Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Verdict: Toddler Pasta Making

A while back, I posted some ideas for keeping your tot busy in these long, winter months. Most of the ideas I hadn't tried out myself, but wanted to. Slowly we've been testing each idea. This week, we tried pasta making. The verdict? Well, good toddler activity, not that great results. Here's the skinny on our fat noodles.

We started by laying out 2 cups of flour on our table. Then, we made a little dent in the middle and cracked in a total of three eggs. We also added a tiny bit of salt. I let the little guy go to town with his hands to get it all mixed up. This part went great. Of course mess ensued, but he loved to get his hands in the goop, and was fascinated by the yolks of the eggs (you know how it takes a bit of doing to get them to mix in). Unfortunately, no matter how much the two of us mixed, the dough was WAY too dry to make a dough. So, we added a bit of water and it came together better.

Once we had some semblance of dough, I kneaded it. I am no kneading expert, so maybe this was where we went wrong. Because at that point, I let loose little guy and the rolling pin on it, and no matter how hard either of us tried, this dough wanted to spring back into dough shape no matter what. Eventually with some serious muscle we got it kinda rolled flat, but never flat enough to really be pasta-like.

Then, I gave the shorty the pizza cutter and helped him cut. He could roll it across the dough, but needed a little help with pressure to get it to cut all the way through. And, he wanted to cut smack down the center. This part also kept his attention and he liked to pick up each noodle and put it in the bowl. Then, I let him help put the noodles in the boiling water. We boiled the noodles until our child, who had no nap, began to scream fiendishly and run at mach 20 around the house and then pretend to fall down and be in terrible pain. At that point, I realized it was WAY too late in the game to worry about whether the noodles were totally done or not, and the kid needed to be fed, stat.

We did a little variety preparation with the noodles. Some were buttered with herbs, others with Newman's marinara and Italian sausage. The noodles were extremely dense, listless and chewy. We ate them...well, hubby and I ate them and our child had a meltdown from exhaustion, but they were not all that good. I'm sure the second time's a charm, but this pasta activity, while fun, yielded less than edible results. Maybe they just didn't get cooked long enough...? Who knows, I hardly tasted them because my dinner went downhill so fast!

Anyway, long story short, I will definitely try this again. But not until I read up a little more on making homemade pasta. Any tricks to share?

No comments: