Why is it the kids pick a dish involving your homemade noodles whenever you ask what they’re hungry for?
My man asked me this as I was rolling out noodles for Johnny Marzetti, a family favorite for decades.
There is something comforting about combining eggs with flour and a dash of salt. Rolling them out then up, slicing them thin and spreading them out to dry on a cookie sheet.
But it’s more than that.
I get the recipe out every time. Oh, I don’t need it. I’ve made the dish so many times through the years that it’s been put to memory long ago. It’s more than directions on a card. It’s memories of the heart.
Seeing that familiar handwriting reminds me of sitting around the old oak table at my in-laws. A table where we ate together, played games together, did homework (yes, I married my high school sweetheart) together.
I remember the pan she used, the apron she wore and the Saturday morning conversations we had as she whisked, mixed and rolled. My mother-in-law, Evelyn was solace for my soul.
As I’m whisking the eggs and getting ready to add the flour, I’m reminded of all the times I watched my Granny mix noodles together. When asked why she never measured out the flour she used, she told me you just feel of it and know when the dough is ready for kneading. I can’t tell you a measure because when it’s storming the damp air causes you to need more flour. You’ll get familiar with the feel the more you spend time making them.
My Granny was a woman of simple means. A country girl from the hills of Tennessee who could make do with very little. There is something comforting about simple, isn’t there?
There is solace in that recipe card with stains from use, those handwritten words of direction and the memories from long ago. It provides comfort food for the body.
But these words on a page are like food for the soul….
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.
(He is my soul Provider.)
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
(He is my rest Giver.)
He leads me beside quiet waters,
(He is my silence Sustainer.)
He restores my soul.
(He is my soul Rescuer.)
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his names sake.
(He is my steps Director.)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
(He is my Peace.)
(Psalm 23:1-5 NIV)
Like familiar writing on a stained recipe card this familiar passage doesn’t have to be looked up. Most of us have it memorized. But when you need to feed your soul it does one good to see and read the writ of old.
It provides, quiets, sustains and restores.
Like. Nothing. Else. Can.
I can’t explain it. I just feel of it and know.
Here’s to simple solace.
Fiercely for you!