Thursday, September 5, 2013

GRANDMA'S COMFORT FOOD

                                                          

   I awoke this morning thinking of Grandma. Than my mind went to her wonderful
cooking and one recipe.......How I miss her. I was closer to her than to my mother.

  I guess I started thinking about her and the mornings....she would be up
before milking and have the coffee going and start the bread for the day. I
can still feel that feather comforter around me(the upstairs of the
farmhouse was not heated) and that soft bed and hearing her sweet voice as
she sang praises to God. They were the old Hymns and sometimes in German.
(Side joke here...when she visited us in South Florida and they put the
praise songs on the wall she told me she did not care of the "Off the wall
songs"

  She loved "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" and "All Hail The Power
Of Jesus Name" and she would be singing these...I think it was her kind way
of waking me up....Sure was better than a crazy alarm clock.

  I remember her being in a "bad mood" several times but that never included
yelling or lack of that "Good Morning Hug and Kiss". She would get what she
called "Heavy" when things were too liberal at church and they were pushing
the Bible "out the door" or the Mennonite doctrines were being lost(prayer
veiling....cape dress....shoes other than brown or black) She seemed to
embrace the men and women sitting together to help with the children (she never
used the word kids because she was not a goat and therefore her children were not "kids")

  She was depressed when Grandpa died at 52 from a brain Tumor. She had to
sell one of the farms and his cows and that was hard on her. But she got
over the depression by helping others but that is another post....

  Back to the recipe I love.....CREAMED CHICKEN AND WAFFLES...for her a comfort food!

  I guess there are some of you who never heard of this. It is very common in Amish country.
We loved having breakfast foods for dinner but they were more savory than
sweet. We also made a hamburger gravy and chipped beef gravy for waffles.
Grandma used saffron in many of her soups and chicken recipes. That is what she asked for for
Christmas or birthday gifts. It is a wonderful addition!

CREAMED CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
SERVES 3-4
oil
1/2 of a whole chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
Pinch of saffron
3 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth (I usually use broth
from cooking a chicken. I keep broth in my freezer)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold water
1 batch of your favorite waffles
Heat oil in a stew pan over high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the
chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add to pan and brown on both sides.
Add celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf, saffron and broth. Reduce heat to low; cover and
simmer until chicken is tender, about 60 minutes. Remove chicken from pot;
cool, remove fat and bones and pull apart into small pieces. Skim excess fat
from the broth. Mix the flour with the water until smooth.
Bring the broth to a slow boil. Add the
flour-water paste gradually, stirring rapidly after each addition. Continue
until gravy is the desired thickness. Taste for seasoning. Add the chicken
and keep warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, make the waffles according to recipe and waffle iron. If
necessary, place in a 200 oven to keep warm. Serve the waffles topped
with chicken and gravy.

Recipe can easily be doubled using a whole chicken.
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Grandma's Recipe for Waffles and Pancakes

3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1 well-rounded tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (add 1/4 cup more for pancakes)
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white, beaten stiff.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients very slowly.It's important
to just trickle the wet ingredients in while mixing the dry ingredients
vigorously with a fork. It may seem thick but it'll come out just fine.
Once the batter is made, fold in the stiff-beaten egg white.
If you're making pancakes, make sure that your griddle is hot enough so that
water droplets dance. For waffles, you may want to leave
the waffle in the waffle maker until you have a crisp waffle that's still moist
and tender within.

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