Archive for the ‘Family Matters’ Category


Thoughtful Thursday

I am trying to keep my chin up today.  It might be a little difficult.  My phone rang at 4 am this morning.  It was Husband.  His flight out of  Tunis had been canceled and he was waiting on the next one…something about birds damaging the plane upon landing or something.  I don’t know – all I heard was I will be Friday getting home.  Then my ears started ringing and my eyes watering.  I am THANKFUL he didnt get on the plane only to find out after the fact it was damaged, you know?  But still.  I am disappointed to say the least.  I am fairly certain he caught the next flight and he will spend the night in Paris and head home, same flights just different day.  I am anxious to hear that he made it to Paris safe and sound. His plane should land any minute.  I suppose if you have to get stuck somewhere, there are much worse places than Paris!

I am preparing some other posts for today since my whole day’s schedule has been changed.  And I will try to be more cheerful in them!


Apron Find! And of course, I love chickens! DUH!

aprondaysOn the back of this picture is written in my grandmother’s hand “Christmas at D.D. Bellah’s 1933”.  That was my great grandfather’s place somewhere in Texas…I am not sure right of the top of my head the exact location but in Throckmorton County I think.  That is my great grandmother at the far right of the picture in the LOVELY full apron!  But look across the picture…all the ladies have on aprons!

I have been going thru pictures as I have a minute or two and this one jumped out at me!  As did this one:

dessieandchickensThis is my mom’s only sister Dessie.  She looks like a rough customer doesn’t she? She was!  But my love of chickens evidently is genetic!   I am so much like Dessie was.  In many, many good ways and then in some…um…not so desirable ways!  Short fuse, easily distracted…spoiled…but the good things: love to sew, cook, craft, garden…the list is long!  Plus she had a husband like mine…so near perfect it was almost unfair!  Ganky (that’s what I called Dessie) was 3 when this was taken in Fullerton, Louisiana.

Update on Round Robin tomorrow as well as giveaway announcement so stay tuned!


Chicken & Dumplings Recipe & Tutorial

These are a favorite at our house. My Ganky (my mom’s sister) made THE best. This is a slight variation on her original recipe. We thoroughly enjoyed these. I always wonder why I don’t make them more often. Let me know if you have any other questions. Or if you think I misspoke or left something out.

NOTE: The pastry cutter I used in the picture below can be purchased here.  I honestly don’t think I paid that much for mine, so you might check at your local kitchen stores before ordering.  It got one bad review on amazon but I have really loved mine.  I think maybe the person reviewing it was a bit rough with it!  I have had no problem whatsoever.

Your dumplings can be made way ahead and frozen. But make them at least a few hours before so they will be very well chilled if not frozen.

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt

Stir together and set aside.

  • 1/2 cup all vegetable shortening ( I know lard would be amazing but I have never tried it -quite sure my Ganky used regular Crisco)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 large egg, well beaten

Put the shortening in a heat proof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir to melt the shortening. When it has melted pour this into your flour/salt, stir a couple of times, then add the egg

Stir with a fork until well blended. Then give it a little beat with a wooden spoon to be sure you get all the flour off th bottom of the bowl.

Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.

On a well flour cloth with a well floured rolling pin, roll out the dough using a approximately 1/4 of the dough at the time.

Cut into strips or squares using a knife or pastry cutter.


Layer on a parchment or waxed paper lined cookie sheet, putting parchment or waxed paper between the layers of dumplings.

Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper over the last layer and then wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer while you prepare your chicken. If however you are making these days or even weeks before you intend to use them, they freeze very well. Simply allow them to become completely frozen and then remove them from the cookie sheet and put them in a zipper freezer bag, label them with the date and return them to the freezer, using them within 3 months.

I have a large white enamelware pot I make dumplings in. But a dutch oven or soup pot with a good fitting lid will do.

Boil a chicken or enough chicken pieces to make a rich broth in enough water to cover the chicken well. Salt and pepper to taste. You certainly may need to add more water as the chicken cooks. But keep it well covered with water. After chicken is completely cooked remove from the broth to cool and when cool enough, pick meat off the bones and return it to the broth. To the broth add 2 (16 ounce)cans chicken broth, 2 chicken broth cans of water and 2 cans cream of chicken soup. Bring this to a rolling boil and stir so the cream of chicken soup is well incorporated.


Drop the still VERY cold or frozen dumplings into the boiling pot one at a time, shaking to move the dumplings around so they don’t bunch together but DO NOT STIR.


When all your dumplings are added to the boiling liquid. Turn the heat down to simmer and put the lid on your pot. Cook undisturbed for 25 minutes. If you like add a little more freshly ground black pepper to the pot.


Serve right away while piping hot! We usually do not have any sides with this – just dumplings…and more dumplings.


A plain and simple meal. And I told you, they are easy!!!