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Patti Howerton: A Mother’s Day tribute to my mom

My mom always managed to get supper on the table, no matter what might be happening.
She had a full-time job, raised me, cooked from scratch, loved to sew all my clothes, looked in on both sets of grandmothers daily and baked and sewed for them as well. She was truly one of a kind and a great role model.
She taught me to love cooking, sewing, even the simple things of life. She made you always feel special.
Here are just some of her very favorite recipes.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Happy Mother’s Day.

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
• 1 (3-5 lbs.) chicken, cut up
• 1/4 cup whole milk
• 2 stalks celery, chopped
• 1/2 cup green onion tops, chopped
• 3 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, grated
• 8 cups water
• 1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 4 tsp. baking powder
• 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning

Place the chicken pieces, celery, bouillon granules and bay leaf in a stockpot.
Add the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat and cook for 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender. Remove from the pot and let cool slightly.
Pick the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin; set aside. SAVE THE BROTH IN THE STOCKPOT.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the milk and mix well. Add the onion and cayenne, and mix.
Drop the batter by teaspoons into the boiling broth pot, until all the batter is used up. Gently shake the pot. (Never stir dumplings with a spoon, as this will tear them up.)
Add parsley and nutmeg, and shake the pot again.
Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. While the dumplings are cooking, heat the soup with one can of water in a small saucepan. When the dumplings are done, carefully pour the soup into the dumpling pot. Shake the pot gently. Return chicken to the pot. Cover and turn the heat down to just a simmer for 10 minutes until all is cooked, shaking the pan gently every few minutes to keep from sticking or burning.

CORN MUFFINS WITH GREENS
• 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup self-rising flour
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup cooked turnip greens, chopped and drained
• 1/2 cup liquor reserved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8-cup muffin tin and put it in the oven to heat. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour. Add the eggs, the greens and the pot liquor, the oil and sour cream.
Divide the batter into the hot muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes.
Serve the muffins hot with butter and a cup of the pot liquor for dipping.

GREEN BEANS WITH CHOPPED ONIONS
• 2-1/2 – 3 lbs. fresh green beans
• 1 small onion, peeled and grated finely
• 5 slices thick bacon or 5 tablespoons bacon rendered fat
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• Salt and pepper to taste

Trim and remove the strings from the beans. Place the bacon in the bottom of a heavy Dutch oven and cook over low heat to render some of the fat; do not brown. (If using bacon fat, just melt it.)
Meanwhile, wash the beans. Then hold handfuls at a time under vigorously running cold water and drop the wet beans directly into the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the beans with sugar; do not add water.
Bring to a boil, cover the pot and immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook until the beans are tender, 45-60 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking, place the onions in the pot and stir to blend. When the beans are done, season to taste with the seasonings. Do not add salt at the beginning, or the beans may be too salty.

Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at phowerton@ gmail.com