I have five truly fantastic sisters. But the one right below me, Natalie, has always been a mystery to me.
For instance, I have no idea how she knew on the day that I called her with my chin begging for stitches after a minor sledding accident a few years back, that I really, really, really needed her to say, “oh, honey. That is so not what you wanted to do with your day today.” She always knows how to say exactly what you need to hear. I don’t get it. How has she honed such a talent to perfection?
I’m equally confused at how she always has stacks of new clothes for my children whenever we visit her. And how she finds time to organize precious family heirlooms. And how she remembers everything about said family heirlooms, when I can’t even remember what I did yesterday. She’s amazing, I tell you.
There are a thousand other mysteries about Natalie. How she would stay up every night when we were kids, tickling my back until I fell asleep, and she’d never even get mad about it or ask for givebacks. How she could store her Halloween candy until the Easter stash arrived. How she somehow knows what every one of us five sisters needs at any given moment.
But, perhaps the greatest mystery about that sister of mine came some years back, when I called my Grandma for a monthly chat and heard this, “Did you know Grandpa Brown was feeling sick last week? He had a bad cold.” No, I did not know this. After all, I only checked in monthly. Shamefully busy me. “Well, do you know what that sister of yours did? She found out Grandpa was sick and sent him a mug and chicken noodle soup all the way from Denver. I tell you what, it made our day.”
And that is my always thoughtful, bafflingly generous, entirely big-hearted sister for you. I don’t get how she got so good. I sure hope to figure it out some day and emulate her to a T.
In the meantime, however, there is one thing I know for certain. I love that girl with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my little merry ho. She’s pure goodness in a pot.
Homemade Pasta Stars
for 12-Hour Chicken & Stars Soup
These easy little egg noodles are the pièce de résistance of homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. Don't let the term "homemade pasta" fool you. The dough can be stirred together at a moments noticed, then dropped immediately into a bath of boiling soup. Of course, these pasta stars can also be made ahead and left on the countertop overnight to dry, then frozen until you are ready to need homemade pasta stars. Which, of course, will be everyday when you see how easy and adorable they are to make from scratch.
1/2-1 cup flour
pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, crack the egg and whisk it lightly until beaten. Begin stirring in the flour & salt until a pliable dough forms (it shouldn't be sticky, but you don't want it too tough, either. Somewhere between the two is divine). On a floured surface, use a wooden rolling pin to roll the dough out until it's very thin. Using a small star-shaped cookie cutter, cut 100 (or so) small stars from the dough. Drop one at a time into a boiling pot of 12-Hour Chicken & Stars Soup. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Eat & enjoy.