Saturday, April 26, 2014

Orchestra Concert and yet more Chicken and Dumplings.

    I butchered my two surplus roosters three weeks ago on Monday and cooked them in turn in our big crock pot.  They were both fairly lean and probably would have been pretty tough if I hadn't opted for the slow cooker. The bottom line is that I no longer have to listen to crowing in stereo.  It seemed like the roosters spent a lot of time crowing in response to another rooster crowing. The hens were also getting very tired of having three roosters in the chicken yard.  Things have been both quieter and more peaceful in the chicken pen the past few weeks. I half expected the hens to break out into the chicken equivalent of a rousing chorus of "Ding Dong, the Witch is dead."

      We were scheduled to feed the missionaries so I used half of the deboned chicken to make chicken and dumplings.  I'm always interested in improving a recipe so I spent some time browsing chicken and dumpling recipes on the internet. I found an interesting one by Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman on one of the cooking channels). She used powdered thyme and bit of turmeric to season her chicken and dumplings. Amazingly we didn't seem to have any powdered thyme in the house and I was not inclined to make a trip to the store for just that one ingredient. I did add turmeric. She also adds about a cup of cream to the stew.  We happened to have cream in the fridge so I decided to try that as well.  I think it turned out rather well. I don't think I added enough turmeric to have a significant impact on the flavor, but it certainly had a positive effect the color. The cream was a great addition. One other interesting item in Ree Drummond's recipe was the addition of some cornmeal to the dumpling recipe. I might try that sometime, but it seemed too big of an experiment to try out on company.

   As it turned out, we we had previously committed to attend an orchestra and jazz band concert in Granite Falls.  Since we had two granddaughters playing in the concert that trumped the missionaries. I called them and explained my predicament.  I told them I would divide the chicken and dumplings into two separate pots before I added the dumplings so I could leave one container on our doorstep for them to pick up.  We left for the concert at 6:30 pm and returned home at about 8:30 pm. The pot of chicken and dumplings was gone, evidence that the missionaries picked it up as we had planned.

    The concert turned out very well.  Madelynn played a solo on her coronet and did a wonderful job. The orchestra played an Irish medley that included the Irish Washerwoman, Rakes of Mallow, and the Sally Garden. I was probably one of the few people in the audience who knew the names of the songs in the Irish Medley. Madelynn's good friend, Shanara Brown, played Ashoken Farewell as a solo on the violin. It was good enough to make me cry. Our son-in-law, Madelynn's father, was pressed into service to play drums for both the orchestra and the jazz band. They had been unable to recruit a drummer from their student body so they asked a parent to play that part.

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