As a new homemaker, I wanted to have my own personal recipes, things my family came to know as one of my dishes. Even though I'd been cooking for about 12 years, I hadn't really grown comfortable in the kitchen...and with good reason. No matter how well I could cook the kitchen where I practiced and made family meals was Mama's kitchen. Not at all the same as having a kitchen all your own.
What I carried away from my childhood home was an ability to prepare a pretty good meal...and my favorite cookbook, The Culinary Arts Institute Encylopedic Cookbook circa 1959 by Ruth Berolzheimer. Oh how I pored over that cookbook, determined to not only learn to make recipes no one in my family made, but also to learn all I could about cooking, about making economical dishes and creating my own sense of home through my kitchen, because that is what we do you know. We create home with every dish we set before our family!
I still recall the autumn day I found this recipe: impossibly blue skies, the old oaks in our yard standing proud and tall with burnished bronze leaves, the smell of wood smoke and decaying leaves and cold in the air. And inside the aroma of Chicken Pie in my oven. Oh MY!
I didn't date recipes then, but I did make one notation: GOOD! That says it all, doesn't it?
Chicken Pie with Sweet Potato Crust
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup diced cooked carrots
6 small cooked white onions (or about 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion)
1 tbsp parsley
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsps flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Arrange chicken, carrots, onions and parsley in layers in casserole. Combine milk and stock. Add slowly to flour, blending well. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Cover with Sweet Potato Crust. Bake in 350F oven about 40 minutes. Serves 6-8.
Sweet Potato Crust
1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold mashed sweet potato
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, well beaten
Sift dry ingredients. Work in mashed potato, butter and egg. Roll 1/4 inch thick and cover chicken pie.