Tales From The Cook: The King’s Cook


It’s true about the noodle, a millennia ago a cook’s cry could be heard for miles around. The poor cook had run out of worms. Not that one would think of this as a tragedy, but the poor cook’s life depended upon having plenty of worms for the King’s supper.
The King who employed the cook, cherished his craft of cultivating worms. He loved how the cook served short fat hairy ones, long skinny ones, and he loved to watch them squirm. But for the cook to gather literally buckets of worms before the royal dinner would be impossible.
He had to think fast as the dinner hour neared. For if he failed to produce, he was sure to be boiled alive in his own cauldron. A spectacle that would gather a larger crowd than any mere hanging or beheading.
Pacing the lower chambers of the castle an execution inspired idea struck. If he could not gather the worms in time, maybe he could make them.
Running to his kitchen he took flour and salt, egg and water and mixed the ingredients in a bowl. And to give the mixture an authentic worm taste he added the juice of a tomato and a sprinkle of dark brown earth from the garden. Rolling out the dough he cut it into worm like ribbons.
The cook shook as he placed his bowl of deception on the table. “Your worms my King.”
The king sniffed and hummed and upon tasting the mock worms, he fell in love with the new strain. “Compliments, compliments,” the King praised. “Did you by chance use oregano?”
The rest is history as we still have noodles today. However, the cook made the fateful mistake of openly joking about the king’s goiter. He was tortured, boiled in his pot and hung from a tree.

Once worms, now something delicious.
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Semolina
1 Tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs, At Room Temperature
2 Tsp Water
For the purposes of today’s health standards we omit the worm flavoring. Mix together flour and semolina in the bowl of a stand mixer, or mix the flours together and create a mound on the counter top with a crater in the center. Add eggs and salt and water. With a wooden spoon slowly mix together until all the liquid ingredients are incorporated. Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for at least three minutes until the dough is very smooth. For the machine, just mix it.
If it sticks to your fingers, knead in a small amount of flour. Wrap the dough in a damp cloth table napkin and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Cut pasta dough into four equal pieces. Flour cutting board and roll out dough until approximately 1/8th inch thick. Cut Dough with a knife into long strips. Do not worry about the being noodles equal in size. Uniqueness in size and shape will help with the deception of authenticity.


If you enjoyed this story, here’s the direct link to my book page, where you can sample or purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/author/authorericjohnson

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