Monday, October 1, 2012

a new habit

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  Will had to work on Saturday, and Tommy, Annabel and I had to get ready for Will's birthday.  We bought balloons, football plates, and a strawberry pie from Shoney's (Will's favorite dessert) and then hit the book store to finish up.  Yesterday was a rough day for Annabel - she always cries a lot on Sunday evenings because she only gets one nap since church overlaps with her morning nap.  I made Will his requested steak and potatoes and then, of course, there was strawberry pie with candles and singing happy birthday...twice (Tommy insisted).  It was a busy day (he works most of the day on Sunday), but Will liked each of his presents and dinner was good, so he had a nice birthday.

Strawberry pie!
Daddy and Tommy watching Sleeping Beauty (Will's collecting all the Disney's for the kids!) and Annabel making a phone call.  "Hello, Grayson?"
Before I talk about habits, I want to give you the recipe for the chicken pot pie that I wrote about last week.  It really is good, and you really should try it.

Chicken Pot Pie from A Year of Pies by Ashley English

1 store-bought pie crust (or make your own)
1 tsp celery seed
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 stalk celery, trimmed and diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup rose or white wine
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
1 lb meat from a roasted chicken shredded into bite-sized pieces
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp cold water

(If using store-bought dough, let it come to room temperature.  If making your own, prepare dough.) Roll dough into a 12-inch circle and sprinkle celery seeds on the surface.  Roll over the seeds until they are imbedded in the dough.  Set aside.

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add onion, carrots, mushrooms, celery, and garlic and saute for 15 minutes until lightly browned.  Add peas and cook for 5 more minutes, then remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375.

Melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter in the same saucepan, then add the flour.  Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until the mixture turns a sort of blond color. Little by little, stir in the chicken stock, whisking with each addition to create a creamy sauce.  Whisk in the wine, half-and-half, and thyme, then cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes longer until thickened.  Return the vegetable mixture to the saucepan, add the chicken, and stir until everything is fully coated in the sauce.

Pour the chicken and veggie mixture into a baking dish or pie plate and cover with the pie crust.  Crimp edges as desired.

Whisk the egg yolk and water in a small bowl, then use a pastry brush to brush the wash over the edges of the crust.  Cut four to six 2-inch slits in the crust, creating steam vents.  

Set the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.


Notes:  I didn't have any wine so I added another 1/4 cup of milk and a 1/4 cup of chicken stock; I used milk instead of half-and-half; I baked some chicken in the oven and then just chopped it up.  Ashley makes all her own pie crust, but I went ahead and bought one for this recipe. Don't ignore that last part about waiting 20 minutes before serving.  That time gives it a chance to set up so you can scoop it out with a spatula instead of a spoon.  Although you can absolutely serve it before 20 minutes is up, it will be sort of like chicken pot pie soup.

It's a little bit of a process, but I hope you'll give it a try - it's total comfort food, perfect for a chilly fall evening.  I'm looking forward to making this again when I harvest my peas and carrots from the garden.

Ok, so habits.  I know everybody has bad habits (come on, you know you do) but what about good habits?  And I'm not talking about taking showers or brushing your teeth, although I do hope you take time for both of those.  When I think of good habits, I think of things that enrich your life in some way, like taking time something inspiring...or take a walk...or drink something warm and soothing each day.  

Will and I have a habit of drinking a cup of tea together each night.  My mom made him a really good cup of tea one night when we were up there visiting a long time ago, and after that, he started asking for it here, too.  So now we have one every night.  Sometimes we switch to iced tea or water (in the summer) or hot chocolate (on snowy evenings), but most nights it's a cup of decaf constant comment.  It's something to look forward to each night, and I love it.

Recently, I've been thinking about a new habit inspired by this website and Carrie's last post (life lately).  My weeks are passing so quickly, and my camera seems to have little to show for it.  I want to remember even the ordinary things we're doing these days, but I'm not taking as many pictures as I'd like.  So I think I'll start a new habit.

I don't want to wait until January to start my new habit, and I don't really like the "New Year's Resolutions" stuff anyway...they never last for me.  So since I love love love October, starting today, I'm going to take (at least) one picture a day and write a sentence about it...for a whole year.

Yikes.  Do you think I can do it?  One of my bad habits is not finishing things that I start (my very first knitting project - a sock - is still sitting, unfinished, in my knitting basket and has been there for almost a year now...sheesh). Don't worry, I'm not going to post them all on here, but from time to time, I'll probably post a weeks worth of them and give you an update on my progress.

Soooooo......want to join me?  I need some accountability!  Think about it and get back to me.  You don't have to start today.  Maybe you want to wait until November.  That's cool, but let me know so we can be working on our good habit together!  

What other good habits do you have?  I'd love to hear!  

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful idea! Our camera doesn't come out nearly as often as it used to now that we have two kids. It's really quite sad when I compare how many pictures of Genevieve we have versus how many we have of Annalise. Oops! I would love to start this journey with you! How fun to have a year's worth of memories on record with photos?!