Wednesday, September 17, 2008
What's for dinner?
So, a few days ago, Sara and I realized with a start that I had never gotten around to teaching her how to cook or mend or iron or really just about anything except how to tell a funny story and laugh at the craziness of the world. Those skills have gotten her through the last 22 years pretty well, but she's going to have to feed herself once she gets to her posting in Macedonia.
So, we decided that two decades of procrastination in learning the womanly arts was enough and this week she has been cooking and baking. We are trying to find easy meals that she likes and can make from ingredients rather than a box and we'll put them together in a recipe book before she leaves.
Last night she made chicken and dumplings. Chicken and dumplings are a true favorite for everyone in our family and she discovered that it was surprisingly easy. She boiled some chicken pieces with onion, garlic, salt and pepper and then when it was tender she mixed up the dumplings.
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. soft butter cut into the flour mixture
1 cup milk
The dumplings were dropped into the boiling chicken stock and rose back up to the surface moist and fluffy.
Tonight, she made a pizza from scratch--not a box or a vacuum sealed pouch to be found.
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Knead the dough and let rise for an hour in a well-oiled covered bowl, punch the dough down, roll out and top to your taste. She used a very small amount of tomato sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese. She cooked it for 15 minutes at 425 and we all enjoyed it.
Tomorrow night, it will be homemade macaroni and cheese.
While keeping an eye on her pizza crust creation, I was busy canning tomatoes from the garden. These will be nice to open for a soup or a stew over the winter.
Tomorrow, along with the macaroni and cheese we will tackle hemming pants and sewing on buttons. Wish us luck!