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YUM Contest Winner

Noodle Kugel*

By Mike Cramer
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*CONTEST WINNER: Back in 1983 I'd asked Dad to share his mother's recipe for noodle kugel, a sweet mix of soft noodles, eggs, butter or margarine, raisins, and sugar that is baked and served in squares. My sister and I both loved it. Grandma's secret ingredient was crushed pineapple, for sweetness.

My father was an optometrist whose passion was art. When my sister and I were kids, he'd tape the two cents he gave us for milk money to our lunch bags and draw a face, using the coins for eyes. He loved to do portraits of family members, too. And once he had grandchildren he was always drawing a tiger or a clown for them.

Even at the end of his life -- he died two years ago, at 87 -- Dad was still creative. We have his oil paintings hanging on our walls. But my favorite of Dad's drawings isn't on display. It's in my kitchen in a pile of food-stained web printouts and pages ripped out of the newspaper, on top of the cookbooks and cooking magazines.

Back in 1983 I'd asked Dad to share his mother's recipe for noodle kugel, a sweet mix of soft noodles, eggs, butter or margarine, raisins, and sugar that is baked and served in squares. My sister and I both loved it. Grandma's secret ingredient was crushed pineapple, for sweetness. It's incredibly rich, so she only made it once in a while, which just increased our anticipation.

Dad responded to my request in typical fashion. He wrote the recipe out on his optometry notepad using a combination of words and illustrations. Then at the end of the recipe he quipped, "If nausea results, take two aspirin and call me in the morning!"

Little did he know that the silly sketch that probably took him less than a minute would still be around 30 years later. It has creases and food spatters, but that just makes it all the more precious. It always evokes sweet memories of Dad's creativity.

 

Ingredients

(Work: 10 minutes. Total: 1 hour 15 minutes)


1 pound wide egg noodles

1/2 cup salted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup raisins

8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained

1 teaspoon salt

6 large eggs, beaten

Strawberries, for garnish (optional)


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook egg noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until done. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with butter, sugar, raisins, pineapple, and salt; allow to cool slightly. Add eggs to noodle mixture, stirring to combine.

Transfer noodle mixture to a 9-by-13-inch pan and bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes, covering with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning. Allow to cool, about 15 minutes, before cutting into squares. Garnish with strawberries, if desired. Serves 12.

Per serving: 345 cal, 12g fat (6g sat), 306mg sodium, 52g carb, 145mg chol, 9g protein, 2g fiber

NOTE: If making for Passover, substitute Passover margarine for the butter and use Passover noodles.