Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wednesday Wit and Wisdom #4

Here's your challenge for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom #4 for October 1st.  Have you set out to prepare a dinner and have it go completely wrong?  Share a story and a recipe with us.  Check out the instructions for linking in on Wednesday here and join the fun.  Just write up your story on your blog, then come back here to link up!

Here's my story for a dinner disaster:

Many years ago we had invited my boss to dinner, since we knew his wife was out of town.  I decided to fry some chicken and make the usual side dishes...mashed potatoes, green beans, etc.....typical Midwestern fare.  To fry chicken one has to have a pretty good level of grease, and I used a heavy stainless electric frying pan.  The tradition is always to drain off the grease after frying, leaving the cracklin's in the pan to make the gravy.  For many years I had watched my mother put a spoon in a heavy canning jar, and pour in the grease, which is what I did on this evening.  However, the jar broke, pouring the grease directly onto my thigh, the floor, the cabinets, etc.  

I was wearing some knit pants, so the grease sort of melted the pants onto my thigh.  With my husband's help, I made it to the bathroom to remove the pants and he got me a new pair to put on.  My quick remedy was cold water, then some ointment on the burn, but I wanted to get immediately back to my dinner.  Needless to say, I braved through the dinner, my boss was served and happy, and I saved the evening out of shear determination, choking back tears from the shock. 

The next day I went to the doctor with an enormous  blister on the front of my thigh.  For the next several days, I bandaged the burn.  I had to peel off the bandage twice a day to keep it from getting infected, then rebandage it.  I still have a big scar from the whole disaster.  

In the cookbook my mother and I co-wrote, Memoirs and Recipes of Wilma Weiland Diekhoff, (it's available in digital format) I found this recipe to share with you:

Baked Chicken and Dressing (as an alternative to frying chicken) ;-)

Clean chicken, leave whole, removing only the internal organs and feet.  Cook giblets in boiling water until done.  Dice these to add to the stuffing.  Mix stuffing according to directions.  Lightly stuff the chicken with the dressing.  Do not pack!  Excess stuffing can be baked in a separate pan, as the stuffing in the bird may not be adequate for all servings.  Place the chicken in a small roaster, salt and pepper (or other seasonings) to taste, and place in a 350 degree oven for approximately one hour, or until well-browned, piercing the breast, the juices run clear.

2 cups cubed bread
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
Stock for moistening

Toast day-old bread until brown.  Cut up into cubes to make 2 cups.  Melt the butter and blend with all ingredients.  Stuff loosely into chicken.

Celery dressing:
3 cups cubed bread
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 small chopped onion
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sage
1/3 cup stock

Toast day-old bread until brown. Cut up into cubes to make three cups.  Fry celery and onion in butter for three minutes.  Add to bread and seasonings.  Stuff into bird.  Bake according to poultry directions.

All the recipes in this book were taken from old recipe cards my mother kept from her mother and herself over the years.  Note that the book is available through B & N and Amazon and includes Mother's story of her first eighteen years growing up in Central Illinois.  There are also over 200 family and friend's recipes.

Happy cooking!  I can't wait to hear your stories!

Linda Kay
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