today was the first day since a while back that it felt like a promise of Fall. The morning was cool enough to need socks (thin ones, but still…) and the humidity dipped below 90% for the first time since June (ok maybe that’s hyperbole, but not much).
Ok, you know how I love food. Not any food, it has to be GOOD food (by the Ina Garten definition, not the Ellie Krieger definition) (Never trust a skinny cook)
Someone with good intentions posted a picture of chicken and dumplings on Facebook. It was the Proper kind, too, the ones made with big fluffy biscuit dough dumplings. of course, “proper” is relative, isn’t it. One of the first arguments Himself and I had after getting married involved what constituted a Proper dumpling. He, being a Southern White Boy of Country Origins, was raised on strip dumplings. Basically they are pie crust cut into strips and boiled in a hot milky broth made from boiling a chicken and taking it out. I, being (obviously) of a More Sophisticated Culinary Upbringing (translation: we never had cake or ice cream in the house) was raised on dumplings made from a buttermilk biscuit dough, dropped by elegant spoonsful into a delicate and savory chicken based herbal broth, carefully crafted with fresh chopped herbs from the garden and serv….anyway. Mine were better.
The argument happened when he asked what I was fixing for dinner one night. Upon being informed that chicken and dumplings were being prepared, he became excited and exclaimed “OH THAT IS MY FAVORITE!” When they were served, I heard the ::crickets:: or maybe that scratching sound of a record being bumped, or something indicating a certain cognitive dissonance, because he said “What are those? Those are not dumplings. That is boiled dough. My mama doesn’t make dumplings like that.”
Whoever has been married and had that “My mama doesn’t (do whatever) like that”, you know the feelings it causes in a New Bride, seeking to create family harmony and a Happy Husband. It goes like this… (ahem)
“FINE THEN. GO TO YOUR MAMA FOR SUPPER.”
Same thing happened with cole slaw, but those are the ONLY times he has EVER said that, lest you think he is a cad. Because he is not. We both had figuring out to do, with the whole “being married” thing.
We have since compromised, and I try to alternate between his beloved strip dumplings (which I have come to like) and my preferred buttermilk biscuit dumplings.
Anyway…Fall is making me hungry for warm, thick, comforting foods. Rich stews, pot roasts, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Good heavens I love mashed potatoes and gravy. Not the instant kind, either, but soft fluffy russet potatoes, smashed with half-and-half, and an inordinate amount of real butter (gotta pack on the weight for hibernation, doncha know) (and you never know when the society is going to collapse and we might have to make a 2 week walk westward to reach The Old Homeplace and Safety). Oh, and gravy. I never met a gravy I didn’t like except for Cracker Barrel’s and any other kind made from a mix. no. homemade gravy with no lumps. One thing Mom did right was teach me how to make exceptional gravy. I might screw up many things, from relationships to car tires, but never a pan of gravy. Himself will tell you that. I want that on my headstone. “She never screwed up the gravy”