Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kayaks, Cooking, and Pancakes...Oh My!

“It is better to travel alone than with a bad companion" ~ African Proverb

Most of my writings are about cooking, recipes, and their stories.  This post is not any different but only a different way of thinking today.  My mind has been so very full lately.  Worries about finances, taking care of my bed fast, elderly mom with Alzheimer's disease, going through a divorce currently, and wondering/worrying about my future and if i will or can ever be happy.  These thoughts come and go but are always with me.... and sometimes i feel like the person with all of these problems is not really me but someone else.  Denial at it's finest, i suppose.

Well, this morning, my 16 year old daughter asked me to make a dish i had completely forgotten about and had not made forever:  Gluten free German apple pancake, a delicious dish that melts in your mouth.  I dug out the recipe from a drawer and began to combine ingredients, alone in the kitchen with only the Pandora Internet music on.  I thought about how simple this recipe is...really only a few ingredients and yet so delicious.  Why had i not thought to make this more...and when was the last time i had cooked this for my daughter??  I thought about how much pleasure this dish gave  me by preparing it...and even more for my daughter who has Celiac Disease.  It's something really good that she enjoys eating and CAN eat. 

Later on in the day i was talking to a good friend on the phone.  He, a couple of weeks ago, bought a kayak for himself. I have to admit that i could not understand what the attraction was with a kayak!  The expense, the added expense of having to buy a rack to transport,.... and to go by yourself???    But then he said that when he is on the water, ...all else fades away.  His busy corporate world, people constantly needing him, never ending things he must do to please family and business contacts as well.  It is when he is the happiest.  Not just the lake or the kayak...but the peace and solitude it gives him. It is the time he needs to get his head back on in order to make it through another week.    And then, it occurred to me that my healing solitude is the cooking.  When i cook, everything goes away...if only for a meal.  I please myself and others...and have time to let things go away for a while so i can recharge.  Just like i didn't understand the kayak, some people don't understand my expensive kitchen cookware, tools, and even the many collections (even seasonal) of  dishes i own.  But it makes ME happy and helps me to make dining here a real experience.  If only for me.  'ME' is the important word here

 The African proverb hits the truth in all of us.  We each need something to make ourselves do for ourselves... for our sanity and mentality.  We all have 'bad travel companions' in our daily lives that act as vampires of our souls.  Being alone sometimes enables us to look at everything in a different soak in the environment.  The sights, the smells, the sounds, and the simplicity of things that we would often be too busy to notice if we are in the company of others.  Enough said.

Here's the Gluten free German apple pancake picture and recipe.  Easy, enjoyable to make and eat.  And good for the mind as well!

3-4 peeled and roughly chopped Granny Smith green apples
3-4 TBSP butter
4 eggs
3/4 C. milk
3/4 C. GF flour mix*
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon sugar (about 1/4 C. sugar and 1/2 tsp cin.)

Preheat oven to 400. In a glass 9X13 pan, melt butter in oven. Remove from oven and make sure butter coats bottom of pan. Spead chopped Apples over bottom of dish. Mix other ingreds (except for cinnamon sugar) and pour over apples. Sprinkle cin. sugar over top. Bake in oven for 20 mins. until puffed up and lightly browned. Serve with syrup, crisp bacon or sausages.  YUM!

*If gluten free is not required, regular flour can be used.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When You Fall (or in my case, get thrown) Off a Horse...

As the saying get back in the saddle and ride again.

It's been quite a while since i have blogged, mostly because of a time factor with too many things going on in my life.  My life is like a loose grenade and i never know what is going to happen next.  To put things in a nutshell and with as few details as possible, this is what has gone on the last year:

My 85 year old Mother who has althzeimer's disease and is bedfast lives with me and i am her caregiver.  (This is enough without going further!)

My marriage of 23 years has fallen apart and i am separated, on the verge of divorce.  By the way, he is an alcoholic (but won't admit that but WILL admit he has an 'issue' with alcohol) and his friends in the bar are more important than his family.

I began working a full time job last year in order to help with finances...but because of all the things going on in my life, had to quit so i could take care of ME and my family.

I have the burden of my mother's estate and her run down rental properties which i cannot sell because my adopted brother has his name on everything along with hers.  This is the same brother that drained my mother of all her money when she lived with him and he was 'caring' for her.  I am now in the process of legal advice to try to get things turned around for her.

Two months ago, an elderly woman (who my daughter and i were helping to find her lost cat) wandered onto my mother's property, next door to me, and fell into the drained pool and drowned in about 3 feet of water.  I found this out by waking to the Indianapolis news channel teams outside my house as they camped for hours to cover the 'story'.

Last month my father died of stage 4 cancer and even though i did not grow up with him, he was a prominent and stable father figure in my life.  I was devistated.  But at the same time, when i went to the services in NJ, i also met a huge italian family i had never really known i was a member of.  A real mixed bag of emotions for me.  Still is.

My youngest daughter is 16 and is having a tough time with alot of things right now (mostly with my husband and i), but also combined with normal 16 year old stuff.  I try hard but am not sure how to help her and i am mad/frustrated/angry that my husband barely comes to the house to see ANY of my girls.  I have two older girls as well, 19 and 20, both in college and home for the summer.  They seem to be handling things as well as they can.  Happily, my separation has brought me much closer to one of the girls and we are able to talk quite openly and honestly.  My other daughter just stays neutral and closed mouth about things, which is fine.  We all deal differently.

I have alot of worries about the future.  I am not too proud to say this whole 'being single' thing scares me.  I don't want to be alone and i want someone to love me the way i deserve to be loved.  I know i have alot to offer and should not have to 'sell myself' in order for anyone to WANT to be with me.  Nor should i be #2 in anyone's life....again.

The other things are very minor compared to the above.  Recently my doctor couldn't understand how i was 'hanging in there'.  I guess i can't either.  I take it one day at a time and try to keep a sense of humor about me.  I spend time outside and no longer look past the flowers and trees, but notice the shades of color and the way the leaves are shaped.  Sometimes all the crap and fucked up things can somehow make a person appreciate the smallest things that were once overlooked.

So, folks,  I'm still cooking and trying to enjoy as much as i can, when i can, and however i can....while dealing with all of the above.  I've been thrown off the horse for a while now....but i'm back in the saddle and i'll be writing more blogs and food stories.  Get ready for some good cooking!

Remember the little plant that came back from the dead?  (See my last blog post, New Beginnings of Hope)   Who knew this little guy would be teaching me a bigger lesson...and how ironic is this?  This is a picture i took just a few minutes ago.  What a survivor.  I think...i'm going to be OK.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Beginnings of Hope

It's May and officially after Mother's Day is when the time is supposed to be safe to plant flowers and gardens.  The last couple of days, I've been outside cleaning out my garden, weeding, preparing the dirt and taking inventory of what i need to do before purchasing plants.  Along with cleaning out the dead from the beds, there was a hydrangea plant that i had purchased after my sweet Kari was put down year before last.  My intentions were to find a place in the yard and plant it along with some of her ashes....just as i had planted my butterfly bush to accompany my beloved first greyhound, Barbie.   These greyhound girls were my first two and i cannot even begin to express how much i loved them both.   Anyway, with the hydrangea purchased, i could not seem to find a place to plant it...or never time to do it and it was bad enough that i had procrastinated in even buying a plant for her.  And i guess that the real truth of the matter was that i was just too sad to deal with her death and not wanting to be reminded of it by planting the hydrangea along with her ashes.  I just didn't want to do it.  So it sat by our gate...and like her, wilted away and died.  All winter, that plant sat there.  And yet, i couldn't even pick the damn thing up to throw it away.

So, as i looked at this poor dead thing in the temporary plastic planter, i remembered how beautiful it was when i first spotted it at the nursery. Kari, so beautiful.  Kari was a gorgeous parti, white body with brown ticking...and such a sweet face.  She had beautiful soulful eyes with permanent eyeliner which i coveted.  I remembered  the beautiful pink color of the hydrangea and how delicate the flowers were....and how this color seemed to suit Kari who was such a little girlie girl.  My intentions were good...but i procrastinated, not wanting to actually do the burial deed.  And now, like Kari, this once beautiful and living plant was dead.  I felt guilty for letting Kari suffer as long as she did with the cancer  by trying to manage her pain.  I didn't know it could be so bad...and i just wanted her to be with me.  I guess i let this plant suffer a painful death too by not watering anymore and just letting it die. is what it is and now time to throw it out.  But i looked closer, there was a lone sprout about 3 inches tall with some small leaves.  It was not connected to the roots  that i could tell.  Maybe it was a tree sapling.  I mean, we had them all over the yard and it was possible the wind could have blown a seed into the pot.  But yet, the leaves on the sapling did not look like the ones i had pulled up in my flower beds.  Hmmmm. 

Could it be?  I came in the house and googled hydrangea to see what the leaves looked like....and sure enough  it was, indeed,  the hydrangea plant!  I could not believe it!  Did it re-seed?  As i looked at that little seeding i thought about how something so very much alive was now growing in place of that dead plant and tears streamed down my face.

It occurred to me that this was yet another gentle and loving reminder telling me that when we lose all hope and all faith, that good things can come to lift our spirits just in time.  New beginnings can happen to replace the dying past or a past that has been hurtful.  Not necessarily a replacement maybe.  But a new start.   This little plant was to represent Kari...and although Kari could never be replaced,  a new greyhound came to help us mend our hearts (Gwennie) who, like Kari, also had to be put down because of osteosarcoma  several months ago.  And now...i have a new little girl named Mona to once again help me deal with the pain of losing (within the past 4 years) three greyhounds.  It just now occurred to me  that Mona came here to live with us two weeks ago which is probably just about as old as this little sprout.  Yes indeed, wonderful things can come from something that appears to be dead to the eye.  We only need to take a closer to look to see the positive in a bad situation.  If i had thrown the dead plant out without taking the time to notice and investigate, i would have never seen this little sprout of hope.  This little plant is a reminder to me of life and not death,.... hopeful new beginnings and not dwelling on the sorrowful endings.  Look to the future, remember the past, and live life now to the fullest. 

Mona and I on her Gotcha Day, 4/30/11

I carefully pulled the little sprout out from the dead plant and it's temporary pot and planted into a nice pot with good soil and fertilizer.  I am remembering my beloved dogs and other things in my life...but with some nourishment, care and love...i will begin to look at the now and the future.

No recipe here...just some thoughts.  Hope you can look at everything in a new way today because of my story.

A new beginning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Simple Little Recipe with a Great Big Taste..and Lesson

About a month or so ago, I was visiting a good friend at her home.  Of course, food always enter conversations at some point...and she pulled out her mom's old recipe box from the closet, anxious to show me some of her favorite family recipes  (of course, this is heaven for me!).  As we are sitting on the couch, flipping through these old recipes, I'm thinking about the family that this woman fed...the boys and one girl that these recipes must have pleased so much.  Each one was hand written from my friend's (now deceased) mom on either an index card or scraps of paper...some in better shape than others and some with tell tale splatters of the cooking itself on them.  Not only was there the memory of Mom with her hand writing forever on those cards, but the memories, sights, and smells that each recipe brought to my friend.  Each one brought out a..,"Oh, i remember this one and we would have this when..."  Or perhaps a special story revolved around one particular recipe.  While i enjoyed looking at these old time treasures and analyzing the simple ingredients used back in the day (compared to the complicated recipes, low-fat, and spices used in today's cooking), i realized how much these meant to my friend.  The joy of sharing these with me and talking...and the chance to remember many of these wonderful family meals.  Priceless.

There was one recipe that stood out.  I mean, it LITERALLY stood out and made itself known over and over again to the point where we laughed each and every time.  The recipe for 'Fiery Chicken Wings' was written about 5 different times...a couple on an index card and several on scraps of paper.  As we plowed through the recipes, sure enough, yet ANOTHER repeat would show up!  Wow...was this such a good recipe that she needed all these copies as to not lose it or did she simply have it on hand to give out to other friends?  Well...we will never know the answer BUT i decided to look at it more closely.

As i read through the ingredients and directions the first time, i must admit i was not very impressed.  My friend raved about this...the smells, how tender, the taste of the sauce.  Well, of COURSE she would feel strongly about how great this meal was...i mean, this was HER mom's recipe and mom's food always rules (well, there ARE exceptions!)!  The recipe was so simple...simple braising, searing, frying, grilling...and no marinades or super spice combinations.  And not more than about three steps.  Hmmmm. Julia Child would not understand this concept at all! 

Needless to say, I had to try it and I must say that i was VERY surprised by the results of such a simple but wonderful recipe.  I guess this recipe is a lesson...not just in food, but with a lot of things in life too.  We tend to feel like the more work we put into things and the more 'spices'...and complicated steps....well, that the better something will taste. some cases.  We are told that the harder we work at relationships, jobs, etc...the better things will be.  And here's a question to answer:  Who decides this?  Why must there be so many complications to our lives in order to be 'meaningful'?  I guess that in a lot of cases this is true.  BUT...isn't it wonderful when something so simple and uncomplicated turns out to be so glorious?  Just like the components of this vintage recipe, as we get older and wiser, it becomes apparent that those fancy steps, expensive ingredients, and time consuming work isn't what it is all cracked up to be.  Who are we impressing?  Does the food really taste better in the long run?  Well, this simple recipe got me thinking about a whole lot of things other than food.  Try to simplify your life every chance you get and don't get caught up with the unnecessary things to complicate and add stress.  Know what your goals are...simple and clear, written by hand and with love. Perhaps we can all learn something from this old recipe.

Thank you, dear friend, for sharing your mom's recipe.  It taught me much more than just about cooking, for sure.

Please enjoy this very easy recipe...I'm also including my recipe for the fruited slaw.  Both simple, delish, and complimentary to each other....kind of  like two best friends.

PS..Both recipes are Gluten free also!

Mom's Fiery Chicken Wings

400 degree oven

5 lbs Chicken Wings
1/2 Cup Catsup
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1/4 Cup Honey
2 TBS liquid hot pepper sauce - more or less, as needed.
3 TBS lemon juice

(add more honey and hot sauce to taste)
My friend recommends doubling the sauce also!

Rinse and pat dry wings.  Cut into sections (Flats and drumsticks - some like the points attached as well)
Line 2 pans with heavy foil and divide wing parts between pans.
Bake in 400 degree oven  for 40 minutes or until brown.
Turn once or twice, drain as needed.
pour sauce over wings and turn to coat.
cook another 30 minutes or so - turning once or twice. Cover for half the time, then uncover to brown a little.

Wings are perfectly done when you can suck them off the bone in one motion.
Kim's Fruited Slaw

1/4 to 1/3 large cabbage, shredded or chopped
1 carrot, shredded or chopped
1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored and cut in small pieces
1/2 Cup of Craisins
1/2 Cup of pineapple tidbits (or more)


2/3 cup mayo 
1/4 cup sugar
tablespoons milk
tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (optional)

Combine dressing with cabbage mixture, refrigerate.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies for my Heart

I haven't been much in the mood to write lately...actually not much in the mood for anything.  Alot has been happening, along with the regular stresses of life... and it has just about brought me to my knees.

I have worked with Greyhound rescue for many years and although not as active as in the past, I am and forever will be a lover of these beautiful dogs.  Many of them have not had the best life at the track as people would think...and many have been lucky enough to come off the tracks and go into  'forever' homes.  My home was one of these and we have been fortunate to be able to foster about 20 greyhounds in the past (not all at the same time!) and also been blessed to have had four of our own.  But, like all big dogs, they come with issues.  Osteo took the lives of two, along with a little rescue pitbull mix we had found.  All of this within the last three years.  The latest to 'cross the bridge' was my beautiful Gwennie, a petite little black greyhound only 7 years old.  I lost her only the day before last, March 16, 2011....again, to the monster named Osteosarcoma.

Now Gwennie, like many others, came to me with a story.  It was her mission to come to my home and fill a void for my solo greyhound at the time, Kari.  You see, Kari had lost her greyhound companion months before to an unknown and sudden death.  We were in shock over Barbie's death and Kari depended heavily on Barbie.  (Barbie and Kari were my two original greyhounds and the the reason i became interested in helping retired racing greyhounds.)   So...i needed an alpha type personality for Kari and also a dog that was not so young as Kari was going on 9 years old.

Barbie (brindle) and Kari, my first greys

I contacted my 'group', All Star Greyhounds in Lafayette, Indiana and told the president what i needed.  They had a dog haul coming soon from Daytona and she told me she would make a call to see if they could find a dog of my description for me (i should say that most greys coming off the track are this was a stretch to find one that would be older).  A week later, i got the call that a dog had been found, a spirited little black beauty whose kennel name was Gwendolyn and her racing name was 'Lips are Sealed'.

Apparently it took some doing to talk the trainer out of her.  She had not raced for 4 years but for some reason they had kept her...perhaps as a kennel pet?  It is my understanding that sometimes favorite ones are kept behind.  (Don't get me started on how they could treat a 'favorite one' like this by not allowing them to have a REAL home outside of a crate.)  Nevertheless, she was put on the truck at the last minute with the other 10 lucky ones that would be coming to Indiana.  Indeed, this was to be the start of her life after 6 years of being crated probably more that three-fourths of her life and many times with only one meal per day.

It wasn't easy for her when she got to Lafayette.  After her vet visit, it was determined that her tick titer had come back positive for a tick disease.  She was flea invested, had to be spayed, and needed 6 black, nasty teeth pulled.  The treatment for the tick disease is similar to Heartworm treatment and took several treatments over a 6 week period, i believe.  She needed time to heal before she came to me and that was fine...but at least she was coming!

Finally in June '09, she came to our house.  Such a happy day!  The group president  had fostered her personally while she was healing and told me that she was one of the best that she had ever had and that she was beginning to play with toys and stuffed animals...learning all the things that she never got to experience inside the kennel at the track.  Even treats are foreign to many of them!  Well, this little girl did a wonderful job bringing much happiness to the family...and especially to Kari and myself. 

Gwennie's last day before 'crossing'.

Skip to the present, it was only about 3 weeks ago she started having problems with her back leg.  If you have ever lost a dog to osteo, you know it is always in the back of your mind.  When  her leg got no better but only worse, i took her to the vet.  X-ray showed a growth on the bone, but not definitive of cancer.  I took her home with three types of meds, two of which were for pain.  One week later my gut told me it was osteo.  She was so much worse, in pain..crying into the night with me sleeping on the couch to be close to her.  Her time was too short with me but she had a good life here and got to know what it is like to truly be 'retired' and in a loving home.  She got to see her first snow this past winter and wore a bright red coat with a snuggly 'snood' that made her look like Little Red Riding Hood!  She got to experience going to the local hot dog and root beer stand.  She got to experience laying in the sun in the grass (not gravel).  Most of all, she got to experience the love and affection that she so deserved.  Oh, how i miss her as i type this!

Now to the cookies....  In my blogs, i have written about foods and recipes... bringing back  memories of past years, the focus of social events, sharing with friends and family, and for celebrations and comforts.  Well, in my case...these cookies were brought to me today from my sweet neighbors that live across the street.  They knew what these dogs meant to me and know how i am grieving now.  They were brought to me to comfort me.  They were brought to me FOR my heart and not necessarily for my stomach.  They could  taste like crap (which they don't!) or be the most delicious cookie ever but that really wouldn't  matter to me anyway...nothing tastes great right now.  What really matters is the thought and love that accompanied these chocolate chip cookies. All of the kind text messages, phone calls, and postings on my from people who understand that these pets we have, no matter what breed...they ARE truly family members.  I thank all who have been a positive support for me.  And thank you Sherri, Jared, and little Ruthie for bringing the have no idea how much it means to me.  :-)

I will end this by saying that the only thing worse than losing a beloved greyhound is never having one at all.... not ever having the privilege to experience these beautiful animals.  If you are considering adopting a dog, do consider a retired racing greyhound...let them race into your heart forever!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie...ANOTHER pie!

Finished Chicken Pot Pie....gone by the end of the evening!
Pies seem to be on my mind alot these days...well, more in my mouth i should say.  The spaghetti pie was such a success with several of my friends that read the blog, not to mention some facebook friends.  So i decided to blog about another favorite pie of mine : a wonderful chicken pot pie that i have been making for many years now (and by the way, is still a fave!).
My mom never made chicken pot pie.  Instead i remember her cramming a whole chicken in the crock pot and dumping a bag of frozen mixed vegetables in on top.  She worked many long hours each day as a factory line worker at one of our local GM plants. (That was back in the day when General Motors was the key employer for most folks in my town.  Now, GM is gone along with  much of our population in this dead, dried up town...ugh.!)  As you can imagine, my brothers and i didn't exactly love this so much and picking the bones out was kind of ...ummm...gross too.  But, i guess it's the closest i got to a chicken pot pie back then...or at least the filling part. And i should tell you that my mom was an awesome cook...but this one just lacked...most likely due to a time issue!

I think the first time i had a chicken pot pie (a REAL one) was at a restaurant when i was in college....and it was my new favorite thing and to this day, rules with my family as well.  When i was in my 20's, i came up with a recipe that seemed to fit the bill and the only thing i have changed within the last several years is to make the filling without flour so that my youngest daughter (who has a gluten intolerance) is able to eat some of the reserved filling over rice or even her gluten free pasta.  Trust me, the taste has not suffered one bit!

Now, i was reminded not too long ago about the first time that one of my dearest friends (since high school) ever had my pie.  She reminded me that I had made it when i was living in an old house that my then future husband and i were renting, along with another room-mate.  We were both attending Anderson University at the time.  Jenny, my high school friend, was attending Purdue University at the time and had come back to visit with me over the weekend.  We were, all of us, non-traditional college students...making another go of it.  I was trying to complete the first degree ....while Jenny was going for yet another degree (some of us are slower and less motivated than others!)  Anyway, lucky for us all....i was a great cook who could cook cheaply and in mass quantities!  College students rejoice!  This was the meal i made for us all on that weekend.

This recipe included all of my favorite veggies...and i like to do it with big chunks of potatoes, a big turnip (yes, a turnip!), carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, peas, and corn.  The chicken should equally be in big chunks and lots of it.  And it's in the best 'chickeny' , creamy, bubbly sauce you have ever tasted.   So..the filling is wonderful...without an equally great crust, it is RUINED! 

Let's talk about the crust for a minute.  There is nothing like a real old time home made crust...made with Crisco or even better...good old lard, like back when our grandmothers made a  REALLY good crust.  Yes, i know...but we are talking flaky, light, and tasty.  But i will just say ONE thing here.  IF you can't make a good crust, DON'T put a crappy one on this pie or any other.  It will ruin the whole thing!  There's nothing wrong with not being able to make a crust...after all, just like the meringue on many pies, it takes lots of practice to be able to do it well. make things easy, go ahead and cheat with the Pillsbury pie crusts in your refrigerated section of the store.  Nope..not as good as grandma's but better than a cardboard crust. 

To prove my point, a friend of mine recently had a birthday and requested Grandma's Pie recipe of Lemon Meringue.  Now, I will at least give kudos to the spouse for  ATTEMPTING to make this recipe (she is not much of a cook except for reheating things that come in a bag...his words, not mine!).  But she made the mistake of trying to make a homemade crust and let's just say that when it came time to cut the pie, i was told that she had to actually pound on the knife to make it go through!  Was it flour or a bag of cement she used??  So..people...know your limits!  (Note:  If there is still pie left the next day and you have more than one person in your could be sign that your pie wasn't the most successful creation and you should probably never make it again!)  

I can't harp too much on making mistakes.  After all, if you don't make the mistakes, how will you ever learn?  None of us are perfect cooks or ANYTHING.  I can definitely remember putting baking soda in some brownies instead of baking powder.  If you want brownies to come out like rocks, this is your recipe!

Back to my friend Jenny.... Lucky for her, she has a husband who is a wonderful cook.  Jenny, you know i love you..but we all know that cooking was never your thing.  (But a true engineer...she can fix anything that breaks inside or OUT of the house!)  This recipe, however, (using the store bought crust) is easy enough that even she has been able to manage and she told me recently that she has made it for her own family and even her parents...and that ALL love it.  So, try's good and not so hard...and a real comfort food that everyone will love. 

To the girls at IU...let me know if you want this chicken pot pie to come visit y'all!  :-)

                                      Kim's Very Best Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients for one deep dish pie  (I usually use a shallow bowl to put mine into instead of a regular pie dish):
  • 2 lbs or more of breasts of chicken
  • 1 small can of chicken broth (gluten free if need be)
  • 1 1/2 cups each of chunked veggies - carrots, potatoes, turnips, celery (tops included), mushrooms...frozen peas and corn.
  • About 2 cups of milk
  • corn starch
  • Bottom and top pie crust - either Grandma's or store bought
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder, parsley to taste.

Preparing the filling

Boil chicken in chicken broth and enough water to barely cover.  When fork tender, remove on plate to cool and reserve broth. 

Chunk veggies and cook in broth in same pan...hard veggies first...then celery, onions, mushrooms last.  When veggies are nearly cooked but not mushy (remember this goes in oven also for 30 minutes or so!) add frozen veggies and chicken chunks.  Add about a cup of milk to make as much liquid (sauce) as you want.  Make sure there is enough liquid or your pie sauce will be too thick and too dry.  Add about two heaping tablespoons of cornstarch to about a half cup of milk and stir well.  Then add this mixture to the pot pie filling.  It should thicken up as it cooks on med heat.  (if after about 5 minutes, it has not thickened up, add another TBSP of cornstarch.) Add frozen veggies at end, along with seasonings...taste to see how it is.  Allow to simmer for about 5-10 mins to blend all flavors and cook frozen veggies.

Add mixture to deep dish with bottom crust.  Don't get it too full but i do like to heap the veggies and meat.  Then put top crust on, making slits for steam escape.  Follow directions on a two crust pie...usually the oven is set at 375 for about 25 minutes or so.  Be sure to put the dish on a baking pan in case of over flow. 

Serve with a nice salad and rolls...perfect!!!  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spaghetti Pie visits IU...maybe I should take orders!

My daughter, Sophie, writes a blog also and it is wonderful to read..she shares about her life as a freshman college student.  (  Anyway, she posted my blog about her birth and the spaghetti pie on her blog.  I was just praying that my story would not have embarrassed seems that anymore i am NOT COOL at all with my three teen girls, no matter WHAT i do! can imagine how thrilled i was that she was pleased enough with my piece that she posted it on hers.

Here's the Pie before it 'traveled'.

This in turn, meant that many of her friends read my blog...many of the girls on her floor in her dorm.  So a couple of days ago, i get a call from her saying that the "Harper 9 Girls" are requesting my Spaghetti Pie!  You know, dorm food is MUCH better now than when i was in college a million years ago...but it is still not home cooking no matter.  And you just don't realize how much those meals that mom made meant until you are gone.  Hey, isn't this what my blog is about...the memories of food through the ages???  So, as you can imagine i was thrilled to accommodate and maybe create a new fun memory for her by sharing that same recipe of Spaghetti Pie that was brought to my home when she was born. (

My daughter, Abbie, who is a Senior in high school had planned to make an official college visit today to Indiana i made the pie last night and it was transported with my husband and Abbie to college, along with some store bought valentine sugar cookies.  (I had full intention of sending what was left of the chocolate cake with butter cream frosting (the last blog), but didn't because i realized there were only about 3 slim slices left...and i didn't want this to be a source of fights...because this cake IS worth fighting over!)

So...a while ago, i get a call from Sophie.  I answer.  "Where's the cake?"  No hello, no nothing..just where's the cake!  I ask if she received the yummy sugar cookies with the icing on them and she replies..."You are avoiding the question...where is the cake?"  Ok..well sorry.  Hey..i made the huge pie, didn't i ?  Don't i get some credit for THAT?   Ok, next visit to Indiana University will have me transporting that delicious cake.  I guess i can't blame her for being's a bazillion times better than those cookies! 

Once again...for all i do right, there is always something else that i didn't do!  Geesh!  Well, it's all good....and I'm just glad that she appreciates my cooking enough to request it.  So, here's to the girls of Harper 9 at Indiana University:  Bon appetite!
Some of the girls enjoying the Pie...thank you, Sophie for the pictures!