Life on Regal-Hill: Jan. 14, 2009

Our granddaughter Allegra has been staying with us for a few days here at Regal-Hill. Of course where she is Yellow, her big orange cat, also is. During the day he would spend many hours sleeping down the cellar. Whenever anyone tried to get him to go outside he would stop at the door, turn around and go back inside or back downstairs.
We decided he was afraid of Buster, our Beagle who is known for barking and chasing cats. I don’t see why Yellow should be afraid as they have been around each other many times in the barn. Maybe they are not on especially friendly terms, but they certainly must know each other. Besides Allegra’s dog, Buddy, a Golden Retriever is much larger but quieter and they seem to get along just fine. Here Yellow doesn’t have to share the house and has the whole house to himself since Buster won’t come in the house even when it is cold. Sometimes animals are hard to figure out.
Since Allegra went home and of course with Yellow, I heard that once he could get out of his carrier he went to the door, went outside and was last seen heading for the barn although this morning he was heading for the garage, apparently to spend the day. I hope for Allegra’s sake he shows up at their door this evening to spend the night. Otherwise she will be very disappointed.
While she was with us she put Thunder, her horse, out for some exercise and it was fun to watch him run, jump and roll in the snow and try to sniff or taste the snow. You could tell that he was really glad that he could be outside for awhile and exercise. It is too bad he can’t go outside every day but there are times when the barnyard has several inches of ice on it and it would be too dangerous to let him go out on it.
We enjoyed having Allegra and Yellow visit us. I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did. I miss Allegra helping with meals, like setting the table and making cookies.
When the temperatures fall and with the wind chill making the temperatures below zero it is time to think about serving hearty meals to our families. Try these recipes and see if they don’t warm everyone up after being out in the cold.

Haddock Chowder
1/2 pound sliced bacon, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 pound haddock fillets, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup half and half cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. In the drippings sauté onion and carrots until tender.
Place bay leaf and cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add to saucepan. Stir in the potato, water and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add the haddock, dill, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook for 5-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Combine flour and cold water until smooth; gradually stir into chowder. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cream; heat through (do not boil). Discard spice bag. Stir in bacon. Garnish with parsley.
Yield: 5 servings
Country Woman February/March 2009

Sunday Chicken Stew
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 pounds), cut up and skin removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups chicken broth
6 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1-1/2 cups frozen peas
Dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper; add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, brown the chicken in oil; remove and keep warm. Gradually add the broth to the skillet; bring to a boil.
In a 5 qt. slow cooker, layer carrots, celery and onions; sprinkle with rosemary. Add the chicken and hot broth. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the chicken juices run clear, vegetables are tender and stew is bubbling. Stir in peas.
For dumplings, in a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary. Combine egg and milk; stir into the dry ingredients. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto simmering chicken mixture. Cover and cook on high for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean. Do not lift the cover while simmering.
Yield: 6 servings
2009 Taste of Home Annual Recipes