Weeds are taking over.
The dishwasher just broke.
My porch roof seems to be leaking.
The freezer needs defrosting.
All 185 canning jars left from last year are dirty. There's a mouse nest in one.
My computer is growing icicles, it freezes so often.
The dogs are whining for attention.
The fires waiting to be put out grew larger and became infernos. Without a fire engine and accompanying hose truck, all would be lost. So like the brave little soldier I am, I handled it with grace and maturity....
...and ran screaming in the opposite direction.
Let's face it. Adulthood can suck the joy out of life. Perhaps that's why there are so many twentysomethings avoiding it, seeking refuge behind computer screens, in global youth hostels, and off-the-grid goat farms.
I'm almost 50. For me, escape is impossible. But all is not lost. There are as many joys to be found in the minefield of responsibility, as hair-triggered land mines. To begin with, most frustrations of adulthood can be filed under First World Problems. As I age, I learn to take pride in the little things: perfectly prepared morning coffee sipped in a clean living room or a quiet porch, the breeze as it teases the cotton cafe curtains, a dry basement after a torrential rainstorm, a steaming plate of lovingly-made food. (Not to mention, paid bills, healthy family, and roof over my head).
Today's recipe is an ideal dish for anyone who is ragged-out. Although ragout is pronounced rag-oo, its part of the reliable family of slow-cooked meals. This recipe, cut from Southern Living magazine in the early 90s, is a quick version of a ragout, but its worth the time to research traditional ragouts to help get a nutritious meal on the table at the end of the day, regardless of the number of pesky fires.
The Rediscovered Recipe Box #16- Chicken Ragout With Cheddar Dumplings
2 cups diagonally sliced carrots
1 cup sweet red pepper strips
3 tablespoons butter or margarine (please don't use margarine!!)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup frozen English peas, thawed and drained
2 cups biscuit mix
2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimento, drained
Arrange carrots and pepper strips in a steamer basket; place over boiling water. Cover and steam 8 minutes or until crisp tender; set aside.
Melt butter in a large heavy sauce-pan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken broth and 1 cup milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
Stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add chicken, steamed vegetables, and peas, stirring gently. Spoon into lightly greased 11 x 7x 1 1/2- inchbaking dish; set aside.
Combine biscuit mix and 2/3 cup milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir vigorously 30 seconds. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 4 to 5 times.
Roll dough into a 12 x 9- inch rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese and pimento, leaving a 1/2-inch border; roll up jellyroll fashion, starting with a long side, and turn seam side down. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices, and place over chicken mixture.
Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 6 servings.