It was good for my spirits. We have been eating catch-as-catch-can ever since Casey and Nathan started school and I resumed my full-time teaching schedule mid-August, so it was a treat for us to sit down together and share a hot, nutritious meal. Nathan didn't eat much, but his fever was down at the time, so he was at least a little bit hungry. And I was glad to have something wholesome to offer him.
Here are the recipes.
EASY DINNER ROLLS
1 cup warm water
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups unbleached flour
Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter, sugar, eggs and salt; beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 days. Grease a 13 X 9 pan. Turn chilled dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead in remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky. Divide dough into 24 equal-size pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball; place balls in even rows in the prepared pan. Cover and let dough balls rise until double, about 1 hour. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Brush warm rolls with melted butter, if desired.
1 3-pound broiler-fryer
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, quartered
7 cups water
20 ounces frozen baby lima beans (2 packages)
20 ounces frozen whole kernel corn (2 packages)
1 cup onion, chopped
56 ounces diced tomatoes (2 28-ounce cans), undrained
16 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 to 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper
10 saltine crackers, crumbled (I use Ritz crackers)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Combine chicken, celery, onion and 5 cups water in large stock pot; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken, celery and onion from broth, reserving broth in stock pot; discard celery and onion. Cool chicken; skin, bone and coarsely chop meat Add chicken, lima beans and remaining ingredients, except crackers, to broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, about 4 1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring often. Add remaining water as needed. Add cracker crumbs and cook an additional 15 minutes.
NOTES: I use the smaller quantities of black and red pepper and the stew is still quite zippy. I like the burn, but if you don't like spicy food, you might want to scale back on the pepper. Also, since this recipe makes a huge pot of stew, I freeze the leftovers for later.