Usually I don't get wistful for nicer weather until February, but this year it's struck me sooner. We've really been cooped up quite a bit, and yesterday I had a strong pining for a cold beer on the porch while green fluttered all around the trees. We were reading a book in which a dragonfly zips across the water, and a luna moth sails through the night, and it squeezed me right in the heart, all that warm, simple green. It's at that moment I realize that I have to get real and focus on the very beautiful moments of winter: sitting in front of the fire, baking a tray of cookies, the sparkly glint of huge flakes of snow coming down in the sun, the patterns of ice on the pond, the waves of frost on the windows, and a big pot of stock cooking on the stove. Lucky for me, Steve decided to make his amazing stock yesterday. He's much better than me, impatient fool that I am. He takes his time and really cares for the stock. He does it right. And for that I'm thankful, because then I could make this chicken and dumpling soup which hit the spot yesterday for dinner and today for lunch. Thank you, winter!
2 cups of flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil or you can use an egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
seasonings: I used dried thyme and celery seed
Add wet ingredients to dry. It will be a wet, sticky batter.
While you are doing this, bring two quarts of stock to a simmer. Add one cup of shredded chicken. Once at a simmer again, drop in spoonfuls of dumpling batter. They will puff and float like little clouds. Throw in a lot of spinach in to wilt. Add lots of fresh chopped parsley and dill. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix gently before doling out into bowls. The broth will thicken a little from the flour in the dumplings. Stare out the window at the strange blue winter sky and think about how nice it is to be right there, right then.