UPDATE: TO SKIP AHEAD TO MY TWEAKED VERSION OF THE RECIPE, CLICK HERE
Aunt Ellen Renfro was my favorite great aunt. She was just the sweetest woman and best cook in our family.
My grandfather was her baby brother.
My dad is always going on about how wonderful his late Aunt Ellen’s chicken and dumplings were (and her bread and peach cobbler).
She’s been gone now for 29 years, so one would assume the recipes were lost forever- luckily, this week her granddaughter Vanessa was kind enough to send me photos of a few of her them! I am so thankful that she took the time out to scan these for me- I am also a little teary eyed (happily so) about the prospect of attempting these dishes.
Food is love, and memories, and family… this is definitely a tie to our collective pasts.
A bit about Ellen Donoho Renfro here:
I have been cross referencing her dumpling recipe with others found on the Internet. It seems like her recipe omits the usual shortening and/or egg that many of the others have. Her sauce looks like a scaled down version of traditional Southern Chicken and Dumplings recipes.
I am going to attempt her ‘chicken sauce’ and dumplings today. I will test a batch of dumplings using her recipe- and make another batch using a dough that contains the usual shortening/egg and compare.
Since her sauce is a tad bland for my taste, right off the bat, I will likely doctor that a bit as well.
Will post the results later today or tomorrow- going off to cook now!