A friend of mine made Chicken and Dumplins ( Yes, dumplins. I'm a southerner and it's a prerequisite to only pronounce it this way) this week and tagged me in a post about it on Facebook. I make a bad-ass chicken and dumplins. Bad-ass. I was taught as a young kid to make it, and it was a staple for us growing up. It was the one dish that was requested on every year on my birthday. When I married my first husband, I had to learn how his mother made it. Now my current husband thinks his is better than mine. He and I both love to cook, that's no secret. Ahh, comradeship in the kitchen!
Growing up I had no idea there were so many ways to make a dumplin. Some make it with canned biscuits. *gag* Some roll out their dough flat and cut it. My mom rolled out her dough and actually put yellow food coloring in the mix to make the who dish seem 'chickeny yellow'....if that makes sense. Some make fluffy dough and drop it by the spoonful into the boiling broth. Some use chicken pieces, some used fully cooked chicken and some use a whole uncooked chicken...like me. I make a fluffy dumplin, make my own broth and cook a whole chicken. In case you can't guess, this is one of my favorite dishes.
My friend made the crack that she just may have outdone me on her chicken and dumplins. Don't ever make the mistake of saying that. Ever.
The topic then turned to seasonal foods - like why is she cooking a cauldron of thick hot chicken and dumplins when the heat index is 115 out? I'll have to copy and paste the direct comments so you can get a feel.
My Friend : just cause it is HOT out doesn't mean i can't make it....... ummm all my food I make is HOT......... do you eat your's cold .......
Me : Kimmy...there are winter foods and summer foods. You made a winter food. It's ok. Don't get mad, just accept you made a culinary faux pas. I don't have time to teach you all that I know so we'll start small. This was your first lesson.
My Husband : No we just try to eat cooler more SEASONAL foods....ya makin' chili tomorrow??? LOL
My Friend : how did you know smart azzzz... and dawn........ why dont you BLOG about summer/winter foods for peeps like me...... and btw i signed up for your blog... he he he
I'll digress from pointing out the multitude of spelling and grammar errors my friend makes. Most of the time it's natural for her, the rest of the time (when I'm involved) it's to piss off the Spelling and Grammar Nazi inside of me. I've had a few mini-strokes over time reading her posts. Since my friend is confused as to just what seasonal foods are (and not meaning eating cold food in the summer and hot food in the winter), this is for her....at her request.
Seasonality of food refers to the times of year when a given type food is at its peak, either in terms of harvest or its flavor. This is usually the time when the item is the cheapest and the freshest on the market. The food's peak time in terms of harvest usually coincides with when its flavour is at its best. There are some exceptions; an example being sweet potatoes which are best eaten quite a while after harvest.
Here's a chart just to help out visually.
Kim, I suggest you print this out and post it in your pantry for reference.
Seasonal cooking generally refers to vegetables and harvesting of them. For instance in summer we eat watermelon, but you don't find a lot of watermelon in the winters here. Just like in the Winter, you don't see a ton of BBQ pits filling the yards with the smell of cooking chicken. Seasonal cooking also pertains to holiday cooking : turkey at Thanksgiving and so on. Chicken and Dumplings is a winter dish given it's thick and heavy texture, not to mention (if you cook it like I do) a pot boiling on the stove top for a very long time. This is what I try to keep from doing in the Summer. A boiling pot of anything in our kitchen in the Summer for any extended period of time is a No-No. We don't need any extra heat, thank you!
A soup to cook in summer usually showcases all the vegetables that are in season! Squash, tomatoes, zucchini....and the wonderful broth those vegetables make. Gazpacho is another summer soup.
This classic cool and spicy soup is full of garden-fresh vegetables. Yes, Kimmie, some summer soups are served chilled.
Winter soups are usually heavy like stews and dumplings. Some are butternut squash soups and heavy creamed soups that serve as a very hearty meal to warm the bones and stick to your gut.
Click HERE to see my Chicken and Dumplin recipe. Last night, my husband said he and I need a Chicken and Dumplin Cook Off this winter between he and I. It's on!