Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings II

   The rooster had to wait an extra day in the fridge.  He was pre-empted by white beans and ham with rainbow corn bread. We took the beans and corn bread over to the Veatches and had Sunday dinner with them in their new house.

   Beans and corn bread are serious comfort food for me.  It reminds me of time we spent at my grandparents farm near Mystic, Iowa when I was about ten years old.  My grandma cooked a lot of beans and corn bread. I'm sure she cooked other things, but all I remember are the beans and cornbread and her squash pies. I was too young to really notice, but my mom has told me that Grandma Tunnell wasn't a particularly great cook.  We actually spent a lot of time there during the two years we lived in Centerville, Iowa.  I guess if she had been a really good cook there might be a few other dishes I would remember.  Her squash pies were certainly noteworthy.  She used some sort of winter squash other than pumpkin and used different spices than what is used in pumpkin pies.  She told me many years later that she only used allspice in her squash pies. I tried to replicate them once, but they didn't turn out the way I remember grandma's pies tasting. I would like to give squash pies another try this winter.  I'm planting a small hubbard variety in my garden so hopefully I'll have lots of squash for pie fodder.

   We took the two littlest Veatches home with us to help facilitate the packing that was supposed to be happening today.  Natalie is always up for a sleepover at Grandma's house.  Since the bee store is closed on Mondays I got to spend the day with them.  I made waffles for breakfast with a little help from Natalie.  I actually made them from scratch using half white flour and half whole wheat flour. Natalie had helped me grind the whole wheat flour the night before.  I used a recipe from a whole wheat cookbook that we bought when we purchased our Magic Mill many years ago.The waffles turned out well and earned Connors approval.

     After running a few errands with the kids we had lunch at the Buzz Inn at Harvey Field in Snohomish. The food was good and the prices low, a great combination.  Connor really enjoyed running around on their outside deck and watching the airplanes take off and land.  After we got home Connor went down for a nap and I spent some time gardening in the rain.  I'm trying to put in a large vegetable garden this year, but I am having a hard time getting it done.  So far I've planted beets, rutabagas and a few cucumbers.  I'm starting quite a few cucumbers, zuchini, winter squash, and red cabbages in jiffy pots and I planted potatoes.

     I'm doing much better on the fruit front. I've reclaimed our strawberries from the dandilions and pruned most of our grape vines.  I should have pruned our blueberries, but it isn't going to happen this year. I do need to weed the blueberries. I'm pruning all of our currants way back (both red and black) so as to eliminate any possibility of fruit this season. This is part of a scorched earth program to eliminate the currant sawfly from my garden.  I'm not sure what kind of fruit set I'm going to get on the sweet cherries, but I've got enough different varieties(six) and we've had enough breaks in the wet weather that I'm hopeful we will get cherries from some of them. My two pie cherry trees are just starting to bloom.  My plum tree is appears to be setting fruit and I'm expecting to finally get some asian pears this year.  Its still too early to tell with the apples as they are jsut starting to bloom, but it can't help but be better than last year was.

   Later in the afternoon I took Connor for a walk during a break in the rain.  He loves to visit all the animals and seems to be quite taken with the goats. I've never seen another little kid so determined to spend as much time as possible outside. Whatever he ends up doing for a living when he grows up, I'm sure it outdoors.

     Meanwhile, back at the chicken and dumplings...  After reading a lot of recipes on line I decided to give Bisquick a try as a starting point.  The last time I made chicken and dumplings, the dumplings were too fragile. I found that recipe on-line but I don't remember which one I used. If I use Bisquick as a starting point and they turn out too fragile or too hard, at least I'll remember which recipe it was and will know better how to adjust it. I'd like a result similar to chicken and dumplings I remember from a little place in Houston, Texas. This wasn't a regular restaurant where you ordered from a menu.  They served one main dish for lunch only each day and if you didn't want to eat that particular dish than you needed to eat somewhere else. I seem to remember that Thursday was chicken and dumplings day. Some of the guys at work actually planned their week in order to make sure they didn't miss out on chicken and dumpling day. Their food was really quite good.

No comments:

Post a Comment