01 March 2009

Remembering My Grandma's Kitchen

Is it me or did most everything just taste better at Grandma's house? My Grandma was a wonderful cook! And she had six daughters to whom she passed on that gift. Family gatherings on that side of the family have always been a glorious, culinary affair. Not gourmet, mind you. But true comfort foods.

Now, my Grandma didn't really use recipes, but we have tried to write them down over the years for posterity's sake. I am currently in the middle of a family project concerning our family recipes. I have been collecting them from family members (on my mother's side) for several years now and am working on a family cookbook~scrapbook style. Yes, it is time consuming (and a little expensive), but I'm excited about how it's turning out. Maybe I'll share that project with you sometime soon.

Personally, I've always been a little hesitant to make some family favorites, thinking they just wouldn't taste as good in my kitchen. Occasionally I've dared to make a family recipe and it's usually a huge success. I think the old comfort recipes truly are simple ones. It's the simplicity that makes them so wonderful.

Yesterday I dared yet again to make one of my Grandma's recipes. Good ol' chicken and dumplings. It couldn't have turned out better! I was almost giddy with excitement, not to mention stuffed to the gills! I couldn't believe how simple and easy it was, too. If you don't already have your own favorite chicken and dumplings recipe, I think you should try this one.

Chicken & Dumplings
(my Grandma Tapp)
1 chicken, stewed
1 Tbls. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 qts. water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbls. salt
1 egg, beaten
Enough cooled broth to make a stiff dough
Stew chicken in 1 qt. of water until tender. Cool and remove from bone. Cut chicken into pieces; set aside.
Add 1 qt. of water to broth in pan and also the salt and pepper. Heat to simmer.
Mix dry ingredients. Mix egg with 1 cup of cooled broth; add to dry ingredients mixing to make a dough. Add more broth if needed. Knead on a floured board. Roll very thin. Cut into 1" squares. Drop pieces of dough into simmering broth and cook 20 minutes. Add chicken and heat through.
**I did end up needed to add extra broth to the pot. I already had a jar in the fridge, but canned would work fine, too.


Betsy said...

Oh YUM! That looks perfect!

Anonymous said...

Lora, those look delicious.

My grandma's chicken & dumplings is one of my favorite meals that I remember. Always delicious. I have not dared to ever try dumplings. Your recipe looks pretty simple, and I bet if I were to compare notes with hers, they'd be similar.

I prefer very simple cooking, too, and I regularly call my grandma to ask her how she would make something. She never fails me.

Lisa said...

I made my 1st homemade chicken & dumplings Saturday night! How funny. We must have been thinking alike this weekend....as in, it's cold AGAIN and I need COMFORT FOOD!
Yours look yummy.

I know what you mean about not wanting to try to cook the family favorites. I'm the same way. Isn't it great when it turns out really well?

Britt-Arnhild said...

Sweet mamories always taste very good :-)

Lora said...

I remember making many calls to my grandma for advice on a particular recipe. Sadly, I can't call her anymore for cooking advice~dementia has robbed her memory and she no longer cooks at all. Now I just pester my mom all the time:)

Nancy said...

Sounds so yummy! I'm excited to hear more about your cookbook project. I've decided to try that this year, too...one for my side (mom and sisters) and one for Hubby's side (sisters-in-law, etc.) I have yet to really dive in, so not sure it's going to get done in time, but Christmas is my goal!

Angela said...

Lora, I saw this on your menu for the week and can't wait to try it! I've been looking for that perfect chicken and dumplings recipe and your recipes have nevere failed me!