26. The H’s Chicken Pot Pie

The whole H family have been in and out of my life since I met Husband. They are his aunt, uncle, and cousins, and they are fun – always with a smile, a story about recent travels, a kind word. I took a few meetings to really get to know them because I always saw them during a huge family gathering where I would be introduced to many people, often for the second or third time: by the time they were attending our wedding, though, we had the pleasure of speaking various times, and I knew they were passionate folks with lots of interests and plenty of travel stories to tell. I have to admit though, I was grateful for how homey the pot pie was, not a flight to an exciting new place but instead a walk through memories instead.

 

The process of making this pot pie was simple, as much comfort food is, but it makes a lot of food and it heats up so nicely the next day. The best part of fresh out of the oven is definitely the crust, which is out of a box and I don’t begrudge it that, because I’ve messed up a decent amount of pie crusts in my time. The combination of crisp and creamy is excellent and I am also comforted by the piles of veggies that go into this pie (alongside the creamy potatoes and milk).

 

I’ve been overstretching myself quite a bit lately, telling myself I’m never doing quite enough. Pot pie tells me that I’m fine, and that even if I need to clean some things while it is in the oven, and probably missed an email or a text message while I was stirring the mixture together, but lately, the prospect of getting to cook, especially soothing processes like making a pie, bring me to a place of not caring quite so much about all the things I should be doing. Providing food, at least, seems to be enough for a little while.

The H’s favorite easy Chicken Pot Pie

about 2 cups of cooked cubed chicken (occasionally check with can of chicken!) 2 cans cream of potato soup 1 bag frozen mixed vegetable (corn green beans carrots and peas) about 1 soup can of milk (mixture should be of moist consistency) 1 tsp thyme (important spices!) also pepper to taste.

Roll out Pillsbury pie crust. Oven 400 degrees; mix above and put in pie. Bake 50-65 minutes. Delicious.

25. W and R’s Turtle Pumpkin Pie

IMG_3898      I write this from my kitchen table on yet another afternoon – it is finally actually warm outside – 70 degrees! – and my friend A, of lentil soup fame, is visiting my home. I’ve been excited to have her for quite a while, and now she’s seen where I live, and like with all visiting friends from past times, I feel a bit nostalgic for the lives we have had in the past, the ones that had us living closer to each other.

This weekend, we returned to some recipes: I made a nice light cucumber/tomato/quinoa salad and we put together some of that delicious taco soup, the leftovers of which I’m scarfing in between typing words. This morning, we made bacon and she came downstairs to eat it and enjoy the morning with us. Food has been a major part of the whole visit, from a visit to our favorite local restaurant upon her arrival, to us dallying in the grocery store yesterday making sure to get food that fits her needs with regards to allergies and intolerances.

In college, I really didn’t care about food; even that far back, A has paid more attention to food than I have. She had to, because so many foods made her feel bad; now that I’m getting into the topic, I realize how much she already knew – she has worked on farms, and she has read labels on food, and just generally been paying attention to the world in ways I never have before. It took marriage, and specifically wanting to be an active part of choosing household nutrition, before I really paid attention. I ate junk food, processed foods, occasional vegetables as a kind of penance – I rarely cooked, enjoyed eating out extensively, and didn’t regulate what I ate except based on hunger and what made me happy.

When I am thinking about those years, there are a few food memories, but many of them are from later, as I became more of a cook. Still, it is good to have A in town to make me thoughtful about things.

I am finally making headway on the delicious stack of dessert recipes I’ve been trying to attack lately for the blog. I wanted to make something that was milk-free, given that A was visiting, and I had ingredients to make a pie that had been recommended to me by Great-Aunt B and Great-Uncle W. I decided I’d make a substitution – 1 cup of watered yogurt instead of 1 cup milk – since A can have yogurt and the pie would work well for her otherwise.

The main gist of the pie is this: pumpkin mixed with vanilla pudding. This is a brilliant idea, because vanilla pudding is a perfectly adequate treat for dessert, and pumpkin is a vegetable that actually makes the pudding taste better. With spices mixed in, all I had to do was put some caramel from J and T and pecans in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and more caramel and more pecans on top of the fluffy pumpkin mix. Then an hour in the fridge, and you will have a delicious, soft, veggie-full pie that still is substantially sweet.

My kind and lovely great aunt and uncle gave me this recipe even though they weren’t able to travel to the wedding, and it makes me wistful for eating pie at their house in the South, telling stories late into the night the few times we got to visit them as children. It seems fitting to have a visitor now to share stories with.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie – no baking!

1/2 cup and 2 tbs. caramel ice cream topping

1 graham cracker crust

1/2 cup and 2 tbs. pecan pieces

1 cup cold milk

2 packages (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip thawed and divided.

Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust and sprinkle with pecans. Beat milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and spices with whisk until blended. Spread into crust. Refrigerate 1 hour – top with remaining cool whip and nuts. Then drizzle caramel topping over top.

26. The H’s Chicken Pot Pie

The whole H family have been in and out of my life since I met Husband. They are his aunt, uncle, and cousins, and they are fun – always with a smile, a story about recent travels, a kind word. I took a few meetings to really get to know them because I always saw them during a huge family gathering where I would be introduced to many people, often for the second or third time: by the time they were attending our wedding, though, we had the pleasure of speaking various times, and I knew they were passionate folks with lots of interests and plenty of travel stories to tell. I have to admit though, I was grateful for how homey the pot pie was, not a flight to an exciting new place but instead a walk through memories instead.

 

The process of making this pot pie was simple, as much comfort food is, but it makes a lot of food and it heats up so nicely the next day. The best part of fresh out of the oven is definitely the crust, which is out of a box and I don’t begrudge it that, because I’ve messed up a decent amount of pie crusts in my time. The combination of crisp and creamy is excellent and I am also comforted by the piles of veggies that go into this pie (alongside the creamy potatoes and milk).

 

I’ve been overstretching myself quite a bit lately, telling myself I’m never doing quite enough. Pot pie tells me that I’m fine, and that even if I need to clean some things while it is in the oven, and probably missed an email or a text message while I was stirring the mixture together, but lately, the prospect of getting to cook, especially soothing processes like making a pie, bring me to a place of not caring quite so much about all the things I should be doing. Providing food, at least, seems to be enough for a little while.

The H’s favorite easy Chicken Pot Pie

about 2 cups of cooked cubed chicken (occasionally check with can of chicken!) 2 cans cream of potato soup 1 bag frozen mixed vegetable (corn green beans carrots and peas) about 1 soup can of milk (mixture should be of moist consistency) 1 tsp thyme (important spices!) also pepper to taste.

Roll out Pillsbury pie crust. Oven 400 degrees; mix above and put in pie. Bake 50-65 minutes. Delicious.

25. W and R’s Turtle Pumpkin Pie

IMG_3898      I write this from my kitchen table on yet another afternoon – it is finally actually warm outside – 70 degrees! – and my friend A, of lentil soup fame, is visiting my home. I’ve been excited to have her for quite a while, and now she’s seen where I live, and like with all visiting friends from past times, I feel a bit nostalgic for the lives we have had in the past, the ones that had us living closer to each other.

This weekend, we returned to some recipes: I made a nice light cucumber/tomato/quinoa salad and we put together some of that delicious taco soup, the leftovers of which I’m scarfing in between typing words. This morning, we made bacon and she came downstairs to eat it and enjoy the morning with us. Food has been a major part of the whole visit, from a visit to our favorite local restaurant upon her arrival, to us dallying in the grocery store yesterday making sure to get food that fits her needs with regards to allergies and intolerances.

In college, I really didn’t care about food; even that far back, A has paid more attention to food than I have. She had to, because so many foods made her feel bad; now that I’m getting into the topic, I realize how much she already knew – she has worked on farms, and she has read labels on food, and just generally been paying attention to the world in ways I never have before. It took marriage, and specifically wanting to be an active part of choosing household nutrition, before I really paid attention. I ate junk food, processed foods, occasional vegetables as a kind of penance – I rarely cooked, enjoyed eating out extensively, and didn’t regulate what I ate except based on hunger and what made me happy.

When I am thinking about those years, there are a few food memories, but many of them are from later, as I became more of a cook. Still, it is good to have A in town to make me thoughtful about things.

I am finally making headway on the delicious stack of dessert recipes I’ve been trying to attack lately for the blog. I wanted to make something that was milk-free, given that A was visiting, and I had ingredients to make a pie that had been recommended to me by Great-Aunt B and Great-Uncle W. I decided I’d make a substitution – 1 cup of watered yogurt instead of 1 cup milk – since A can have yogurt and the pie would work well for her otherwise.

The main gist of the pie is this: pumpkin mixed with vanilla pudding. This is a brilliant idea, because vanilla pudding is a perfectly adequate treat for dessert, and pumpkin is a vegetable that actually makes the pudding taste better. With spices mixed in, all I had to do was put some caramel from J and T and pecans in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and more caramel and more pecans on top of the fluffy pumpkin mix. Then an hour in the fridge, and you will have a delicious, soft, veggie-full pie that still is substantially sweet.

My kind and lovely great aunt and uncle gave me this recipe even though they weren’t able to travel to the wedding, and it makes me wistful for eating pie at their house in the South, telling stories late into the night the few times we got to visit them as children. It seems fitting to have a visitor now to share stories with.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie – no baking!

1/2 cup and 2 tbs. caramel ice cream topping

1 graham cracker crust

1/2 cup and 2 tbs. pecan pieces

1 cup cold milk

2 packages (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip thawed and divided.

Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust and sprinkle with pecans. Beat milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and spices with whisk until blended. Spread into crust. Refrigerate 1 hour – top with remaining cool whip and nuts. Then drizzle caramel topping over top.

4. J’s Quiche Recipe

IMG_3520J and I met because we taught a class together – the students thought she was like a genie because she wore flowing skirts and things with glitter on them. J lives in my favorite beach town in the world and studies how to be a writer there, which means that when I once visited her, she and I walked for ages under the bright sunshine, and ate bowls of steaming lobster bisque with mountains of hush puppies on a beautiful boardwalk, at a restaurant where the waiter clearly was flirting with her. In the mornings while I was there, I’d wake up on her couch and work on a short story until she woke up and made us toaster pastries. She is not pretentious in any of the ways that writers can be pretentious. When I saw at the bottom of the recipe card that this quiche was what she made when she felt “fancy,” I knew I would be excited to try it, even when it turned out that, like so much of what J does, it was both simple and wonderful.
This time, I took pictures! I warn you, they are amateurish – was talking with a friend this very morning about how hard it must be to take good food photos (for me, the hardest part is finding a pretty enough backdrop for them – I have to zoom pretty far in to make my kitchen look tidy).

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First, I sauteed some frozen peppers and onions with the last of the week’s salad spinach. Husband may love salads but I often find myself with the halfway-to-inedible bits of greens left, and this seemed a great use for them.

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Husband made bacon with breakfast this morning, praise be, so I got to put it in the bottom of the pie crust to add to the “glory” of it all. (The recipe literally says: “Extra glory: add bacon!”).

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I used coconut milk instead of regular, because we just don’t seem to buy milk because we never drink it and it goes bad faster than regular milk… I don’t taste a difference and Husband, who doesn’t like coconut, survives all the things I cook with it. It’s rich while still letting me pretend it is healthy – as you’ve seen, one of my favorite tricks to play on myself.

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The proportions weren’t quite right for me, eyeballing contents expertly and given that J didn’t specify a quantity of veggies, so I added one more egg and it worked just fine. I also used sharp cheddar instead of mozerella because – surprise surprise – I didn’t have any mozzerella. So sue me.
The end product was good – a wonderful combination of light and crisp, earthy and rich. I enjoyed eating it and Husband said he would eat the whole thing if he could, though that might have been because he’d just been replacing a window all day and was really hungry.

J is a person who teaches those around her that even hardship produces some kinds of wonder – I rarely spend a day or afternoon with J when she doesn’t spend part of that time amazed by something. She isn’t naive or sheltered – her life has held more already than I could reasonably expect to see during my own – but her vision of the world is tinged with magical possibility. She’s a hopeless romantic and given that she and I met the same day I first asked Husband out, she’s been giving appreciative gasps and “that’s so cute!” through our whole story. I treasure sharing her “feelling fancy” recipe on this cold afternoon as Husband fixes the window and I try to tidy this place up a bit. I hope it warms you up too.

Easy Quiche

 

  • Pick the veggies you want (I go for onion, red pepper, or broccoli)
  • Saute veggies till they look good (like well-dressed men)
  • Beat 3 eggs and ⅔ cup of milk together
  • Put sauteed veggies in the bottom of a 9-inch pie crust and pour the egg mixture on top.
  • Finish with about 1 cup of mozzerella cheese sprinkled on top.
  • 30 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees.
  • I make this all the time. It’s basically the only thing I can cook and feel fancy.
  • Extra glory: add bacon!