Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Chicken and Black Pepper Dumplings

September 20, 2020

When I eat my feelings it’s usually a riff on something my mother and grandmother made back in the day. Chicken and dumplings are a staple of my childhood. In their world chicken and dumplings were just a poached chicken and Bisquick dumplings. Adding veg and tarting up a biscuit dough is somewhat treasonous. As always when I make something I’m particularly proud of, my kids wanted none of it. Whatever. One of them is addicted to boxed mac and cheese and the other frequently chews on painters tape. Not arbiters of all that is tasty.

We ate the C&D before I took a picture. So here are the comfort food rejectors on their first day of pandemic school.

Soup:
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbs rendered bacon fat
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 heart of celery w/ leaves, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp poultry seasoning
8 cups chicken stock
1 pound shredded chicken
¼ cup sour cream
1 tbs Dijon mustard


Dumplings:
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
black pepper, fresh ground
1 cup butter milk

Sauté onion in bacon fat.  Add the garlic and cook until soft.  Stir in carrots and celery, then add seasonings and stock.  Cook until the carrots are soft, about 20 minutes.  Stir in chicken, sour cream, and mustard.  Reduce to a simmer.

Melt butter in a microwave proof bowl.  Add all dumpling ingredients and mix to form a stiff dough.  Drop dumplings off of a spoon into simmering soup, but be careful not to boil them or they’ll fall apart.  Partially cover, and cook just simmering for about 20 minutes.

Delight.  Utter delight.  Even given that my kids were all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ because their mission is to fully reject the only food culture I can give them.

Custom beds

July 3, 2013

We’re far far from home right now in Vermont.  Having put our little spot in Dripping Springs on the market, we decided to stay away for 6 months.  The first we spent in a friend’s snow bound cabin in St Adolphe d Howard, about 2 hours from Montreal.  The next 5 months, we’re spending in our preferred rental house in Burlington, Vermont.

The thing about me is that though I love to travel and feel the various textures of the world, I am an inveterate home body.  To me, the best part of any ocean crossing adventure is the pull I feel, constantly, to return to my not so tidy hobbit hole.

Here I am now, 3 months homeless.  I have no permanent address, and my babies are sleeping on crib mattresses on the floor.  The hobbit in me quivers.

If there’s one thing I do better than feather a nest however, it’s plan.  I have lists, databases, and maps of potential next homes.  I have flowcharts in my head of just how our move southward will go.  I also have custom furniture.

My brother in law, Matt Mitchell, it turns out is quite the artist when it comes to woodwork.  He has recently founded a custom furniture business called Austin Joinery.  He’s building a portfolio, and so I managed to commission two very special beds for my girls.  These will be the first feathers laid in my next nest and I find it appropriate that they are for the girls, made by family, and flecked with symbolism.

The frame is of Massaranduba, aka Bullet proof wood. To stand up to my kids and our frenetic life, bullet proof is good:

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The inlays are burled walnut. Burled as in full of knots. Imperfect, just like their mom.

The final touch is a walnut inlay of a personally significant deco rose design:

That design is very similar to one that I have tattooed on my back. It’s a memorial tattoo for my best friend and my father’s father, who died within months of each other in 2001. The grandfather grew beautiful roses. The friend’s memory confronted me repeatedly on a trip I took to Scotland. I first saw a similar design in Glasgow and it reminded me of her and him simultaneously.

As it stands, I have no permanent address.  I have a home, the place I carry with me to where ever Andy and I land.  My nest is only really in my mind just now though, and  these two pieces of furniture built with the aid of a talented craftsman, are the first feathers I have for it.