Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mom's Chicken and Gravy

These pictures are from back in June of 1993, I think. Hubby and I (and Older Son when he was a baby) had gone out to my folks for a meal. Here's a picture of Mom's fried chicken, with a stuffed tiger named "Hobbes" looking on and wanting to eat it all, I'm sure.

Here is Mom in her "corner," making gravy ... that was a great electric skillet, stainless steel.

Of course, mashed potatoes figured into this meal as well.

When I was growing up, we'd have fried chicken every so often. Mom would cut up a whole fryer chicken from the store. I'm sure as she was growing up on the farm, they had a much "closer to home" selection of chickens! She has told me of Grandma W catching and cleaning chickens. (I also learned to cut up a whole chicken by watching Mom, and later cutting them up myself.) Then she would take a paper sack and put in a good amount of flour plus seasonings. I think it was salt, pepper, paprika, and I'm not sure what, or if, anything else, maybe garlic powder? Onion Powder? Anyway, very basic. Meanwhile, the skillet would have Crisco heated and melted in it, hot and ready to go. She didn't use oil, she used Crisco shortening. A few pieces would be put in the sack of seasoned flour at a time, the top scrunched shut, and shaken to coat. Then the coated pieces laid in the hot grease. Once all the pieces were in, they were browned on one side, then turned and browned on the other. Then covered with the lid and simmered for another half hour? I think an hour total is what we fried it for, checking and turning occasionally, if necessary. Then take the chicken out and put it on a platter. In the picture above, that's one of the fancy platters from a Depression Glass set ("Madrid" pattern) she had that was Grandma C's (Dad's mom). The chicken was usually put on an "everyday" platter otherwise.

For the gravy, take out most of the grease, but leave some, including the bits and pieces of coating from the chicken. Put a big spoon or two of the leftover seasoned flour in the grease, stir to combine, cook a bit. Add milk, add salt and pepper, stir to thicken. If too thick, add more milk and bring to a simmer again. It should have a nice, "bubbly" appearance on the surface as it simmers, not too thin, not too thick. We would eat this not only over mashed potatoes, but also over a slice of bread. Yuuuum, yum.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Burger Time

Hubby loves burgers. It's an obsession. Today he made me an onion cheeseburger with BBQ sauce. Thank you, Hubby!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On a Quick Bread Kick

Had bananas on hand and used them to make some banana bread yesterday. It's already mostly gone. I like mine with butter on it, they way we used to eat it at home when I was growing up. Mom would also often make "sandwiches" out of the slices with butter between, then cut in half to make a little square. Sometimes I heat up the bread and let the butter melt in. Sometimes I just eat it plain.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Disaster Doesn't Always Mean Disaster

The above photo shows two nice, plump loaves of pumpkin bread, fresh out of the oven. Now look at the pans in the foreground. They look a little messed-up and crusty, no? Well ...

I decided to make some pumpkin bread this afternoon. I like to get ingredients ready or grouped together, then I can just throw them all together without having to stop and get them ready. So here's how it went: Oven preheated. Check. Two loaf pans nicely greased and floured. Check. Dry ingredients measured out, and everything else ready to put in the batter. Check. Then I put the batter together: Eggs-sugar-oil. Check. Pumpkin. Check. Dry ingredients. Check. Poured it into the two loaf pans, dividing it evenly. Check. THEN, I saw the little glass measuring cup still on the table with 2/3 cup of WATER in it that was supposed to be added at the end. UH-OH. Only I didn't say "uh-oh," I said something else. Then I scraped the batter out of the loaf pans back into the batter bowl, ADDED THE WATER, stirred vehemently, and poured it back into the loaf pans, which by now were no longer nicely greased and floured!

I shoved them in the oven and hoped for the best. Thankful that despite the "disaster," they turned out just fine. Here's the recipe in case it sounds good:


3 c. granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 lb. canned pumpkin
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt (scant)
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. each - cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
2/3 c. water

Mix sugar, oil and eggs together. Add pumpkin. Then add dry ingredients, then water, stirring just until mixed. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9 X 5-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Mom often enjoyed a bowl of cereal (usually cornflakes) with banana sliced on top for breakfast. This bowl is one she got at Stutzman's Greenhouse near Hutchinson, Kansas one time. (Just southwest of Hutchinson, a little place called Pleasantview, the Dutch Kitchen is also there.) So this morning I'm thinking of her as I eat cornflakes and banana and milk out of one of her dishes. Sometimes the simplest things can bring a happy memory.