Christmas of 1990 my mother gave use girls a precious gift. She spent months compiling her own recipes and then got on the phone with my Granny and gathered recipes from our extended family. We will never know how much time she spent at a keyboard typing these up (and she mentioned in the opening letter that Dad missed quite a few meals but also spent hours standing at the copy machine to help put it together) but the end result is so special. She gave us our culinary heritage but also added in personal information and stories about the people and places the recipes came from.
I used this cookbook so often from 1990 to 2007 that when we moved, Josh tried to squirrel it away so that HE could keep it. He had learned to cook from it and wanted to keep that piece of all of his family. Needless to say- that didn't go over well but after we came here we found that Mom had another copy and so Joshua got one for Christmas of 2007. It's the one item of all his possessions that he has made sure that made it through all of the moves he has made since he's been on his own.
This recipe is one that I have used most often over the years. On Thanksgiving , I always made this and then invited friends who were away from their families for the holiday to enjoy with our family. I am writing it here exactly as it was written for us. My Aunt Aleen is actually my great aunt. She's my Granny's sister. She is still a hot ticket. Whenever I make this, I can't help but think of the women of that side of the family. Should you choose to give it a try, read all of the way through before you gather your ingredients because there are "extras" listed in the body of the recipe. When I read it, I can hear Aunt Aleen speaking because it reads exactly as she speaks. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
Chicken and Dumplings (from Aunt Aleen)
1 large Hen 2 cups flour
1tsp salt 1tsp baking pdr
1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
Cook hen in salted water to cover and when done, remove from broth. Put flour in a large bowl and add salt, baking powder and poultry seasoning. Add enough hot broth, about 2 cups, to the flour mix to make a soft dough. Turn on a floured board and knead about 10 times adding enough flour to handle. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thick and cut into squares.
Drop the squares into boiling broth. DO NOT STIR. When you have the dumplings in the broth, sprinkle pepper on top. I usually cut up a celery stalk and put it in the broth first, before I add the dumplings. Turn the heat down and simmer and cook for 1/2 hour. Remove the chicken from the bones, add to the dumplings on top. Let the chicken reheat. It's ready to eat.