Christy Miller is the seventh and final author in our Erie Brides Collection and she decided to do something different for her story–send the recipe she used in the book for the heroine to feed her beau, which is also the one she won her preacher husband’s heart with: True story!
Betsy Wells’s Chicken and Dumplings
(For cooking chicken)
1 whole chicken
1 diced onion, optional
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
(For making dumplings)
2 cups water
½ cup butter
4 cups white flour, plus extra for rolling out dumplings
1 tablespoon salt
Boil the chicken, onion, and poultry seasoning for at least an hour and a half. If you like your meat and onion “falling apart,” boil up to three hours. (This is Betsy’s preference.) Remove meat to a platter and cover with an old towel to keep the meat moist. Reserve the broth.
In a medium saucepan, heat the water and butter. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. When water/butter has boiled, pour it into the flour and stir very quickly to make dough. When dough has cooled enough for handling, dust a wooden board with flour and use a floured rolling pin to roll ¼ of the dough thin. Cut dumplings with a sharp knife. (Betsy would have used a pizza cutter if she’d had one.) Repeat with remaining dough.
Bone the chicken and add to the broth. Season the broth with salt and pepper. If you want a soupier dish to serve in a bowl, use all the broth. If you want to put the chicken and dumplings on your plate, or place them atop mashed potatoes, just use about ¾ of the broth. Bring it to a boil. Drop dumplings one by one into the broth as you get them rolled out. (If Betsy had had a freezer, she would have made her dumplings ahead of time and laid them in layers on cookie sheets, with waxed paper between each layer, and frozen them before using. She would not have thawed them before dropping. Betsy also knows from experience that waxed paper is flammable, so she now makes sure she keeps the paper away from the flame.)
When all the dumplings are in the broth, use a flat-ended spatula or turner to lift the dumplings from the bottom, but never stir them. Stirring will make them clump together. Simmer until the dumplings are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. If serving on the plate or atop mashed potatoes, use a slotted spoon.
(This is the author’s family recipe. She once made it and served it to a handsome young preacher who came calling. The preacher proposed marriage almost before his bowl was empty. Thirty years later, the author still serves chicken and dumplings to the handsome preacher.)
Christina Miller has always lived in the past. Her passion for history began with her grandmother’s stories of 1920s rural southern Indiana. When Christina began to write fiction, she believed God was calling her to write what she knew: history.
Bethany College of Missions graduate, pastor’s wife, and worship leader, she lives on the family’s farm with her husband of thirty years and Sugar, their talking dog
Blurb for “Return to Sweetwater Cove” by Christina Miller
Setting: Sweetwater Cove, New York (near Lockport), summer 1825
The Reverend Josiah Wells is excited to come home to serve at Sweetwater Cove Church, until he finds that the head deacon’s quirky wife has concealed Josiah’s identity from the congregation. When they realize the new minister was once the troubled young orphan who nearly destroyed their little village, a surge of controversy whips up trouble in the once-peaceful canal town. And pretty widow Betsy Bennett is the one most intent on dousing Josiah’s dream of repaying his long-ago debt to his hometown. His biggest regret is the harm he’d caused Betsy’s late husband, Gil, when they were only fourteen. So Josiah vows to make it up to Betsy—the girl who’d stolen Josiah’s heart all those years ago—and to Little Gil, her eight-year-old son. Although Josiah is confident that God has washed away his sins and granted him a new life, his past has left him believing he’s unworthy of love.
When he arrives, Josiah brings with him the news of the Marquis de Lafayette’s plans for an epic tour of the nearly finished Erie Canal. Hearing this, all Betsy wants is to make the town worthy of a visit from this man who was commander over Sweetwater Cove’s soldiers at snowy Valley Forge. Perhaps, if she could give the Marquis a reception he’d never forget, she could finally free herself from her guilt over Gil’s death. But she doesn’t anticipate opposition from Josiah’s renegade brother, Hiram, a slick local businessman. Josiah seems determined to stand by her side … and maybe even prove that God’s plan for her includes more than just a misty dream of love.
Rose here: Now that you have met all the authors in our collection and learned a little about each story, I hope it has inspired you to find a copy of these seven delightful stories all set along the Erie Canal. I know Barnes and Noble has copies since I am having a signing at the one in Lexington, KY this coming Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 1-3 P.M. Happy travels back into the 18th century!