got on a single topic? Was on noodles and potatoes, served together.
I have to admit, I feel sorry for Hilary, and it has nothing to do with the tears. Via LGM, I found this, where Kerry Howley draws the obvious conclusion:
Add to this useful list of the worst jobs in the world: consultant to any candidate with breasts. Show emotion and you’re weak; show strength and you’re a collection of servos. Respond to attacks with emotion and you’re “angry.” Respond with equanimity and you’re cold and distant. Shy from war and you’re too feminine to lead; embrace it and you’re the establishment’s whore. And the worst thing you can do? Acknowledge, in any way, shape, or form, the existence of sexism in these United States.
Since LSU pned the Buckeyes last night, this seems appropriate: Retired , 73-year-old cop kicks butt of armed, road-raging driver. The driver had a .357. The geezer, a cane. And it happened in? Slidell, Loozieanna.
Day two of the January heat wave threatens to drown us under torrents of rain, but what the hell. It’s still above 50 degrees. Have a great day, all.