Friday, January 9, 2009


I had one more request for the recipe and thought I had printed it earlier in its entirety but hadn't. So, here, with a bit of memory to taste, is Gramma's Neffla Soup.

Growing up with 100% German grandparents and a full-blooded German mother meant LOTS of good eats, as Grandpa would say. Oh my! Gramma and Grampa never had much, but they always had yummy, tasty, German food on the table. It was all made from scratch, even the noodles and bread, and there was ne'er a recipe to be found. If one would ask Grandma how to make something, she would say, with a little laugh, "Oh, I don't know..." and then proceed to tell you to put a "little" of this and a "bit" of that into your bowl...

That hardy stock of people is too quickly vanishing from our planet and another more hollow version has taken over. The old stock were pure through and through. They didn’t have the veneer that shines so gloriously on the populous today. Like a good old oak door, they were solid. They knew how to work; they knew what living through poverty, the Depression, and hard times was like. They were real.

Today’s lot are like a fancy door on a extravagant house, beautiful and glorious on the outside but except for their “core” of air and Styrofoam, hollow on the inside.

Yes…I miss them. How I would love to sit a while longer…to linger at her table and converse, as she rolled out her precious bread dough. How I would love to hear her voice again…I can remember it, but memories are never the same. How I yearn to be able to ask, as I did when but a small child, “Gramma, how do you say this in German?” Then, she would tell me or say, “Oh, I don’t know; ask Grampa.” Grampa spoke the high and she the low. I don’t quite know why she was so humble about it or if she really didn’t remember certain words. But, with her sisters, I heard her speak her fluent brogue all the time. They would go back and forth between German and English. It was amazing to listen to.

When I grew up, I trained my dogs in German. When I was in K-9 school, I’d call back home and ask, as I did when I was small, “Gramma, how do you say this in German?” Those words stay with me. The alphabet (or most of it) remains—mingled with my more newly acquired Spanish. The Bible verses and songs she taught remain. These things fill my heart. And, what fills my tummy now, as it did then, are her wonderful, irreplaceable, German “recipes” copied down as best I could…as she told me, as best she could…while she rolled out her dough.


1 Whole chicken or several boneless chicken breasts
Bouillon paste (you can use cubes, but I prefer the refrigerated paste)
Nefflas (German egg dumplings)

Bring whole chicken (or chicken breasts), enough water to cover, and bouillon paste to a boil. (I add the bouillon by tablespoon fulls to taste). Then, turn down to a slow simmering boil for several hours—long enough to have tender chicken that will easily pull away from the bone.

Debone chicken and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces. Usually, after cooking for several hours, my chicken is quite tender and easily cuts/shreds with a knife. Add back to stock and bring to a boil while you prepare the nefflas.

Nefflas (Can double)

1 egg
¼ cup water
Salt to taste
Flour—enough to make a ball that comes away from the sides of bowl when mixed.

Beat egg; add water and beat. Add salt then mix in flour a bit at a time.

Add neffla dough one teaspoon full at a time into boiling soup stock. Continue until all the dough is used up. Because we like the dumplings, and they always are the first to go, I make a double recipe. I also make a very large pot of soup, however; so if you’re making a smaller kettle full, one recipe of the dumplings should suffice.

Continue to boil for 15 minutes allowing nefflas to swell.

Serve hot soup in home-style bowls with thick crusty bread or rolls.



Kelli said...

This sounds delicious! I love meals like this during the winter. I saw your question about using cards to create new cards. As far as Etsy is concerned I think it's fine and I do it quite often. :0)

Zebu said...

I too love hot soup during Winter time. Thanks for your insight on the cards. :P )