Food for Cold Christmas Nights

The time of year I break my no-food-coloring rule

I'm in denial.

Despite making three batches of Christmas cookies, attending one cookie/gift exchange, wrapping many gifts, and clogging one post office parcel drop in full view of a long line of customers, I still catch myself thinking it's only November. Because who, really, has had time to think about Christmas?

The family was just going over the five-person calendar, trying to figure out when we could have our traditional "Christmas nights," where a Christmas movie is watched, cocoa imbibed, and cookies consumed. Between swim meets, work, babysitting jobs, and choir rehearsals, we only came up with three, between now and Christmas Eve. Bummer.

The benefits of a book club cookie exchane

It's all just too stressful. And since I can't fix anyone's schedule or do anyone's shopping or wrapping or mailing, I can only suggest comfort food.

Got any turkey left? Or cooked chicken, even? Give this dish a try. Comfort food at its finest, filling courtesy of Penny M. and biscuit topping courtesy of cookbook author Deborah Madison.

Ye olde turkey pot pie filling

Turkey Pot Pie
1/4 c butter (half a stick)
6 Tbsp flour
1 c milk
2 c chicken broth
3 c cooked chicken or turkey, cut up
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp summer savory
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 carrots, diced
2 c green peas, thawed
some leftover cooked broccoli or other favorite veggie

Preheat oven to 375F. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat; blend in flour. Add milk and broth, stirring until thickened. Add chicken and seasonings. Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature. Mix in vegetables. Spoon into ungreased casserole.

1 c flour
1 c whole-wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6-8 Tbsp butter, cut in small pieces
1 c milk

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it makes a coarse meal. Add milk and stir until everything is dampened, then knead dough together with hands. Drop by large spoonfuls over the filling. Bake until crust is golden, about 35 minutes.

Threw some cheddar in the biscuits

I'm happy to report everyone ate this, although the boy picked out the broccoli and peas, leaving a turkey-carrot pot pie. Whatev.

So comfort yourself. Briefly. We've only got nine days till Christmas.