Monday, May 6, 2013

More than Chicken Pot Pie

DECORATING WITH THE EXTRA DOUGH IS MY FAV!
     So a couple of nights ago I was making this chicken pot pie for a mens bible study that my husband was having at the house.  There was nothing special about this night or the fact that I was cooking a chicken pot pie.  In fact, I have probably cooked this same recipe hundreds of times for friends and family in the nearly 12 years that I have been married.  It is my "new baby" meal, my "get well soon" meal, "welcome to the neighborhood" meal, and finally a family favorite meal where every kid has at least two helpings.  So I am not quite sure why tonight was the night that I was struck with this realization, but nonetheless is was a moment of reflection.
     
     As I was busy going through the motions of this recipe that I have memorized over the years something struck me and literally brought me to tears.  Hormones??? Can't ever completely rule those out around here, but I am choosing to believe otherwise on this one.  As I was making the crust, A VERY ESSENTIAL PART, I looked down at my hands and saw the hands of my Grandmother, my Nanny, and my Mother.  I immediately paused and a flood of memories began replaying in my mind.  I saw my Grandmother standing around her beautiful large oak table setting out all of her finest china complete with matching serving bowls (even at the children's table) in preparation for what was sure to be the meal of a lifetime.  I saw my Mom putting the finishing touches on one of her world famous carrot cakes and scurrying off to ready her house for a group of guest.   My "Nanny" (other Grandmother)  would sneak me a snickers bar even if it was right before a dinner of fried chicken fingers and mashed potatoes.  I thought that was hilarious.  It hit me that I have had the privilege of being surrounded by women who because of their abounding love for the Lord have served hundreds of people in their homes, including myself. As a child I took every bit of this for granted, but now that I have graduated from the kids table I see things from a whole new perspective.   

     It seems to me that in some ways we have forgotten what a simple meal can do to bring joy to someones day.  We have forgotten that stories can be told around our table.  Those from our own family or those from new friends that God has just brought into our lives.  We have forgotten that even if we don't have matching china we can still warm someones heart with a plate of fried chicken.  So what if we had to pick it up from KFC.  Our culture is busy slam packing our schedules so full that there is rarely room for sit down dinners within our own families much less time for guest.  I want to be different, really different.  I want my children to grow up having the majority of their meals around a table and not in the back seat of a car.  I want them to have the chance to see different faces around our table as different people fill our home and share their life stories.  I want them to know what it means to "do the dishes," "set the table," and "let our guest go first."

     It doesn't matter how nice or humble your home may be.  You'd be surprised how many people we've fit into this single wide trailer the past seven months.  It doesn't matter if you eat on fine china or paper plates.  And trust me, if you don't have a dishwasher, your eating on paper plates! (Sorry Grandmother;-)!!!  It only matters that you show love to people who enter your home and love to people who LIVE in your home.  I've found that FOOD is a really great way to do that.  I pray that one day when Laela is making her chicken pot pie that she will think of me;-)

SIT DOWN AT YOUR TABLE TONIGHT AND COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
           
GRANDMOTHERS CHICKEN POT PIE
Ingredients:
3-4 chicken breast
2/3 cup of butter (real butter)
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
1 cup onions
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Crust:
2 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
2/3cup plus 2 Tbsp of shortening
4-6 Tbsp of cold water

     Pre-heat oven to 400.  Start by washing your chicken and patting it dry.  Season top and bottom with garlic salt and pepper.  Cook chicken in 1/3 cup of butter until almost done, but not completely and remove from pan cut up the chicken and set aside.  In the same pan add remaining 1/3 cup of butter and sauté carrots, celery, and onions in butter over med heat for 10 min.  Add 1/2 cup of flour and continue stirring for one minute.  Mix chicken broth and milk together and slowly add them to the vegetable mixture stirring continually.  Continue stirring over medium high heat until mixture becomes thickened and bubbly.  Once the mixture is thickened you can turn off the heat and stir in your salt, pepper, and chicken.  Once you have mixed in the seasoning and chicken well pour the mixture into your favorite pie pan.  

CRUST:

     In a large bowl mix together flour and salt.  Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender and sprinkle cold water on top.  Using a knife blend the water into the dough until you can form the dough into a ball.  If your dough seems too crumbly feel free to add a littler more water.  Roll onto a floured surface and roll out your dough until it is large enough to cover your pie dish.  An easy way to transfer your dough to your dish is to fold it in half and then transfer it to your pie dish.  After pressing the dough into the sides of the pan I use any extra dough to decorate the top.  Christmas tree at Christmas, Easter eggs at easter, baby initials for new baby arrivals, etc.  Bake for 30min at 400 or until bubbly and enjoy!!!  

8 comments:

  1. I love this Jil. I want this so badly for my family, too. You wrote it so beautifully...I shed some hormones/tears too! Ha!

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    1. Thanks Kate!! loved visiting tonight with ya!!

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  2. Agree wholeheartedly. Thank you for sharing...

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  3. So true!! Agree completely... Beautifully said/written!

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  4. Tears from me, too Jil. So beautifully written. I often look down at my hands an see my mothers. I hope to carry on this legacy as well. (And we have fit a surprising amount of people in our singlewide also! :) love ya!
    Ashli

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    1. Thank you!! Love you sister!!!

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