Sunday, March 10, 2013

Soup, soup and more soup!

It's supper time! The cold weather just keeps hanging in there which always sways my decision even when I ask my kids what they are hungry for. Soup! What a lovely idea.

I first roasted my chicken in the oven till it was tender. While the chicken was roasting I cut up some carrots, onions and celery, put them all in a pot of water to cook. When the chicken was ready, I cut it up into small pieces. I plopped the chicken into the vegetable bath, along with some other seasonings and a cup of egg wide noodles. We gathered around the pot taking in the lovely aroma, then I remembered I had hard rolls in the oven!

I said in my last cooking blog I was having trouble with the rolls in the cookbook. None of them were turning out. Well this one actually did. My son even told me they were good. I think his words were "Mom you fnally made decent rolls." What can I say, he was right. I was making rolls after rolls and they all tasted bland. These I want to hide under my pillow for a late night snack.

Hard Rolls
by Ethel Mecham (a round of applause to Mrs. Mecham for her amazing recipe!)

3 Tbsp Shortening
1/2 Tbsp Salt
1/2 Cup Cold water
1 Yeast cake (I used 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
3 Cups Sifted flour
Beaten egg white

Bring the first four ingredients to a boil. Add half cup cold water. Cool to lukewarm. Blend in the yeast until dissolved. Add the flour and mix. Knead well for five minutes then let raise until double in size. Roll out, cut and shape for hard rolls. Brush lightly with egg white, let raise until doubled. Bake at 400 degree until golden brown.(Cold water may be used in place of egg white.

I do have a confession to make I was so sure these rolls wouldn't turn out I decided to make some biscuits too.This recipe is loaded with butter rather than shortening or lard. (I prefer butter to lard any day.) Truth be told, biscuits can be a challenge to make. This recipe is the first one that has ever turned out for me. I follow the directions religiously and they turn out perfect every time. I did a bit of research online to find out why the success ratio is so low. Come to find out making biscuits is allot like making pie crust.

It helps if you use cold butter (even frozen) and you cannot handle the dough for an extended period. My biscuits grew as tall as my son. I was so proud.

Buttermilk Biscuits
by Peter Reinhart (Crust & Crumb)

As we slurrped our soup I asked my kids if you could be any kitchen utensil what would it be? My answer was a soup spoon. Soup is warm, soup is comforting. I can eat soup year round, plus soup spoons are fun!

In a matter of minutes we were scraping the bottom of the soup pot. I licked the butter from my fingers reaching for just one more biscuit, then decided against it. I still had those rolls tucked under my pillow for later. If I saved the rest of the biscuits I could make some country gravy, then we could have biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I think it's clear I LOVE biscuits and rolls. I know you will enjoy both recipes just as much. May this recipe bring warmth and comfort to your family as you gather around the dinner table- soup spoons in hand. And always, eat hearty!