Sometimes I wonder if we have too many kids. Not because they’re crazy (which they are), or because they don’t listen (which they don’t). I wonder because, on many days, I’m not sure my heart can stand the strain.
The metaphysical nature of mommyhood is a booch. On the side of concrete realities, you have the basics. You must figure out how to clean, because children are dirty. You must know how to cook, because children need to eat. You must know how to play, and laugh, and joke, because children are clowns. And you must know how to discipline because children are knuckleheads. I knew all of this when I signed up, and so I figured, I would be a good mom.
But, but, BUT. . . .What is not explained in the pamphlet that I was NOT given, is the other side. The side of abstract realities, full of impracticalities, and notions that do not fall into the realm of the clear and obvious. I think perhaps, this whole venture is abstruse.
REALITY: My children like stews and soups. I make a lovely, perfect, sinfully good dinner of Biscuit Topped Vegetable Chicken Stew (see below), just for them.
ABSTRACT REALITY: They like stew, and chicken, and the vegetables that I have included in my stew. Yet, they do not like my stew because A.) They are grumpy, B.) They don’t like papaya (which is not in the stew, by the way), and C.) Because they are knuckleheads as I have stated above.
REALITY: I am a grown woman. I understand that children do not always eat their dinner. I understand that children can be ungrateful and do not make a lick of sense. I make dinner every night, knowing there is a great possibility they will not like it.
ABSTRACT REALITY: I am genuinely SHOCKED, that they did not like my dinner. I am utterly pissed off that they are not eating this perfect meal that I have prepared with them in mind. I am thinking they are ungrateful blood sucking creatures, which would make me love them, then tear my heart out of my body, only to throw it into the stew, so that not even their father could partake in its greatness.
And maybe you understand it, but I don’t. And honestly, I don’t even think I want to. Why? Because tomorrow, I have to do it All. Over. Again. And if I think too hard about it, I might come to my senses and go to McDonalds’s.
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Don’t let my children’s lack of culinary tastes fool you. This stew is ridiculously good. Made slightly sweet by the carrots and sweet potato, the flavors are rounded off by the subtle flavor of the wine. It’s stocked full of veggies, and the biscuit topping uses a combination of whole wheat and white flour. So you’ll feel just as good after eating the stew, as you do during it. Try it, you love it.
Biscuit Topped Vegetable Chicken Stew
2 TB olive oil
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless chicken breast tenderloins cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup dry wine (I used red because it’s what I had on hand, but white would work well too)
1 quart of chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces
2 TB cornstarch
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 TB Canola oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 c. milk with 1 TB of vinegar or lemon juice added. Allow to sit for 5 minutes)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large dutch oven, or pot with a lid (that is able to go into the oven), heat oil over medium heat.
3. Add celery, carrots, and onion and cook until softened. About 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
4. Add chicken, salt, and pepper. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 8 minutes.
5. Add wine, and cook for one minute. Next, stir in broth, bay leaf, thyme and remaining vegetables. Bring to boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. To a small bowl add cornstarch. Add 4 TB of cold water and whisk with a fork until combined. Pour into stew, and stir continuously until incorporated.
7. In a medium sized bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, oil, and buttermilk. Stir until combined, and drop by spoonfuls onto the top of the stew.
8. Transfer pot to over, and cook until biscuits are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve.