What’s cooking today?

Tonight I made homemade pot pies for a friend whose wife has recently had a tough diagnosis, and they just need time to adjust.  Numerous doctor appointments and treatments are their current daily routine.  Sometimes it’s nice not to have to worry about supper. 

Once I was quite sick for nearly 5 years from two unpleasant chronic conditions that were battling with each other, making my life miserable.  Many days it was difficult if not impossible to get out of bed before 9am due to the pain, and then the onset of some unpleasant symptoms would occur.  So by 5pm, I was still working, having started the day late.  When I got home I was either exhausted or out like a light on the couch.  Cooking… what cooking?  There were good days, and during them, I enjoyed making something new or my husband’s favorites.  But on the bad days, I didn’t want to eat, and even if I did, I didn’t want to cook.

On many of those days I would find that an angel had come in and cooked for me.  Sometimes it would be fresh prepared by loving hands; sometimes picked up at the local deli.  Sometimes I would open the freezer to find a wonderful chicken casserole that only needed to go into the pre-heated oven. 

I call these folks angels because when I look back at the situation, they were doing something for me that was truly a blessing.  I mean a real blessing.  Blessing #1 it kept my husband from getting too burnt out on take out or store bought frozen meals.  Blessing #2 it kept me nourished with good food; food that tasted great.  Blessing #3 it kept my husband and I eating a quiet evening meal together which can strengthen the bond, because no one had to decide what to eat, buy or cook.  Blessing #4 these meals were easy to reheat, or just simply eat, with little to no dishes to wash or return afterward.  I could go on and on about how it was a blessing.

It’s my turn, and even though I don’t want to think about what I went through, I do want to remember those who helped me through it.  I want to think about the thoughtfulness of those who fed me when I wasn’t getting in the kitchen! 

If you have a friend who needs some love because they or their family member is sick, think through what to take and find something that can be eaten right away, or frozen and reheated nicely without a lot of left overs or cleanup.  As long as you’re at it, make some for your neighbor who isn’t sick.  It’ll make em smile.     


  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter
  • 1carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 cup(s) whole milk
  • 1 can(s) (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups precooked chicken, skin and bones removed, meat shredded
  • 1ham steak (8 ounces), cubed
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 15oz package store-bought pie dough


               Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in the middle. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add carrot,     onion, and cook until crisp tender 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle over with flour and stir to coat and cook out the raw          flour taste. Continue to cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk and broth, alternating and stirring until smooth.   Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, 5 to 8 minutes.

  1. Remove from heat; stir in chicken, ham, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among ramekins or ovenproof bowls; set aside.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out dough to a large enough circl to cut out rounds to fit your ramekins/dishes. Transfer ramekins to a rimmed baking sheet; bake until filling is bubbling and crusts are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Tips & Techniques

To store: Prepare through step 3; let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil; store in freezer, up to 3 months.
To reheat: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Uncover ramekins; bake on a rimmed baking sheet until bubbling and golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving


2 thoughts on “What’s cooking today?

  1. Loved your post today, Ginger! I’m so sorry you were so ill and I’m thankful you’re doing so much better these days. Your blog made me think about the people I know and wondering where a home-cooked meal would make their day brighter. Thank you for the insight! Looking forward to seeing you in just a few short weeks at Book ‘Em North Carolina!

  2. It seems simple right, a meal. Anyone can get a meal. It is so much more than that. I think that “stumping your toe” (as the older cooks I know say) on the “love portions” you add is the key. Seriously it is so good to have someone care for you enough to bring you a meal.

    I am getting beyond exicted for Book ‘Em, and telling anyone who will listen. I just don’t want them to miss out on it! It will be good to meet some of the other authors I have only “e” met, via social media.

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