Chicken Soup for a Spring Cold

Somehow after wedding weekend, it seems like many people have come down with a spring cold.  Without even thinking about that, I had decided on a chicken soup recipe for dinner last night.  Good call.

First of all, I was very proud of myself for shredding the meat off a whole rotisserie chicken.  That was my first time actually attacking a whole chicken like that.  And it was messy.  But not as messy as one particularly hopeful little puppy dog would have liked.
Anyway, it was also a chicken and dumpling soup.  I kind of have a love hate relationship with dumpling soups.  I love them when they are done right, but so often the dumplings end up being bland lumps of goo in decent chicken soup.  This recipe (cheating as it does) acutally did not turn out this way.  I was pleasantly surprised.
I feel like I have gotten a little better at the whole tweaking recipes to my own needs thing.  I used to be the kind of person who clung to a recipe for her life and would not veer from it.  At all.   I'm definitely loosening up some.  In this case, it was kind of my own fault that I had to switch it up.  See, I eat baby carrots like they are going out of style.  So when I found them in the fridge, I started eating them -- not thinking about the fact that I needed them for soup.  So there weren't very many left.  Granted, the recipe only called for 12, but I don't think there were even that many.  I was looking in the freezer for the frozen peas to put in, and saw corn.  So I put in corn to make up for the lack of carrots.  If I hadn't told my parents, they never would have known.  Silly me for admitting it.
I'm also not a big fan of dill.  The original recipe called for dill weed.  I put in sage.  (And didn't even measure it!  Gasp!)  See?  I'm getting better at this.
I was surprised that I also managed to get the biscuits cooked and not doughy.  It's really hard to tell with dumplings because they are basically being steamed as the soup cooks, so they look kind of doughy anyway. I added about 2 minutes to the cooking time and it apparently worked out.  There were no doughy dumplings.  Success.

However, it was very light on the broth.  There was really only about enough for 3 servings.  I think I'll try adding more chicken broth next time.
To go with this, I made a fruit salad.  I think I could live on fruit salad in the summer.  Especially when the fresh fruit starts showing up at the farmer's markets.  Oh my.  So good.  However, it's still early for that, so this salad was a little less exotic, but still good.  Last night's incarnation of fruit salad was watermelon, pineapple, grapes, blueberries and banana.
But the strawberries are ripe.  That can only mean one thing: it's the beginning of fruit season.  I was hoping to go picking tomorrow, but it looks like apartment shopping for grad school is going to bump it.  Alas.  Fresh fruit + summer + baking = wonderful.  That's the most math I've done all week.  Ok, not really, but pretty close.


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