When cooler weather finally arrives, I get the urge to pull out favorite recipes—hearty soups and southern, comfort food.
Apparently my friend Tracy gets the same impulse. I stopped by her house the other day, scooped her baby Lily up and then sniffed. “Oh, I think she has a poopy diaper,” I said, holding her out for Tracy to peek in and check. Nope. She didn’t. Apparently it was Tracy’s chili simmering on the stove that I caught a whiff of. “That’s one way to be sure you don’t get invited to stay for dinner,” she said. Oops. I’m not a chili fan, can you tell?
But I have been hungry for baked potato soup—a great recipe from The Blue Owl restaurant in Kimmswick, Missouri. I also tried a new recipe for corn and salmon chowder the other day that I’d clipped from Cottage Living magazine. I thought it was delicious, but the kids thought it was weird to have corn in their soup.
Then on Saturday I boiled a chicken to make a family favorite: homemade chicken and dumplings from Jan Karon’s Mitford cookbook. (Not at all fattening!) The recipe suggests boiling the chicken a day before, letting the broth cool overnight and then skimming the fat before cooking with it.
Just before going to bed, I placed the chicken in a bowl and poured the broth into a Tupperware container to put out in the garage refrigerator. I had my son open the door for me and as I lifted it up onto the shelf, I quickly learned that Tupperware doesn’t hold its shape so well when hot. The container buckled, the lid popped off and I spilled about two quarts of chicken juice down the front of the open refrigerator and onto my feet.
I made my son go get his dad and together we hosed off the refrigerator parts on the driveway, poured bleach on the floor and hosed that away too. Just what we love doing at 10 o’clock at night! I apologized to him for pulling him away from the television. He said it was fine; the fridge needed cleaning anyway. His reward came on Sunday evening when we had yummy chicken and dumplings for dinner. And then again when he had seconds.