“WHAT ARE YOU COOKING for supper, Toby?”
Many years ago, when my dad was in his late 80s and early 90s, at least once a week, he would call me about 5 p.m. and ask me that question. It was a great way to start a conversation — even on days when I really had no idea what we would have for supper and could laugh with my father about my lack of a plan.
At 5 p.m. Pacific Time, it was already 7 p.m. in Chicago so my parents had eaten and the dishes were cleared, and I could find out what they’d had for supper.
Although I will always miss hearing my dad asking me that question, I’ve taken his cue and often ask my adult children that same question. There is a difference: while my father was not planning to replicate my recipes, both my children are great cooks, and often finding out what they’re making for supper gives me a good idea what to make.
Such was the case a couple nights ago, when Aviva told me she was making a pot pie with a biscuit topping. “Oh, that sounds delicious!” I said. “I’ve made that last winter — but I forgot all about it.”
After we hung up the phone, I went into the kitchen and scrounged around. Sure enough, I had all the ingredients for such a pie. Previously, Aviva had showed me about cooking the vegetables (in this case, a little onion, some celery, carrots, chopped potatoes and sweet potatoes, peas, etc. etc.) and chicken if desired, in a cast iron skillet, then making a sauce with a flour-butter roux and putting the biscuit batter on top.
The beauty of this method was the one-skillet method — which I’ve written about in a former post (which also includes a puff-pastry topped pie and a delicious lentil-carrot soup which I intend to make again soon).
The next day, Aviva and I compared notes on our pot pies. She’d warned me that the sauce (gravy?) might get too thick, by the time the biscuits were baked — and mine was. Aviva said she’d overcompensated and made the sauce too thin. I think that next time, I will put the filling in a regular pie pan (which has less surface area) so the filling won’t get quite as much direct heat. Like life, cooking is a work in progress.
What are you making for supper?
p.s. (By the way, though you can use any type of biscuits atop your pot pie, I do like Mark Bittman’s recipe for a cobbler-style biscuit topping).