It has been raining all weekend…so hard that last night, I really wondered if there was any more water LEFT in the sky. I had sandbags put out so the downstairs basement over at the hotel wouldn’t fill up and had the gutters flailed out so they would empty out, in case it rained. A flail is a long flexible plastic strip with razor sharp teeth. It is poked down the whole downspout and then pulled up. The little teeth pick up all the leaves, twigs, nests, critters that would plug up the downspout. If I get a leak, it will leak in the hotel, not in the storefronts.
The storefronts are high enough that they won’t flood, thank goodness. We have two of the three shops rented out right now. The third one is going to be Mike’s stained glass workshop. I think we’re going to store some of the excess stuff from the barns and shop and sell it from there…it will give Mike something to do besides be underfoot. I don’t want stained glass IN my house. We only have the upstairs, with no garage and I don’t want little bitty pieces of glass on my floors. He can fiddle down there and do little furniture repairs and be as busy as he wants to be. Me, I can busy myself at home for the rest of my life. I have my little daily chores (thank you FlyLady) and my little projects. I have the dogs to take care of and trot down to the library or the greengrocers or the market.
Mike? Not so much. If he’s not working and he’s not…he is all but retired…he doesn’t much to do. Oh, he’ll take the trash out or fix himself a peanut butter sandwich but he has yet to fold clothes or voluntarily put in a load of laundry. He will clear off the table but I guess he doesn’t realize we have a dishwasher. At the beach house, I end up doing all the little chores, including shopping, cooking. any little bit of housework, laundry. The only part I like to do is mess about in the little garden so I have to let him do that or he would have absolutely nothing to do.
The front room is once again filled up with boxes and boxes of stuff to move to the hotel. Both cars are full up with this that and the other of all the little things that have to be moved. I seem to have an inordinate anout of this, that and the other. It is POURING rain, so I fixed Grandma’s chicken and dumplings…my favorite thing to eat.
*Two cans of chicken broth (or if you save left over little bits of vegetables and freeze the broth, use that. I usually have a container filled with pureed vegetables I freeze and then toss in soup. Sometimes I will boil up the chicken carcass and freeze that broth up).
*About a pound of chicken. I cut it up into bite size pieces and then turn the slow cooker on high for pretty much all day.
You can also use leftover KFC or El Pollo Loco or the pre-cooked chicken from the market. You just need enough.
After it has cooked all day, pour it into a pan with a tight fitting lid. Here is when you add some vegetables. If you use the canned kind, add the liquid. While you are waiting for it to get to a boil, mix up your dumplings. I use a cup of Bisquick and 2/3 cup milk, less 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar. (So in all, you will be adding 2/3 cup of liquid.) It needs to sit for about 10-15 minutes or until it develops little bubbles. You can use milk, half and half or buttermilk. The vinegar is what makes the dumplings fluffy and I like the taste of the rice vinegar better than any random vinegar.
Drop the dumplings into the boiling liquid, a spoonful at a time. Once you’ve gotten them all in, take a fork and flip them back over, starting with the first one you dropped in. Turn the heat down to a simmer, put the lid on and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Don’t be lifting the lid.
Check to see if the dumplings are cooked thru. They should be fluffy and dry looking, like a steamed biscuit.
I usually add a spoonful of sour cream and whisk it in to the whole pot. I just like the creamy bite.