Uncle Allen at his 80th birthday celebration, before Honey and I married!
The day before Thanksgiving we received a call that Steve's uncle had passed away. This is not just any uncle because he is the one responsible for getting us together. You see my friends, who are more like parents, were also Allen's friends in Pensacola, Florida. After my divorce I visited them often and one Sunday in particular I was at church with Fred and Marion and we set behind Allen and his family and talked to them several times. After I left Florida to return to Mississippi Allen told Fred that he had a nephew that he wanted me to meet. Fred tried telling him that I was not ready for that but when Uncle Allen made up his mind there was nothing going to change it and he had his mind set. That Christmas Fred and Marion asked me to come down to Florida and visit them during Christmas. Ashia was gone and I was home alone and bored so I decided to go to Pensacola for a few days. I had only been there a short time when Allen found out and called his nephew. Steve who farms for Allen always had business to conduct so he drove from Mississippi to Florida a couple of days after Christmas to meet with Allen. We all ate supper together that night and Fred and Marion had Steve and I over to visited a little then he left to return to MS. This was the VERY beginning of a new friendship, that I knew deep down was something special but never thought it would end up in marriage. Steve swears that night when I walked into the restaurant he knew that one day he was going to marry me. So here we are 6-years and 11 months later and we just attended the funeral of Uncle Allen. He was a man full of mischief and lots of fun and he sure will be missed.
In memory of Uncle Allen 1923-2009
The day of the funeral I made Chicken and Dumplings for our family and Fred and Marion. Fred and Marion also brought Allen's long time pastor and friend Mike with them who helped with the service. I cheated on this recipe because there was not much time I bought the dumplings pre-made. This IS NOT a gluten-free recipe. I've tried making it gluten-free in the past but my dumplings never turn out just right. Sorry!
Chicken and Dumplings
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1 chicken; cooked and deboned
2 quarts broth; from cooked chicken
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup water
2/3 cup Crisco shortening
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ cup milk; to taste optional
1 stick butter' optional
Cut Crisco into flour, add water and mix. Roll out thin onto floured pastry sheet, cut into strips and small squares. Drip into hot boiling broth, stir gently as needed. Cooks quick! Cook about 3 minutes, then gently stir in butter, milk and deboned chicken. Let simmer until all ingredients are hot. Serve immediately!