Apron Strings Tie Family Traditions Together

“The preparation of food has always been important in our family,” says Dr. Lori Stevic-Rust, a clinical health psychologist and author from Chesterland. “Great meals, great food, great menus, great recipes; that’s what we are all about.”

Every meal starts when Stevic-Rust dons her red floral apron. It’s not just any apron. It belonged to her great great grandmother and it has passed down through the women in the family. She estimates its age to be 115 years old.

“When I put that on, it’s that tie; it’s that link to the generations,” she says, recalling fondly the time when she first put it on to learn how to make pasta noodles with her nana Emily Serian. At 105 years of age, Serian still sits in the kitchen and oversees the process.

“When I was a little girl,” Stevic-Rust says to her grandmother, “I would first put my hands on the dough and you would put your hands on top of mine to show me how hard to be kneading.”

Stevic-Rust used the same technique to teach her two daughters Sara and Katie to make the recipe as shown in the video. Here are the steps to make it with your kids, grandkids or great great grandkids:

Nana’s Noodles:
Makes about 1 1/4 pounds

3-ish cups of flour
4 eggs at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp salt

Pour most of flour on the counter or plastic cutting board and make a deep hole in the center. Sprinkle in salt then crack the eggs into the center of the hole and add wine. Work the wet ingredients into the flour.

Knead the dough for about 20 minutes, working it back and forth with the palm of yours hands, folding it over as you go. Add wine or flour as needed to create a soft textured dough that isn’t sticky.

Roll the dough into balls or long cylinders and wrap in plastic wrap. Place under a towel and let it “rest” 15 to 20 minutes.

Roll out dough with a rolling pin dusted with flour, then let it air dry for 15 minutes.

Gently fold the dried sheet at two-inch intervals to create a flat, rectangular roll, then cut it in 3/16-inch strips with a sharp knife. Loosen the strips and place on a floured baking sheet.

To cook, add pasta to boiling pot of well-salted water for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness. Drain and serve with favorite sauce.

In her book “Greedy for Life: A Memoir on Aging with Gratitude,” Dr. Lori Stevic Rust shares important life lessons she learned from her grandmother including the importance of family. “They are critical for our evolution and wellbeing,” she says, adding that her nana has been a great source of strength and inspiration in her life. In her latest book Put On Your Big-Girl Shoes: Stepping into Courage, Resilience and Gratitude,” she tells the stories of real-life women, who overcame adversity and found new purpose in life. It’s available now on Amazon.com.