Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Aunt Bonnie's Soul Food

I've mentioned my Aunt Bonnie in previous posts but on this trip I was blessed to get a tasty reminder of her serious soul food. Aunt Bonnie is a consummate cook and her homemade noodles are well-known in our hometown and legendary in our family. Bonnie's noodles were the centerpiece of every family get-together. I, personally, made a beeline for those bad boys every time.

I'd seen Bonnie and Larry on this trip when I visited my folks for the first time. I'd told her previously of my dream of creating a family cookbook, about the blog and strongly hinted my desire to have a few of her recipes. A couple of days later, Bonnie called me and said she had something for me to pick up. Thinking it was something to take to my parents, I was surprised to discover she'd made me those magic noodles along with a homemade chicken casserole. That was enough...but then I was stunned to discover she was giving me the holy grail: her recipes.

I then tearfully realized that she'd handwritten out every recipe. I had told Bonnie that I would photocopy any recipes but no.... Wheelchair-bound and on oxygen, she searched through a large stack of collected recipes and hand-wrote nineteen of her best recipes for me. That's my Aunt Bonnie...going above and beyond and then signing her recipes, adding, "You know, the crazy one."

Needless to say, I will treasure these recipes and her efforts for life. I thanked her profusely and left with my recipes and food. I eventually shared the food but first I took them back to the house to have a few minutes alone with them. One bite of those noodles....those fluffy, delicious pillows she calls noodles and I was flung back to my childhood. These are the ultimate comfort a security blanket you can eat.

Bonnie, of course, is humble about her culinary gifts but I'm not kidding when I say that despite having the recipe for these noodles, I don't ever plan on duplicating them. Sure, I'll try making them, but I've always believed that Aunt Bonnie weaves a little love into them...they're that special.

I'm gonna hold the noodle recipe close for a bit, at least until I try making them. I will share a recipe at the end of this post for another one of Bonnie's specialties...her egg salad. Attempting these recipes will hopefully bring me a facsimile of her amazing cooking. I'm just going to imagine Bonnie's classic, infectious laugh while I'm doing it.

God bless ya, Aunt Bonnie.

Bonnie Steele's Egg Salad


4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup Hellman's mayo
1/2 cup chopped ham
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped fine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
dash of pepper

In small bowl, combine chopped eggs, mayo, ham, chopped green onions, mustard and pepper. Cover and chill. Makes 2 cups


Scarlett Satterfield said...

OMG Greg.....I have grown up with these noodles too! You are right, there is "LOTS" of love in each batch that she makes. I'm thankful that she and Larry have been a part of my life growing up. They hold a specail place in my heart. I have lots of wonderful memories of them in church. The first time I took each of my three babies to church, Bonnie held and loved them thorough the entire service. She is truly a women of God and I thank God for them both! Love ya Bonnie and Larry

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