Group prepares noodles for Vinland Fair
It's tradition. Vinland Fair goers expect to eat chicken and noodles on the Friday of every fair.
So every year, as for the past 25 to 30 years, the Vinland FCE starts a few weeks in advance to put in hours of time making the fair favorite.
"It's kind of a labor of love," Nora Cleland said. "It has become a tradition, and this is a traditional fair."
Though the Vinland Fair doesn't start until Aug. 12, FCE members started the chicken and noodle process Tuesday when about 25 women showed up at Vinland United Methodist Church to make the first part of the recipe -- the noodles.
"We work at it all morning long," Freida Martin said.
There's a reason it takes all morning. Martin said 40 pounds of flour, seven dozen eggs and lots of milk, salt and baking powder are used to make 50 pounds of noodles.
"Everything is homemade," she said.
Once the dough is made, the women flour it to keep it from sticking, then use special rollers to flatten it and cut it into long noodles. The noodles are then laid out on tables so they can thoroughly dry before being frozen.
Martin said the women also cut up several pounds of onions, carrots and celery when they make the noodles. The vegetables will also be frozen so they can be used Aug. 13 in the chicken and noodles.
"I think the vegetables do add a lot to it," she said.
In a few days, the women will start preparing the chicken. Cleland said 120 pounds of chicken will be used for the recipe.
She said they used to cut up 50 chickens to make their large batch, but now they buy leg and thigh quarters to save on time.
The chicken will also be frozen until it's ready to use.
Martin said on the Friday of the fair, the women will be at the fairgrounds early combining and cooking all of the ingredients. She said there's no secret to making the chicken and noodles tasty.
"You have to stick to your recipe. I think that's important," she said. "Then you see if it tastes right. If it doesn't, you add a little bit of this and a little bit of that to make it taste right."
By the time they are done, the women have made nine large roasters full of chicken and noodles. Martin said at the end of the day, there is rarely much left.
She said though it takes a lot of work, the women continue to make the chicken and noodles because people look forward to them.
"I think people enjoy it," she said. "Besides, I think we'd grow old if we didn't do this."