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Old Hinesville
New adventures in cooking
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I come from a family of really good — if not great — cooks. Grandmother Shippey, with her large family of 13 children and pioneer-type husband, was a fabulous cook.
My father, the second oldest of those 13 kids learned to cook early so that he could help his mother.
My mother, on the other hand, grew up in a more affluent home where there was a houseman to do the cooking and so she did not learn to cook as a young lady. After the family fortunes were reversed in The Depression, and the houseman was no more, her stepmother did the cooking, so Mother still was not allowed to learn. However, after she and Dad married, she learned to cook from him and became a wonderful cook. It was not unusual for both of my parents to be in the kitchen cooking.
When Grandmother Shippey and her sister visited, they pitched in to help with the cooking, so it was possible for there to be several cooks in the kitchen at once. With this background, how could I help but learn to love to cook?
After he retired from the ministry, Dad set out to learn to make several dishes perfectly. Even though his vision was impaired he could still cook! With Mother and me teaching and my brother off at work, we welcomed the delicious meals Dad would have us when we came home!
One of the recipes Dad wanted to perfect was chicken and dumplings. He asked every cook he saw for her recipe and he tried them one and all. We lost track of how many different varieties of dumplings we were asked to sample. At last he mastered them, and oh my, how delicious!
As I mentioned earlier, I do love to cook and I regret that I so seldom have the opportunity to cook for others. I had a wonderful time cooking several dishes to take to the home of the family with whom I spent Christmas Day.
Early in the new year, I invited friends to lunch with me. What would I serve? I pondered this and then remembered the chicken and dumplings.
There were no recipes for them in the old fashioned cookbooks I usually consult, so I went online and found several. I will reprint the one I chose, as well as a few helpful hints I discovered:

Old fashioned
chicken and dumplings
(printed from, with my modifications)
1 to 2 packages of chicken parts (I use wings and thighs)
Salt, pepper, herb seasoning such as dill
Plain flour
Ice water
Wash the chicken pieces and place in a large pot, with the seasonings (a well flavored stock results in more flavorful, delicious dumplings, so season to taste) and plenty of water to boil. Let boil uncovered until chicken begins to fall from the bones. Turn off heat, let cool enough to handle the chicken and remove the meat from the bones. Return the chicken meat to the stock, let sit while you prepare the dumplings.
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt mixed into the flour
Ice water, stir enough into flour mixture to make a stiff dough
Place dough on a floured work surface (a marble slab or one of those silicone mats make good surfaces)
Roll out with floured rolling pin until the dough is very thin, the thinner the better. Cut into 1 inch strips (use a pizza wheel) and let sit to dry for a few minutes. Cover strips partially in flour.
Turn up the stock and chicken pieces to medium heat until it boils. Slowly drop the long dumpling strips into the stock, one piece at a time. Don’t crowd the pot, but add what you need. As they cook, the dumplings will become somewhat stiff temporarily. Place a lid on the pot and let cook until the dumplings become somewhat translucent. You will know they are done when they begin to thicken. Before serving, stir well.
Dumplings are a real comfort food.
I discovered that the secret to making them really well was to have the dough very, very, thin. It tends to want to relax and thicken back up. Don’t let it!  

You can reach Shippey by email at
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