Best Noodle Pudding (Kugel) & Welcome Back (Rosh Hashana, School, Fall)

Sep 14, 2012

Were we on a break? I didn’t intend for us to part. And yet…summer passed with nary a recipe.  Why? Because I was too busy listening to the just-turned-5-year-old breathlessly tell me he has a new pet. “What is it?”

“A worm.” He is young enough that he still pronounces it “warhm”.  “Quick – come outside and see!” So I dashed outside with him, his white-blonde hair flapping, his legs a patchwork of bug bites and scraps, the bruises of learning to swim, to camp, to bike without training wheels.  He found the muddy patch and tugged me over.  “Here’s my – oh, no! Where’s my pet?”

So I made jam and took my daughter sailing for a week on a wooden boat and dropped the oldest one – a teen now – off to work on that boat.  And the 2nd oldest boy, self-taught on drums, started back at School of Rock on keyboard, drums, guitar, and vocals.  And there was the dog. And dates with my husband.  And dealing with a relapse of trauma.

And mainly, realizing that this summer of 2012, the End of Training Wheels Summer, would never be again.  And yes, we are all always using training wheels in some fashion or other, but when your youngest is finished with the wobbly things that miraculously kept him from toppling over, it’s sort of a door swinging shut.

Perhaps it is a screen door – one I’ll always be able to look through, remembering but unable to touch.  That hair! The soft skin, the newness of June sun and family trips in August, blackberry jam, and someone always yelling, “Mom! Mummy!  Mama!”

“Ok, for real I have another pet!” The 5-year-old is thrilled to announce this.  Sunlight shifts outside making it officially fall now, the grass mottled. “What is it?” I ask.  “A ant.”  He holds his hand out for me to see.  I’ve got piles of warm egg noodles waiting to be made into kugel for the upcoming Rosh Hashana dinner.  He furrows his brow. “Um, wait.  I had it. It was right here…” he looks around.  “Well,” he says, “my pet is somewhere in this kitchen.”

Best Noodle Pudding/Kugel

This is not your grandmother's kugel (especially if your grandma wasn't Jewish or a cook). This is a lighter - but still sweet and comforting - noodle dish. We serve this as a side at dinner, but my oldest prefers it for breakfast (after all, is is topped with corn flakes). The amounts here serve a group or hungry family with leftovers, but feel free to trim as needed.

2 packages egg noodles

8 tbsp butter, melted but cooled enough so it doesn't curdle the eggs

1 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

2 eggs plus 2 additional egg whites

3/4 cup sugar, plus a bit extra for making topping

splash good quality vanilla extract

8-10 oz whipped cream cheese

two big handfuls corn flakes or other flakes, crushed

cinnamon for topping

Oven to 350. Boil plenty of water for the noodles and cook for about 7 minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, combine melted butter, yogurt, eggs and whites, sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese. Mixture will start out lumpy but smooth as your stir. Don't worry about making it perfect because when you add the noodles the rest of the cream cheese lumps will melt. Add noodles and stir to combine. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Add noodle mixture. Combine crushed corn flakes, some cinnamon, and a bit of white sugar to make topping. Sprinkle on top. Bake for 1 hour. Serve hot at dinner or for breakfast the following day.


  1. Unprofessional Critic
    September 14, 2012

    My grandma is not Jewish (and neither am I) – this looks yummy!

    I’m glad you are back! Trauma sucks (I went through some myself this summer), but it sounds like you are recovering beautifully. Your kids sound delightful. 🙂

  2. Maxine
    September 14, 2012

    …and life roles on and summer into autum and it is the sum of the parts that looks towards the whole. And strong and determined we help form and gently mold meaningful, purposeful lives that we will look back on and our hearts burst with love and joy….!

  3. Abby
    September 15, 2012

    ‘Shanah Tova. May next year be as sweet and comforting as your kugel. XOX