around here, things are a special kind of crazy!

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I took Pon out to lunch at what was once my favorite chinese restaurant. Of course, it was also the ONLY chinese place within half an hour when I first moved to NC. The main purpose of driving so far out of the way was a semi-failed attempt to spend some time with a good family friend, The Dark Godfather. TDG is Pug's ex-roommate, and his stepdad's best friend. Since Grandpa and Gran-Gran (Pug's stepdad and his wife) moved to CO last summer we don't make it out that way, well, ever, so we don't get to see TDG often. Unfortunately I'd made the decision to try for a lunch date 10 minutes before we left the apartment, so TDG never got my messages as he was out and about.

Pon wasn't terribly cooperative when we went into the restaurant. In fact, he started screaming as soon as we set foot inside. Awesome. So I ordered quickly and then took Pon back out for a walk up and down the strip mall as our food was being prepared. And we encountered THIS:

It wants to eat your face
No, seriously, this thing was gigantic.

See? It's as big as Pon's fist!

Pon wouldn't get any closer than that either.

After that Pon voluntarily walked into the restaurant, laughing and sat down when I asked him to. He really liked his lo mien, but was done eating in about 5 bites. I packed up my food and resolved to call TDG a few days in advance next time. And then we ran into him in the parking lot! He was stopping by CVS for a snack and drink after running some errands and was incredibly surprised to see us. We chatted in CVS (air conditioned!) for about half an hour and I invited him to dinner here sometime in the coming week. Hopefully that pans out!

Tonight's dinner was simple, a chicken and dumplings of sorts. I was going to go super basic- chicken in broth with simple noodles, but I added peas and used browning sauce while I was cooking the chicken so the broth got really dark (go figure). Pug loved it. The browning sauce added a ton of flavor and Pug said it even tasted beef stew-y.

First I threw some frozen chicken tenders and a tiny bit of olive oil into a pot. Just enough chicken to cover the bottom with all of them laying flat. I then cracked sea salt and black pepper over the chicken and sprinkled on a little garlic powder. While putting the other spices away I spotted the browning sauce and decided to throw in a few dashes of that as well. I brought all that up to a simmer, then flipped the chicken over and added about an inch of chicken broth, covered, and left simmering on medium heat. Following a recipe from an old church cookbook, halved, I mixed up and rolled out the dumplings. Then left the sheet to dry for a few minutes. I took out and shredded the chicken tenders, then added that, the rest of two boxes of low sodium chicken broth and a bag of frozen peas. While that came back up to a boil I flipped the dumpling sheet to dry a bit on the underside and cut them into wide noodles. Once the peas and chicken were boiling again I added the dumplings one at a time going around the pot so they wouldn't all stick together. Let the whole soup simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve!

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