Monday, October 3, 2011

Endings Are Beginnings

But ends are also beginnings.
You know every single story
has a beginning at its end.
a line from the book Twig
by Elizabeth Orton Jones

Reading David LaRochelle's picture book The End made me think of this line I had written in my journal. I loved the book's format which starts at the end of the story and then spins the tale of a princess, lemonade, a dragon, bunnies, a flying teacup, a hungry giant and a mysterious bag of gold all ending when pigs fly. Children will love reading a story that unfolds backwards and moves toward a beginning.
The Taliban regime seizing control of Kabul seemed like the end for Afghan women who subsequently were banned from school and confined to their homes. But Kamila, a young women who had five siblings to care for, wrote another story for herself. She was resourceful and displayed resilience by creating a thriving dressmaker business. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a gripping true tale of women who survived brutality and the Taliban regime that had strictly prohibited women from working. I found the true stories of these courageous women quite impressive as they overcame incredible odds. I highly recommend this book.
With the ending of summer and the beauty of Fall unfolding we may all have new stories to tell.

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 4 cups cooked white chicken chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion chopped
  • (8 oz.) package of white mushrooms
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas thawed
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 TB. parsley
  • 1 TB. chives
  • ¼ tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1-1/2 cups light cream
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (17.2 oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets thawed
  • In a large skillet melt butter and sauté mushrooms, onions, pepper, and carrots till tender
  • Stir flour into chicken broth, whisk to blend, then add to mushroom mixture with cream, peas, spices, Parmesan cheese and cook on low heat till thick and bubbly
  • Stir in wine, chicken and peas-keep mixture warm while preparing pastry


  • Unfold and roll each puff pastry sheet into 12 x 10 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface
  • Fit one sheet into a 9 inch pie pan or a casserole pan with low sides
  • Spoon chicken mixture in it and top with remaining pastry sheet-fold edges under and press with tines of a fork, sealing to bottom crust
  • Whisk I egg with 1 TB. water brush over top of pie
  • Another alternative would be to skip bottom crust and lightly grease pan adding chicken mixture and top with one rectangle of puff pastry
  • Bake uncovered @400 on lower rack of oven till crust is puffed check at 30 minutes

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