Tuesday, March 23, 2010


From left to right: My mother, Modena Nance Jones, Granny Brazel, my great grandmother, Aunt Iva Cecil, in front, me and my little brother Bob. This was taken about 1943.
My family wrote very few recipes down, a few were scribbled on envelopes or napkins, stuck in the back of old cookbooks and some were passed down word of mouth. This recipe is a word of mouth. I used to follow Granny around the kitchen in Harrison, Arkansas and 'help' with her cooking. My little brother Bob, like to eat the raw dough of the dumplings or biscuits. My mother said that raw dough would give him worms, I'm not sure where that came from. To my knowledge, he never got worms.
This was also a popular dish at the Seville Hotel in Harrison, a favorite place to eat Sunday lunch after church.
Granny Brazel's Chicken'n Dumplings
1 chicken, cut up
2 quarts water
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoon chicken fat or butter
Flour as needed
Salt and pepper if needed
Chicken broth
Boil chicken pieces in 2 quarts water. Add salt and pepper. When done, remove chicken and strain broth. Chill for fat to rise to top, or use a pitcher that separates the fat from the broth. Place milk, fat, baking powder, add salt and pepper if needed in medium mixing bowl. While stirring, gradually add flour until ball is formed (as for pie crust dough). Roll out on a floured board to 1/4 inch thick. Cut in strips and drop into boiling broth. Cover and cook until done. Add chicken that has been removed from bones.
Serves 4
This is ultimate comfort food, especially for a southerner. If you adjust the fat down to 2 tablespoons of butter, it is not a terribly high calorie dinner.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Mytymo is ready for the St Patrick's Day celebration.
Irish Brown Bread is a must to serve with Corned Beef and Cabbage, see recipe under Main Dish. My son-in-law is Irish and misses the real brown bread he grew up with in Ireland. I have tried several recipes and this one seems to be closest. Bernie and my daughter Melissa are leaving for 3 weeks in Ireland this coming Monday, a great way to celebrate St Patrick's Day. I have ask both of them to get Bernie's family to write down their brown bread recipe and bring it back to me. I'm afraid the difference is the grind of their whole wheat flour.
Brown Bread
3 cups whole wheat
1 cup of all-purpose unbleached flour
14 ounces of buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of soda
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (I have not tried this in a convection oven)
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk to form a sticky dough. I have used a Kitchen Aid free standing mixer with the beater used for cake. If not using mixer, turn onto floured surface and knead lightly. Don't over mix or knead.
Shape into round flat shape and place in a greased round cake pan. Cut an X in top of dough. Cover pan with another cake pan, this simulates the bastible pot. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the top pan and bake for 15 minutes longer.
Remove bread from pan and cover with a tea towel, sprinkle with water to keep the bread moist.


Mytymo was really not the center piece. He had his spring haircut and a St Patrick Day scarf, too cute.
We celebrated St Patrick's Day a few days early this year. My daughter Melissa and her Irish husband Bernie are leaving for Ireland Monday and will celebrate over there. Bernie is very fond of my corned beef, so I prepare it a couple times a year. Actually he says St Patrick's Day is a much bigger holiday in America than it is in Ireland.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
The old fashioned way.
I don't really have a recipe for this dish, but I'll go through the steps of how I make it.
I buy 2 packages about 3 1/4 pounds each, of corned beef in a package with seasoning. You can use one package, but the meat will shrink when cooked and when you remove the fat you will have a lot less than 3 pounds. Also, everyone wants leftovers for sandwiches.
The day before serving, cook corned beef with seasoning package according to package directions. Allow to cool in liquid over night in refrigerator, this is my method, it does not state this in the directions.
5 or 6 (or more for leftovers or 10) medium size potatoes, peeled and cut in half or left whole chunks.
1 pound (more for 10 or leftovers) carrots, peeled and cut in 2" pieces.
1 (for 6) or 2 ( for 10) heads of Cabbage cut in about 6 wedges.
Remove corned beef from liquid and set aside on cutting board. I remove most of the fat that forms on top as the liquid is chilled, taste, if to salty add water to cut saltiness. Add potatoes, carrots and put cabbage on top. (if you are cooking the smaller amount of vegetables, you may need to remove some of the liquid to add water, you don't want the cabbage covered with liquid). Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until just tender. Don't over cook.
Slice corned beef into serving pieces, about 1/2 inches thick. Remove as much fat as possible as you are slicing the meat. Place the corned beef on top of the vegetables when they have finished cooking, simmer a few minutes just to heat the meat.
Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and serve all together on a large platter, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Serves 1o or 6 with leftovers.
Serve with good beer, I don't drink the Irish stuff, but Dale does. I serve with spicy mustard and creamed horseradish.
And Bernie loves brown bread served with this. Recipe to follow.