One of the things I like to do in the morning is read various blogs that I like to follow. Some of these have a theme day.....in this case, Way Back Wednesday.....where they blog about early memories. Yesterday, Lane of "That Man Quilts?" talked about remembering his Grandmother's chicken and dumplings. As sometimes happens, these blog posts send me on my own stroll along memory lane.
My Mom could cook. Which isn't surprising, because her mother was a fantastic cook. But when Mom became too crippled with arthritis to work in the kitchen any more, Dad took over the cooking duties. And he was Mom's equal when it came to putting together a good, tasty meal. I once asked him where he learned to cook. He told me that he had been, when he was young, working in a logging camp in northern Minnesota. He said that he had hurt one of his arms and couldn't do the hard, physical work required when working in the woods, so rather than go home and lose the income that was much needed in his family, he started cooking for the logging crew. He said that if someone didn't know how to cook, they would learn really fast in that situation. A gang of hungry loggers is not a pretty sight.
Next to his apple pie, the dish that I loved the most was Dad's chicken and dumplings. I have been known to show up on Dad's doorstep, chicken in hand, begging him to make chicken and dumplings for me. Dad didn't make dumplings from scratch. I tried a couple of times to make dumplings from scratch, but they always turned out hard like white hockey pucks. Dad used Bisquick to make his dumplings. They were always light and fluffy and wonderful. Dad's chicken and dumplings were my all time best comfort food.
So last night, after having chicken and dumplings on my mind all day, I decided to make some. I didn't have any chicken in my freezer, so I headed to my pantry. I opened a quart jar of turkey broth and added a pint of canned chicken and a half pint jar of canned celery, along with dried onion and seasonings. While this heated on the stove, I made the dumpling dough from my homemade biscuit mix that I keep on hand. It is a good substitute for Bisquick. This was dropped by spoonfuls into the chicken mixture and cooked until the dumplings were done. I decided to go whole hog and add a vegetable, so I melted a little butter in a pan, added a bit of brown sugar and a pint of home canned carrots. A meal fit for a king.
I would have taken a picture of this lovely plate of comfort food, but it just didn't last long enough.