A true southerner knows not everyone can make Hen & Dumplngs, which leads me to declare that it should only be done by those who can do it successfully. The destruction of a perfectly good hen and dough, should be illegal.
Let me preface this by stating--my brother Curtis is a DAMN GOOD COOK. He is one of the best cooks/bakers I know, and given the fact that I've have years of "good-food-eating" experience, that says alot. Thankfully, we're all good cooks, which kinda sorta explains my need to lose a few pounds, but this post isn't about my butt, it's about the Hen & Dumplings.
Curt (we call him Curt), can cook/bake anything and does so on a very regular basis (unlike Riley, our sister who has to ensure the proper alignment of the stars, the stillness of the wind and who knows what else before she turns the cooktop/oven to the "on" position).
We all spent the weekend at Mother's (yes I call her Mother) to celebrate her 80th birthday. When I arrived on Friday evening, Curt was stewing the hen and I must say, it smelled divine. I was eager to taste this treat, as I haven't had real Hen & Dumplings in a few years. My Aunt Maxine's were the the last version I had eaten. Curt said this would be Sunday dinner. I wasn't going to be there for Sunday dinner so I planned to take a care package home for my Sunday pleasure.
Every time I go to Mother's for any type of shin-dig, I somehow eat nonstop during the entire visit, and this trip was no different. I shortchanged myself when I was putting my little Hen & Dumplings care package together. I was so stuffed, that I only took enough to feed a small child, a very, very small child--the biggest mistake I've made in recent history. As I reheated my tiny care package, I tried to pretend it was enough, but in fact it was simply a teaser. I had to search for one of my smallest bowls to serve it in. Lesson learned--no matter how stuffed you are, take enough Hen & Dumplings for at least two people or you'll regret it.
Curt called me on Sunday morning and advised that the dish needed pepper and I didn't need any coaxing to add pepper (and thyme). Oh the joy of comfort food.