Well, I've finally gotten over my bloggy blog block and decided I need revitalize this place. I mean there is only so many blog posts composed in my head at 3 am that one girl can take. Much better to write it all out and let the internets have at it.
I did write a three page summer re-cap this past August and bleepy, bleepy, bleep bleep Typepad ate it.
Anyway, time has rolled on.
This year, Emmie is in Junior Kindergarten. She absolutely loves it. Mackie-pants in in the 7th grade and is totally into horseback riding and has lessons and such. Keats is a sophmore and he claims school is gay. Whatever. Alejandro is at Brock University and I think he really likes it. (We don't get a lot of info out of him.)
We are STILL dealing with insurance from last year's fire. It has been a complete nightmare and I wouldn't wish any type of fire on my worst enemy. But we are carrying on! Can't dwell on what complete cheap bastards our insurance company is!
Other than THAT, things are really great. My one of my best friends just came up from Florida for a visit and other than sit on the couch and drink wine, all we did is laugh. It was awesome. It is nice to know that 21 years later, we still laugh about the same stuff. Am now making plans for me to get-away down South because clearly we both need that.
I've had Emmersen home for the last two days because she woke up with ear infections in both ears and a very wheezy chest. Poor baby. Five (FIVE!!) medications later, she's feeling a bit better and so today I thought I'd throw a pot of chicken and dumplings on, because it just makes you feel better. FULLER. But still better.
KFK is coming on Saturday and I emailed her this morning to tell her to prepare herself to haul some home because I made a triple batch. I sent her home with some last month and SHE ATE ALL OF IT HERSELF. Which is awesome. Because she's the size of Tinkerbell. I told her that I am trying to make her fat so that I look better standing next to her. I think she's on to me.
Before boring you with the best recipe EVER, it's Picture Time!
(At the cottage this summer.)
And here's tonight's dinner:
Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings
For the broth:
1 roasted chicken, with breast meat removed and reserved (and thigh meat if you are into that sorta thing)
3 stalks celery snapped in half
1 bag of baby carrots
3 cloves of garlic smashed
2 tsp. salt
5 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 stalks of parsley
i sprig of thyme
1/2 lemon, thoroughly washed
I large onion, quartered
Dump into pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for an hour and a half. Lower heat and strain all solids from broth. Reserve carrots and celery if your family likes it. Return broth to heat and season with salt to taste. Add a generous helping of freshly cracked pepper.
For the dumplings:
4 cups of flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk (may vary with humidity)
Combine the dry ingredients and cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Once crumbly and bread crumby, slowly stir in the milk with a fork. Dump on counter and gently knead 5-7 times until it stays together when you squeeze it. You don't want it sticky, nor too dry. Think biscuit dough. Hide under bowl and let rest for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, slice baby carrots into rounds and add to broth. Bump up heat on burner to bring the broth to a bubbly simmer.
In batches, roll out the dough to about pie crust thiness. (I am a bad measurer.) Slice into strips and then into 1" squares. Drop individually into broth until all dough has been rolled out. Simmer gently while stirring every ten minutes or so. Don't stir roughly as you may break up the dumplings. Slowly the dumplings will expand and rise to the surface and then shrink and sink. After about 45 minutes, the broth will take on a creamy and delicious texture. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.