Comfort

Comfort is in memories. Taste, smell, situations all evoke them. Comfort food arises out of the situation. It makes us feel better. It brings back a time when we were safe and secure, not the captains of our souls but merely the cabin boys dependent upon those captains we called adults. They would care for us and we could trot on carefree to fight imaginary battles of good and evil, of wars, of history that would end with the words "SUPPER." Today those battles don't end but we can bring back those times with a grilled cheese sandwich, macaroni and cheese, Mom's chocolate cake recipe or other loved recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie is mine. It can become Ham Pot Pie or Turkey Pot Pie or Beef Pot Pie but it is Pot Pie. Images might come to you of a warm meat pie baked in the oven steaming for the first bite. Nice but wrong. I am Pennsylvania Dutch among other things and Pot Pie is not a steaming baked pie. It is a bowl of rich thick chicken stew sometimes containing hunks of potatoes floating in the stew, sometimes containing other vegetables, but always with a rich square noodle floating in it. Rich, smooth and full to the taste.

Imagine my surprise when they served the baked pie to me the first time. This was a meat pie, not pot pie. I discovered that Chicken and Dumplings is Chicken Pot Pie.

Chicken and Dumplings are my other big comfort food. Thick puffy dumplings floating on top of the gravy stew base. They handed me Chicken Pot Pie. I am in search of a little comfort and no one can get it straight. Well except the locals. T hey all understand what you want when you order. The rest of the world might be deceptive but locally Pot Pie is pot pie not pie. Perhaps that is the cement in our relationship. They understand. Home is where they understood and the cycle of comfort returns.

Pot Pie is a thick rich stew sometimes with potatoes and sometimes not. Sometimes with other vegetables and sometimes not. Added to this you put in pot pie noodles. I remember my grandmothers as golden. I don't remember how she did it but I do remember they were gold. Or perhaps they just seemed gold to a small child.

Chicken Pot Pie
[Ham, Beef, Turkey can be used in place of the Chicken]

Chicken pot pie is another dish that can be prepared while doing other chores. The chicken is cooked earlier and then the potatoes are added along with a few chunks of carrots and celery to simmer for about one hour. The pot pie noodles are added as the final step and then cooked another 20 minutes.

Amish women prefer to make their own pot pie noodles by combining one cup of flour and one egg. The egg is dropped in a hole made in the flour and mixed with a fork. Just enough water or milk is added with a half teaspoon of salt to make a stiff dough. Some women add a dash of baking powder. This is rolled very thin and cut into squares to be added to the boiling stew.

If they are in a hurry, they will resort to store-bought noodles. Noodles can also be added to beef stew.

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