Cool, rainy weather. Warm, savory dinner.


Winter in southern California has been challenging.  November and December afforded us the opportunity to pull on the warmer coats, wrap up in scarves, and zip up the winter boots.  But then the cold weather, and the rain, all but disappeared.

But March has given us a taste of winter again, just a few days before Spring actually begins!  El Nino is splashing us with some much-needed rain.  And the heater is coming on in the mornings.  And morning walks outside are punctuated with frosty breath from both me and my german shepherd, Wolfgang.

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This much-desired cool, rainy weather reminded me of an item I received in my Foodie PenPal box,  a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty, chicken pot pie soup mix.  The Pennsylvania Dutch pot pie is served with square-cut noodles and no pastry, unlike the pot pie I am familiar with.  From Wikipedia I discovered:

“In the Pennsylvania Dutch region, some people make a dish is called “bot boi” (or “bott boi”) by Deitsch-speaking natives. Pennsylvania Dutch pot pie is a stew and has no pastry.  It is usually made of a combination of chicken, ham, beef, or wild game with square-cut egg noodles, potatoes, and a stock of onion, celery and parsley.”

The Pennsylvania Dutch are a cultural group formed by early German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania and their descendants.  And it appears to me that their food reflects their German heritage with hardy meals to warm and nourish the body.

The Chicken Pot Pie Soup Mix (Cherchies brand) came with the pot pie noodle (or is it pasta?) squares, a packet of dehydrated vegetables (onion, red bell pepper, carrot, celery), salt, sugar, soy protein, garlic, parsley, white pepper, turmeric and other spices.

When did noodles become pasta?  The spouse and I had a conversation about the terminology earlier this week.  Our mothers refer to all pasta as noodles.  My position is that it’s marketing.  As one comment in an article stated (

“Roughly the same time that squid became calamari, which is also about when corn meal became polenta, but much later than when rocket became arugula.”

Back to the Chicken Pot Pie Soup Mix.  The directions asked for:

  • 1 lb. cooked chicken (I poached chicken breast in chicken broth), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 10 cups water















After about 20 minutes, the dish is complete and ready to nourish and warm your body.  Or a bunch of bodies.  This package made 9 cups!  So, one last hurrah for winter.  Spring is right around the corner.  Short sleeves.  Flipflops.  Spring flowers.  I’ll be ready!

Passport Dinners brings you DIY (Do-It-Yourself) themed adventure dinner party kits for you to taste the world, one country at a time.  It’s not just dinner.  It’s a party!



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