Savoring the Words of Wisdom from a great man of God:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding a deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
People with good intentions but limited understanding are more dangerous than people with total ill will.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man, chosen as as messenger from God. His words continue to resonate with those who understand that we need to look beyond outward appearances. I will not apologize for my white skin – it just happens to be the skin I was born with. I do not expect a person of color to apologize for the color of their skin. The only thing we owe one another has nothing to do with race and everything to do with humanity. Everyone is deserving of mutual respect. Respect is not to bow down, but to stand as equals. As equals, every person deserves the opportunity to be the best person possible. Our best isn’t measured by material possessions. Wealth and worldly trappings that can be gone in an instant. It is the person inside that is the measure of our character, and that is the true wealth of a human being.
Have you ever noticed that the greatest of people are those most humble. Such a humble man deserves a supper equally unassuming.
Southern Comfort Chicken and Dumplings
3 boneless Chicken Breasts
4 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups Water
2 Celery Ribs
2 large Carrots
1 Yellow Onion
1-1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 cup cold Water
1/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup frozen Peas
In a large Dutch Oven, bring chicken breasts, chicken stock and water to a boil. Continue to boil until chicken breasts are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove breasts from stock, shred with two forks. Set shredded chicken aside. Keep stock in the Dutch Oven warm over low heat.
While the chicken breasts are cooking, clean and chop celery, set aside. Peel and chop carrots into small pieces, set aside. Peel and dice onion, set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes.
Once the chicken breasts have been removed from the stock in the Dutch Oven, add sautéed vegetables. Season with salt, thyme and black pepper. Stir to combine, bring stock to a simmer.
In a small bowl, stir together the cold water and the flour to create a slurry. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the hot stock and vegetables, whisking constantly until well combined.
Add the peas and the shredded chicken to the pot. Stir for 1 minute to combine. Let simmer while making the dumplings.
1 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Milk
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and thyme. Set aside
In another mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, milk, and vegetable oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir until just combined.
Heat the stock in the Dutch Oven to boiling. Drop dumpling dough by the teaspoonfuls over the stock in a single layer. Give the dumplings room to expand as they cook.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the dumplings cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
When done, gently stir to break dumplings apart. Ladle chicken and dumplings with the stock into warm bowls. Serve and enjoy.
MLK Day is a moving holiday (the 3rd Monday in January) to give us all that beloved Three Day Weekend to shop big sales for things like mattresses. (Really – what makes feel the urge to rush out and buy bedroom furniture just because it’s a three-day weekend? I sure don’t.) Because MLK’s date moves, the day shares its celebration with other fixed National Days. Today is also National Bootleggers Day and National Hot Buttered Rum Day. After a comfort-food winter supper, sitting by the fire and enjoying a Hot Buttered Rum seems the perfect end to a beautiful winter’s day, don’t you think?
Hot Buttered Rum
1/2 cup Butter, softened
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
Add the softened butter to a mixing bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cream together until well combined.
Keep spiced butter in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Spiced Rum as desired
Boiling Water as needed
Add a dollop of the spiced butter to each glass or mug. Top spice butter with a good dash of rum.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Fill each glass with boiling water. Stir well until the butter has completely melted.
Note: Start with a shot of rum, and adjust as desired. The more rum, the less water.
Cinnamon Sticks for stirring (optional)
Top the filled glasses or mugs with a generous squirt of whipped cream from a can. Serve with a cinnamon stick for added flair.