Friday 30 April 2010

A walk in the woods . . .

A walk in the woods is a rare afternoon treat on a mild and sunny spring day. It stands silent and immobile before you . . .

but it is a living silence, filled with breath and rustlings and movement.

You walk on and the wind stirs . . . the newly budded leaves on the trees rustle . . . a sigh amongst the sentient trees.

Suddenly the air is filled with the sound of a thousand wings, which flutter as disturbed birds take to the skies, ripping the quiet and making you start.

You continue on . . . and then you hear the muffled whisperings of startled leaves . . . someone heard you coming and decided to take shelter from your footfalls . . .

You hear the distant crack of a shot . . . which only serves to emphasise the peace which it disturbs. It is a shock, and yet at the same time, not entirely unexpected . . .

A bird trills and sets up a soft ripple along the surface of the stillness of the woodland . . . the sobbing of doves beating like a hidden pulse at the heart of the silence.

Oh how it thrills your heart to be tucked in the soul of the woodland . . . to be wrapped in it's strong and silent arms.

Can anywhere on earth be closer to the presence of God . . . perhaps . . .

but right at this moment, you think . . . not . . .

Just my thoughts on a quiet Friday morning . . .

We are potato people in this house. We both love them and never tire of them. I could eat them three times a day every day and still be enthused! Here is an easy and very tasty way to prepare them. On their own they make a very scrumptious lunch, but they are also great as a side dish to grilled or roasted meats and poultry. I hope you'll give them a try!

*Dusty Oven Baked Wedges*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

We love potatoes in any way shape or form, and these tastey little oven baked wedges are a real favourite of ours! Infinitely better than any that you might buy frozen from the shops. These are delicious served with a bowl of sour cream to dip them in, but they really go well with many things. Chutney, catsup, ranch dressing . . . pick your own poison! Your family will really enjoy these!

4 large baking potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 205*C/425*F/gas mark 7. Lightly grease a large shallow baking tray and set aside.

Wash the potatoes very well and then dry them very well with a kitchen towel. Cut them lengthwise into 2 inch wide wedges with a sharp knife. Put them into a large bowl. Sprinkle them with the olive oil. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and onion powders. Give them a good toss and a stir, making sure they are well coated with the oil and that the seasonings are well distributed. Scatter them over the baking sheet.

Bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes, until nicely browned and tender inside. Stir them every ten minutes or so to make sure that they brown evenly.

Remove them from the oven and dump them into a paper bag. Add the cheese and parsley to the bag and give them a good shake to coat. Divide amongst four heated plates and serve along with your favourite dipping sauce! Delicious!!

Over on The English Kitchen today I'm cooking a delicious pasta dish with sausage, caramelized onions, and cabbage in a tasty mustard sauce! A dish to die for!

Thursday 29 April 2010

There's a new gal on the block!

I finally got around to posting my mouse doll on Etsy. She is called Millie and I think she is a delightful little character.

She stands 8 inches tall and is capable of standing all on her own, without the aid of a doll stand.

I just love how she turned out. I love her little soft sculptured cap with it's paper roses and flowers adorning it.

I love her chubby little legs and arms, and her sweet little white cotton apron with it's lace trim and pretty blue bow in the back.

I also love her cute little shiny black eyes. I think she is a real pleaser all round and is sure to add that special something to the discerning doll collectors showcase.

I really had a lot of fun making her. It will be hard to send her along to a new home, but send her out there I must. It helps to pay the rent, and we do like to eat. ☺

You can find out more about her and how you can make her yours HERE at my Etsy shop. Thanks!

Thursday Thoughts . . .

As you all know, I recently went through the painful experience of having lost my job. Through no fault of my own of course . . . it's just the times we are living.

The worst part though, was not the losing of the job, but also the losing of our home . . . as our home was attached to the job. It is one thing to lose your job . . . but when the roof of your head disappears right along with it, well . . . that's a pretty hard pill to swallow.

And then . . . just when we thought that things could not get any harder to take . . . we lost Jess. Our much beloved dog . . . our hearts were broken. We were not sure how much more we could take . . . I was not sure, how much more I could take . . .

One morning when I was feeling a bit blue about it all . . . I read the story of this man who, during the great Depression . . . had lost his job, a fortune of money, his wife and his home. He tenaciously clung to his faith however . . . the only thing he had left. One day he stopped to watch some workmen doing stonework on a huge church. One of them was chiseling a triangular piece of stone.

"What are you going to do with that?" asked the man.

The workman looked up at him and replied, "See that shape up there neaer the spire??? Well, I'm shaping this down here, so it will fit up there."

Tears suddenly filled the eyes of the man as he walked away. God had spoken to him through the workman to explain the ordeal though which he was passing.

"I'm shaping you down here, so you'll fit in up there."

One might be tempted to believe because they are members of a certain church, or a person with deep and abiding faith, that nothing bad will happen to them . . . and sometimes when bad things do happen, you might be tempted to ask yourself . . . why, when you have been such a good person, and done all the right things . . . why are you having to suffer the things you are having to go through???

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies,bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." Matthew 5: 44, 45

He never promised us things would be easy, only that they would be worth it, and that is what helped to get me through a very difficult time . . . what is helping me to get through what continues to be a very difficult time. A stronger pot must be put through the fire again and again, and He is helping to shape me into a stronger pot. However does anyone without faith get through life?? It boggles the mind!

"For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth." Hebrews 12:6

We've had some beautiful weather these past couple of weeks, but it looks like that is going to come to an end today! We will now begin to have Bank Holiday Weekend weather, with rain, wind and colder temperatures! Or "Sod's Law" as Todd calls it! Nevermind, as Annie sings . . . the sun will come out tomorrow! Or at least when the Bank Holiday weekend is over!!

I baked these taste tempting muffins yesterday morning. They're a fabulous way to begin the day. Nutty, and fruity and oh so very delicious!

*Norsk Apple Muffins*
makes 12 large muffins
Printable Recipe

This is a recipe that I have had in my files for a very long time. So long I can no longer remember where it came from! Moist from the apples, with the delicate hint of lemon and cinnamon, and a golden crunch of toasted almonds and cinnamony sugar on top. These are winners!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
the finely grated zest oe one lemon
1 medium apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)

For the topping:
1/4 cup demerara sugar
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F gas mark 5. Butter well a muffin tin, or line with paper liners. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs and lemon zest, continuing to beat until well incorporated.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamn together in another bowl and then stir this into the creamed mixture, just to moisten. Gently fold in the chopped apple.

Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it equally amongst them. Sprinkle the sugar and almonds evenly over the top of each muffin and then dust each with some of the cinnamon.. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until lightly browned and well risen. Remove from the oven and let stand for five minutes, before removing from the pan to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve warm. Delicious!

We have Turkey Burgers over on The English Kitchen today, adorned with a delicious Cranberry Catsup!

Wednesday 28 April 2010

The Clothesline . . .

The clothesline was a new forecast
To neighbours passing by
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbours always knew,
If company had stopped on by
to spend a night or two.

For when you'd see the fancy sheets,
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the company table clothes
With intricate design.

The line announced a baby's birth
To folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride.

The ages of the children could
So readily be known,
By watching how the sizes changed,
you'd know how much they'd grown.

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
The nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
haphazardly were strung.

It said, "Gone on vacation" now,
when lines hung limp and bare.
It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged,
With not an inch to spare.

New folks in town were scorned upon,
If wash was dingy grey,
As neighbours raised their brows, and looked
Disgustedly away.

But clotheslines now are of the past,
for dryers make work less.
Now what goes on inside the home
Is anybody's guess.

I really miss that way of life,
it was a friendly sign,
When neighbours knew each other best,
By what hung on the line.

~author unknown

One thing that I have really enjoyed over these past few weeks, is simply being able to hang my clothes out on the line in the back garden. We have never had a clothes drier over here. We have always air dried our things. Back in the cottage, I had a line strung up in the laundry room, which is where our clothes and things mostly hung out to dry after they had been washed . . . thankfully there are only two of us, so it has never been a hardship for us, although it is easy to understand, and I have experienced the need of having a clothes drier when you have a growing and large family to take care of.

But there is something so very special and sweet about seeing a line of wash hanging in the garden . . . a lift here and there of a hem, sleeve or pantleg by a gentle breeze that passes, seems almost like a cheery wave from an old friend.

And can there be any smell more lovely on this earth that that of fresh sheets on a bed that have spent an afternoon hanging out to dry . . . they smell of sunshine and fresh air, and of homey comforts and days not long gone . . . nor forgotten.

My mother hung her clothes out to dry for most of my growing up years, no matter the season. In the winter time, her fingers would get all chapped, cracked and frozen from the sub zero temperatures of the Canadian winter . . . Most days the clothes would be brought in at the end of the day, not so much dried . . . as frozen stiff, and then . . . they would hang in the utility room next to the furnace over night . . . In the summer time, the sound of the sheets flapping and snapping in the wind was such a comforting sound, and once again that smell . . . oh what a wondrous thing it was . . .

I like to bury my face in the clean laundry after I have brought it in. As it gets folded and put into the ironing basket, I have a sniff or two . . . and my mind takes me back to those days of my childhood . . . the sight of my mother standing on the laundry stoop, the wicker laundry basket by her feet, her arms stretched up and pinning . . . that snap of the wooden pins . . . her voice ringing out in laughter and conversation with neighbours caught in that same dance of home comforts and loving ministration . . .

I am so glad that I have a heart and mind that is open to the joys of simple things . . . that I have arms and hands that are capable and strong, and able to do these things of a day . .. these homely little chores that bring me so much pleasure and peace.

There is something special about the sight of clothes hung lovingly on a line . . . it speaks to the heart and soul in a delightfully wonderful way. I hope and trust it will ever be so . . .

Speaking of home comforts, I made us a delicious casserole for our tea the other night. Our days have been full as of late, with goings to and fro and much activity. Some days there has not been a lot of time to cook a meal that takes a lot of time. These are the days that I reach for something quick, but there is no reason that quick has to be boring, or lacking in flavour. I always keep a tin or two of chili in the store cupboard and often have a container of it in the freezer as well. It is nice to have it heated up and in a bowl, but it's even better to have it done this way. Sure to become a family favourite! (And perfect for laundry day when quick and easy comes in mighty handy!) It's also very easy to resize and make according to how many you are feeding.

*Chili Dog Casserole*
Serves 5 to 6 people
Printable Recipe

Delicious! I use my homemade chili in this, but the recipe calls for tinned. I just always happen to have a container of homemade chili in the freezer and it's no problem to thaw it out. I highly recommend! Quick easy and very scrummy!

2 (15 ounce) tins of chili with beans
1 package of smoked frankfurters (10 in pack)
10 8-inch flour tortillas
10 ounces of strong cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F. Lightly butter a shallow baking dish. Wrap the tortillas around the frankfurters. Place half of the chili in the prepared baking dish. Cover with the tortilla wrapped franks. Pour the other can of the chili over top and around the tortilla wrapped franks. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Cover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovering the last 5 minutes to brown the cheese. Serve hot with a salad on the side.

More home comforts lie in wait on The English Kitchen today, where I have baked some tasty Strawberry Jam Tarts, sure to bring out your inner child!!!

Tuesday 27 April 2010

The Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY, April 27th, 2010...

Outside My Window...

The sun is up, the birds are singing, and it looks to be another fine day. We have been so lucky with the weather this past week. Most days there has hardly been a cloud in the sky. One wonders when this lucky run is going to end! It can't last forever unfortunately.

I am thinking...
How very fragile things can be. When I first came back online after having been away for those two weeks, I had over a thousand e-mails waiting in my in box. It took me hours and hours to wade my way through them, over a period of days. I did not want to miss anything important. Unfortunately one important e-mail got misplaced and yesterday I got another e-mail from a very upset person who could not understand why I had not replied to their first e-mail. I immediately wrote them back and apologized, but I fear it was too late. There has been no reply back. I am quite upset that it got overlooked. I am not that kind of person and it makes me feel really bad that someone now thinks that I am so full of myself that I could not take the time to reply to their very heartfelt e-mail. I suppose that I should have replied to it right away. I had put it aside so that I could attend to it at a later hour when I was not so swamped . . . unfortunately it got lost in the mire that is my e-mail box at times.

I am thinking too, of my sweet dear friend June, who has had to say goodbye to her beloved far too soon . . . My heart and prayers are with her as are the heart and prayers of many. I know that they are very much appreciated by her, but then again . . . I also know that right now they are probably not enough, and I understand that . . .

I am thankful for...
Sunny days and a husband that loves me, even if I sometimes don't come up to all that I should be. I try my hardest and that is enough for him. I think it works both ways really, and I am glad for that! ☺

From the kitchen...
There is a loaf that I have not written about yet and a few of those rocky road squares left from the other day. I am trying to be a good girl!

I am wearing...
Blue pajamas and my blue terry robe. It's been a lot warmer these past few mornings. Not much of a chill in the air at all!

I am creating...

I made the cutest little mouse doll over the past couple of days. It was quite involved and had a lot of hand sewing. All her body parts are soft sculptured, and her clothing is mostly hand sewn and stuffed as body parts. I think I will be listing her later today at my Etsy Shop. I have not been able to get any painting done over this past week like I wanted to. I still need to organize my craft room better. It is still quite a tip. Perhaps I will get stuck into that chore later today. There seems to be so much to do still, and only so many hours to get it done in.

I am going...
We have a bed arriving for the spare bedroom on Friday, so I really need to get that room sorted along with the craft room, so that there is room to put the bed in there when it comes. We tried to get bunkbeds, but they were too expensive, and the ones at Ikea that we wanted could not be bought online, so we ended up just buying a single bed from Tesco. Should be fun putting that together!! Then we are just going to get a blow up mattress to use as an extra bed should we get company. There will be the spare bed and the mattress. We usually give any company our double bed anyways. It's a lot easier that way.

I am reading...

Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer, by Jane Brocket

I know it might seem a bit unusual to be reading a cookbook, coz that is what this is, and I have spoken of this book before, but I dug it out again a few nights ago and am really enjoying going through it again. As a child I devoured the books of Enid Blyton and the Famous Five and I loved reading Pippi Longstocking, and of course any other children's novel that I could get my hands on. I have always been a voracious reader. These children's books were filled with exotic sounding foods and this book is filled with little exerpts from the books and of course, the recipes. I am so enjoying this second trip down memory lane! Perhaps today I may even have a chance to bake some Strike Me Pink Raspberry Jam Cakes that Todd and I can wash down a bit later on with some Ginger Beer of course!!

I am hoping...
That this nuce sunny weather lasts for a few more days! I know it cannot last forever, but I am enjoying it so very much and would like a few more days of it. Greedy I know!

I am hearing...
A clicking clock, the tapping of my fingertips on the computer keys, birds singing in the garden. Yes . . . all seems right with the world. It is at times like this though that I really miss our Jess. She was my early morning companion. Always laying right next to me, her soft warm body against my feet . . . She was so loving and so dear. I miss her so very much.

Around the house...
Things are still looking quite settled despite the craft room that needs to be sorted and the spare room . . . Everything in the rest of the house is very organized. There is a routine that needs to be followed when one wants to use something and it must be put back as soon as we are finished with it as there is no room in this house for things to be out of order. As a bit of a clutter bug, this is a hard adjustment for me to be making, but I am trying really hard.

One of my favorite things...
is absolutely sharing my thoughts with you on here each morning. I am sorry if I sometimes disappoint. I really don't mean to do so . . .

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I have a bit of work to do with Todd and of course dolls to finish and paintings to paint. I need to work some on the second cookbook I am writing. I am sending off a Book Proposal to a publisher this time, not trying to do it all on my own. I may get somewhere. I may get nowhere. I must remain positive about it, and never give up.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is a picture I took last spring of some of the blossom on the Estate down South. Oh I can imagine that it is an absolute riot of bloom and blossom at the moment . . . we were so very blessed in so many ways to have lived there for the seven years that we did. Nevermind . . . there are new blossoms here to discover and new adventures that are just waiting for us to experience them!

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Day Book for today. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!)

My Todd is a pie man. There is nothing he loves more than a nice wedge of meat pie and a pile of mash, all smothered in Bisto Gravy of course!! He is not hard to please. I am thankful for that in so very many ways!

*Steak and Vegetable Pie*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

We are real pie people in this house. You could put pretty much anything between two crusts and we would love it. This is a particularly delicious steak pie. I suppose you could just stew the meat and add some frozen mixed veg if you wanted to, but I love the flavour of the swede and carrots when they have been stewed along with the steak. It's pretty yummy! (Plan ahead as it takes several hours to make)

1 1/2 pounds stewing steak, diced
1 TBS olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 of a large swede (rutabaga) peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
8 ounces (1/2 pound) shortcrust pastry
2 TBS flour
a 1/2 cups beef stock
a pinch of thyme
salt and pepper to taste
beaten egg to glaze

Mix the flour with some salt and pepper to taste and coat the pieces of meat in this mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet that has a lid, and when hot, add the meat and brown it slowly on all sides. When it is nicely browned add the onions and garlic, and mushrooms if using. Cook for a few moments, and then stir in the carrots and swede. Cook and stir over medium heat until they begin to brown a bit and then add the stock and thyme. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is quite tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/gas mark 7. Divide the pastry into thirds and roll two thirds of it out, 1/4 inch thick, on a floured board, rolling it to a large enough piece to line a 2 pint pie dish, allowing for a bit of overhang. Strain the juices off of the meat and vegetables, reserving them. Spoon the meat and the veg into the lined pastry crust. Spoon a bit of the juice over top to moisten. You don't want it too sloppy, but you don't want it dry either. Save the rest to make a gravy with if desired. Roll out the remaining pastry to fit over top. Moisten the edges of the bottom crust and lay the top over the meat and veg. Seal and trim the edges. Flute as desired along the rim and then brush the top with a bit of beaten egg. Make a few slits to vent the steam.

Place on a baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven on the middle shelf until the pie is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot, cut into slices with some nice vegetables, potatoes and gravy on the side.

Note - if you want to make a gravy with the meat juices that you have saved, shake a TBS of flour in a glass jar with some water and stir it into the reserved juices. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and thick. Taste for seasoning and adjust as required. Serve hot, along with the pie.

There is a Hearty Country Style Tortilla over on The English Kitchen this morning. Quite, quite delicious!

Monday 26 April 2010

Marie's Monday Pips!

Everyone needs to vent once in a while, right? I thought it would be fun this morning to share a bit of the things in my life that can really be annoying, just to show you that things are not always light and sunshine in my little corner of the world! Sometimes I get the pips too!

Toilet paper that shredds instead of unrolling. Occasionally you get a roll of toilet paper that just will not unroll properly, and you can't find the end of it. It comes off in shreds and layers and you just can't get it to work proper like! Not quite as bad as what is depicted in this picture, but you get the idea!! I end up wasting half a roll before I can get it to come off the right way. Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me???

People who think that because they appreciate listening to their head banging rap disco music at full tilt, I will automatically enjoy it as well!! This usually happens on a beautifully sunny day when all you want to do is sit in your back garden and read a good book, or late on a Saturday Night when you need to get to sleep coz you got to get up early Sunday morning to go to church. Me, I love music, and I love music of all kinds. I just want to listen to it when I choose to listen to it, and I want to listen to the kind of music I like to listen to, that brings me joy and pleasure . . . no offense to those that happen to love head banging rap disco music . . . love it, love it, LOVE it! Just not so much that I have to listen to it with you, ta!

People that think that it's ok to throw their rubbish around and spoil this beautiful world we have been given. That is anything from fly tipping to candy wrappers! Any kind of littering at all really annoys me. I have to pick it up when I see it. I just think it is so disrespectful to the earth and to the other people that share it with you. Don't you have a pocket that you can put that gum wrapper in?

Okay, I just have to say it . . . people that don't clean up behind their dogs. That is really, REALLY annoying, especially when you are the unlucky sod that happens to step in it. I love dogs as you know. We often took Jess for walks, but we always carried a bag or two with us to clean up behind her. In Brenchley, a public footpath ran right past the front of the cottage. You would not believe the number of people that walked their dogs past our doorway every day and allowed their dogs to mess right in front of our house. I am sure it happened at least once a day! I would not have minded if someone came to the door to ask if I had a plastic bag they could use, that would have been ok. What I minded was stepping in it on the way to work, or . . . well, you get the picture. I think it is a very naughty habit that people have. It's not the animals fault. Please, please clean up after your pets.

Plastic Blister Packaging. I understand totally the need to prevent people from shoplifting the merchandise. But when you need a jackhammer to get into the packaging of something you have purchased . . . something needs to change!! I sure wish that manufacturers could come up with a reasonable substitute! Not only is this blister packaging very hard to get into, but it fills up our landfills as well! Have you ever cut your finger on a blister pack that you have had to use scissors to cut open (with great difficulty I might add!) ?? I have, and it really smarts!

Okay, it just needs to be said. Pill bottles that are so hard to get into that you end up wanting to hammer them open with a sledge hammer really annoy me as well. I understand fully the need to keep prying little hands away from things that may hurt them, but these containers are not just child proof . . . they are aging, bad eyesight, arthritic hand proof as well!! There has to be a better way!

One last pip for today. People who think it's okay to drive so close to the back of your car that they are practically in your trunk. I find that very annoying. If I am going that slow, then just pass me. I promise you, I won't mind at all! It's very nerve wracking to have you so close to the back of my car. If I had to brake suddenly you would likely smash into me. Also when you do it at night, your lights shine into my rear view mirror and practically blind me! I would not like it if we were walking down the street and you walked so close behind me, and I do not like it when I am driving and you are on top of me either! I think it is very poor manners, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. In fact I would dare to hazard a guess that you people who tailgate don't like it when someone tailgates you either!!

And that's my complaints for today. Whew!! That feels better!!

This is an old fashioned rib sticking soup that I am sharing with you today. My family always loved it when I made this for our supper and Todd loves it too. It does make a lot, but it also freezes very well. Just leave out the rivels and boiled egg when you are going to freeze it. Take out the amount of soup that you think you are going to eat right at that meal and only add the ribbles and egg to that. Boiled egg and rivels don't freeze very well. You can add them when you thaw the soup out at a later date. This is a meal in and of itself and a real tummy filler! I often use leftover chicken and the carcass from when we have a roast chicken instead of using fresh chicken. It makes good use of the whole bird and you end up with no waste at all.

*Chicken Corn Chowder with Rivels*
Makes 8 servings (freezes well)
Printable Recipe

Rivels are tiny egg dumplings that are added just a few minutes before serving. This is a very old recipe of mine that I got fromone of those grocery store checkout magazines some 20 years ago. It is chock full of old favourites! If you like you can also use a meaty leftover chicken carcass. I often do with great success.

3 to 3 1/2 pound chicken cut up
6 cups water
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
3 medium stalks of celery, with leaves, finely chopped
(about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
(about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp salt
1 can (17 ounces) cream style corn
2 hard cooked eggs, finely chopped
Egg Rivels (see below)
pepper to taste
My additions: 1 tsp summer savoury, 1 bay leaf, 6 to 8 peppercorns

Remove any excess fat from the chicken. Place the chicken into a large pot. Add the water, onion, celery, carrot, salt, summer savoury, bay leaf and pepper corns. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, skimming off any foam that may rise to the surface. Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the thickest pieces of the chicken are done and the meat is very tender. Remove the chicken from the broth along with the bay leaf and any peppercorns you can find. Let cool until you can handle it comfortably While it is cooling, remove any fat from the broth that you can scoop off. (I wad up some paper toweling and use it to skim the surface. It works like a charm!) Remove the chicken meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin. Cut the meat into small pieces and return it to the broth. Stir in the corn and the eggs. Heat to boiling. Reduce the heat and sprinkle with the egg rivels. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes before serving. Delicious!

Egg Rivels

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg

Mix all the ingredients together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Over on The English Kitchen today, Potato and Ham Pie with Ham, Peas, Cheese and Chives! Delicious!!

My good friend June, lost her husband Dick to cancer yesterday, after a very brave and long battle. If you could spare a few happy thoughts and prayers for June I would very much appreciate it, and so, I promise you, would she.