I found this image this past week on American Digest, July 11, 2021.
I zoomed in a couple times here which means you have to have to scroll and cannot see the photo in a single glimpse.
Regardless, I was slowed down earlier this last week scanning blogs I read. The enormity of citizens compacted in this area is well beyond any experience I have had around large cities. The photo held my attention and I was trying to put in some perspective of living like this. And there are larger cities ie., Manila for example.
But this photo is worthy for being worth a thousand words. Especially in that the whole city is not fully captured by the camera.
Tokyo: 16,121.8 people per square mile (Google Search).
To what point here. Mind boggling for a start! Engine Failure?
Just south of us is this little restaurant. I have seen the sign and small building a dozen times. Fresh pies apparently. But I have paid no never mind attention to it. For what ever reason, it never caught my attention beyond a quick glance and not a place I planned to stop in and take a look. And I do love home made pies.
Then my wife stopped in on a lark coming back from an appointment a few weeks ago. Met Ganny and discussed her baking and menu. That was the day her told me that Ganny makes Chicken and Dumplings every Wednesday.
Her does not like Chicken and Dumplings. It is the dumplings. Always the story of her mother making this often for the large family. Served over mashed potatoes.
Her always squints up her face explaining how she would not eat it. Her brothers would devour the whole dinner, but her wanted nothing to do with it. It is the chewiness of the noodle dumpling. Serious body language along with every explanation. For me though, chicken and dumplings is a whole new world to dive into.
Just before 11:00 AM Wednesday, I told her I was off to try Ganny's for chicken and dumplings and she nodded, "drive safely and enjoy." I would always prefer we go out to lunch together.
I was the only car driving in and parking at Ganny's. No big crowds at opening. One small neon sign said open, the sign on the door said closed. I walked in.
I said that I heard a rumor that you serve chicken and dumpling every Wednesday. Ganny said hello and told me she only cooks one specialty meal each day. Everything else is pies. "I can make over 100 pies."
Like an idiot I repeated, "you can make 100 pies." To which she replied, "over!" A menu board on the wall had a dozen or so pies that were fresh out of the oven that day.
Ganny said she never knows on Wednesdays what will happen with her batch of chicken and dumplings. "Some days I have a gallon left over and other days I am sold out at 10:30." She opens at 11.
She set a medium sized bowl of steaming hot chicken and dumplings in front of me. Then a corner slice of out of the oven corn bread. The corner slice of any out of the oven corn bread is the gold standard. There are only 4 in any given batch.
Her serving me out of her kitchen was right out of any family meal serving play book. I was not in a restaurant, I was in a home, a guest, take it as it is, relax, enjoy and so forth.
And we chatted. Ganny had stories to tell. How she started her business, took the leap of faith to open her own restaurant and cook what she wants to cook before she turned 50. She wanted to do what she loves best. Her way!!
Keep in mind this restaurant is word of mouth. No big advertising campaign. I noticed that she was filling to-go cups on the counter as we talked. A full big ladle then a half ladle to complete the portion.
Whole warm pies rested on the stove tops and behind the glass oven door windows were pies on the bake.
Like moths to the flame, the front door comes alive. Friendly greetings, a little chatting then another small group of folks. They start coming and going. All take out. Cars park outside in random order.
During all of this I am nose down in her chicken lunch. This was personal. Every bite tells me that she will be sold out within a couple of hours. That I most likely will be back every Wednesday. "When it is gone, it is gone!"
During a lull, I asked for slice of cherry pie. Does it go with chicken and dumplings. Who cares?
Ganny said it was still warm and not set up. She served it in a bowl with a spoon. Just like home.
I have never waited on any cherry pie to set and be fully ready to eat. Well, ten minutes maybe. Homemade pie crust melting into the warm cherry filling and a few cherries in each bite. Like the chicken and dumplings, I could have easily over dosed there that day. But hey, next week is just around the corner.
I should be smart enough by now to know that the out of the way no never mind eateries often offer the very best in Texas foods. That there is always charm and a boat load of Texas welcome.
Ganny knocks this out of the park.
SHELF PROJECT COMPETED
Seven shelves including the top completed mid week. Tools all picked up, last dabs of paint then gave her the keys Thursday morning. Happy girl.
Will never see a photo of these shelves empty ever again.
A typical warm warm day after they have run themselves ragged. With a fan blowing over the middle shelf, one on top of the other, they drop dead asleep like youngsters who have played hard into a similar drop dead nap.