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Recipes To Warm Your Heart and Your Soul

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This time of year most of us are thinking of ways to keep warm. What could be better than recipes which come straight out of our grandmother's kitchen? Whether you are a star chef, culinary arts student, home cook or foodie your passion for delicious food most likely stems from childhood memories of grandmother's cooking.

Nowadays it is referred to as “comfort food” and it is just that. It is food that will comfort us and nurture us. Let's face it, at the end of our busy days all of us could use a little of both. For many it is easy to rush home from a busy day and throw something in the microwave for a quick meal to serve the family. But there is something about cooking up a pot of homemade soup and baking fresh biscuits which just can't be beat. It may take a little longer to get dinner on the table, but in the end it is worth it and your family will thank you for it. Perhaps the soup could be made on a Sunday afternoon and will be ready to eat come Monday. When the aromas of home cooking fill the air our bodies begin to relax and are soothed by it. So in a sense home cooking nourishes us in two ways: it nourishes our soul by soothing us and nourishes our bodies when it is eaten.

I don't know about you, but I love to reminisce about being in my grandmother's kitchen. She could whip up a pot of Vegetable Soup with Dumplings with no effort and bake a tray of Buttermilk Biscuits with her eyes closed! It was a treat to watch and of course, always a treat to eat in grandmother's kitchen! Wouldn't you love to create those kinds of memories for your own family? With that thought in mind, I want to share with you my grandmother's Vegetable Soup with Dumplings and Buttermilk Biscuits recipes. They are sure to warm your heart and your soul! Enjoy!

Vegetable Soup with Dumplings

Use a nice piece of shin meat with a marrow bone in it. Put the meat into a 4 qt. pot. Fill with water and cook until boiling. Turn down to simmer. Add all of the diced vegetables. I use everything, 2 carrots, a piece of turnip, 2 stalks celery, 1 large fresh tomato or ½ cup stewed tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves, a few slices of cabbage leaves, some green pepper, a package of mixed frozen vegetables, 1 tablespoon salt and a dash of pepper. I also like to add 2 tablespoons barley or rice, whichever you prefer. Let it all simmer together for at least 2-3 hours. When it's done, add the dumplings.

For the dumplings: In a bowl mix 1 cup flour, a pinch of salt, 1 egg and enough water to make a stiff dough. Take a teaspoon and cut off ½ teaspoon size of dough and drop into the soup. Cook about 5 minutes until they rise and are done. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and put back into the soup. Sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top before serving. This soup is a meal in itself.

Buttermilk Biscuits

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Sift 2 cups flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon baking soda. Cut ½ stick (¼ cup) of butter into it with a knife or use your hands. Then add ¾ cup buttermilk. Blend into a ball. Roll out 1/2” thick. Cut into rounds using a cookie cutter or a glass. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

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Carrie J. Gamble is the owner of an independent publishing company, Carrie J. Gamble, Inc. She is the co-author, editor, calligrapher, watercolor artist and publisher of "Grandmother's Cookbook," a collection of her own grandmother's best recipes. (more...)

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