Friday, March 02, 2012


I've been administering self-tests in geography to students and teachers as a way to emphasize the importance of learning geography.  I don't mean to be be pot calling the kettle black, but I've noticed these mistakes. 


...Montana is really Washington
...California is actually a state known as San Francisco
...New Jersey is a city, not a state (I had to work hard to convince this guy otherwise)
...Mongolia is really Russia
...the Yukon Territory is actually Alaska
...Greenland is actually Canada and Canada is actually the US (on the map of a guy who is planning to go to the US next fall to get his Master's degree...not sure he'll be able to find his way there)

---and my favorite---

...New England is now located in Oklahoma

Just thought you should know.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings for China

I've never eaten chicken and dumplings before, but as I was browsing recipes I realized that I had all the ingredients to make this.  It turned out really good, so even though I've never eaten this dish before, I think I'm on the right track.

2 or 3 chicken breasts
1 cup frozen peas
1 carrot diced
1/2 cup onion diced
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp rosemary (leave it out if you don't have it)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 liter water + 2 Chinese chicken jello shots
or 1 liter chicken stock
2 cups diced potato, yam, or sweet potato

For dumplings:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil or butter
2 tsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder and one cup milk
or 1 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp white/rice vinegar + 1 cup milk

Dice chicken and cook in a pan with oil until cooked through. 
Remove the chicken and set it aside. 
In a clean soup pan melt 2 tbsp butter. 
Saute onions in butter over low heat until translucent. 
Add garlic and cook just until fragrant. 
Pour in 2 tbsp flour and stir until it is all absorbed by the butter. 
Turn up the heat and add one liter of chicken stock or water. 
Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. 
Add cooked chicken and sweet potatoes and add the rest of the chicken stock. 
Add bay leaves, rosemary, fennel, and some pepper
Simmer until potatoes are tender.
If you like your peas overcooked, add them now.

If using baking soda in the dumplings:

Pour one cup milk into a bowl and add one tablespoon of vinegar. 
Let the milk stand to sour for five minutes.


(Don't start on these until your potatoes are cooked through because you have to add the dumpling dough to the soup as soon as it's mixed up)
In a bowl mix 2 cups flour, baking soda or powder, salt and sugar. 
Whisk until combined.
If using butter, cut butter into flour. 
If using oil, slowly drizzle oil into flour while whisking.
Add milk/sour milk until a dough forms that is wet but not runny.
Check your soup.  The dumplings soak up a lot of water, so you might need to add some more.
 Drop dumpling dough by spoonfuls into briskly simmering soup.
Don't stir after the dumplings are added.
Reduce to simmer, cover and leave it alone for at least 10 minutes.
Uncover.  If a toothpick comes out of your dumplings clean, it's ready to eat.

This turned out really well.  I would upload a picture, but we ate it all already.