We woke up to this today. It has been snowing on and off since Christmas. This is the little apple tree in my front yard. It looks pretty :)
There is something about the snow that makes me want to cook and bake like a madwoman. It must be some sort of primal instinct, the colder it gets the more food I tend to make.
Take today for instance. I woke up and the world outside looked like this. Doesn't that look cold???? My first thought was soup. I put a chicken in the pot with some carrots and an onion and it's simmering away. Pretty soon I'll strain the broth, shred the chicken and add it and more veggies to the pot. Just before it's time to eat I'll make the dumplings. But I didn't stop there, Ohhhhh no. I also made steel cut oats for breakfast (with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar), bread is raising for sandwich bread and rolls, a pie is in he works and I'm getting ready to make the flour tortillas so we can have bean burritos for lunch. It's a sickness.
Because it's cold outside and without that much food we might perish. What if I didn't have my extra layer of "insulation"? Trips to the woodpile would be far less comfortable!
Or maybe it's that the man that made these tracks works outside and gets really, really hungry when it's cold out.
Yea, that's it.
Chicken and Dumplings
1 (3 lb) chicken OR 3 lbs of pieces, your choice
1 onion, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1.In a heavy pot with a lid place the chicken, onion, salt, pepper, water, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer all over low heat until tender, about 1 hour.
2.Let chicken cool slightly in pot, then remove and take the meat off of the bones. Discard the bones and skin and skim excess fat off the broth if desired. Discard the onion, lemon and bay leaf. If desired, wash out pot well. Return broth and chicken pieces to the pot. Simmer over low heat while making the dumplings.
3.To Make Dumplings: In a medium mixing bowl, cut shortening into the flour and salt. Stir in 1/4 cup water (more if needed) to form a soft dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface, with a rolling pin, until very thin. Cut into 1 inch wide strips using a pizza cutter or knife. Tear off 1 inch long pieces from these strips and drop into simmering broth and chicken meat. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off, then 10 minutes more with the lid on. Serve immediately.
This is the one I use most often, but I usually simmer some carrots and celery in the pot with the chicken since you are essentially making the broth. Or, you could use store bought broth and skip the first step!