Isaac Watts

Cooking Through the Christian Year


Lerolle, Henry. The Organ Rehearsal. 1885. Oil on canvas. 93 1/4 x 142 3/4 in. (236.9 x 362.6 cm). Gift of George I. Seney, 1887. New York City, New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is the most important painting by Lerolle, a friend and collector of such artists as Degas, Denis, and Vuillard. Set in the choir loft of the church of Saint-François-Xavier in Paris, it features members of Lerolle’s intimate circle, including his wife (bare-headed) and her sisters, in fashionable matching hats; his brother-in-law, composer Ernest Chausson, plays the organ. The painter himself gazes outward at left. Shown at the Salon of 1885, this picture triumphed the next year in New York, in the first major Impressionism exhibition in America. One critic recalled, “spectators … spoke low before it, as if waiting for … the voice of the singer to be heard.”

Description by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Isaac Watts – November 25th

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) is the “Father of English Hymnody.” He was born in Southampton, England and was educated at the Dissenting Academy in Stoke Newington, London. Watts is best known for his hymns, which are still sung in churches today, including “Joy to the World” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” One of his greatest projects was to write a hymn for all 150 Psalms.

Watts began writing hymns at a young age, and by the time he was in his early twenties, he had already written over 200 hymns. He is considered a pioneer of English hymnody and helped to popularize the use of hymns in worship services. His writings and hymns were highly influential in the development of English Protestantism, and his legacy continues to be felt in modern Christian worship. Watts died in Stoke Newington in 1748 at the age of 74.

We are using our Thanksgiving leftovers to make some Turkey and Dumplings. Like the comforting words of Watts, this comfort food gives warmth and life.

Turkey and Dumplings

Turkey and Dumplings

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Difficulty: Easy


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Turkey and Dumplings is a great way to turn some of your leftover Thanksgiving food into a delicious new dish to eat over the weekend after Thanksgiving.

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  • For the dumplings
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon dried chives

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 large egg

  • For the fillings
  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups of stock and/or leftover gravy

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 4 cups shredded cooked turkey

  • 2 1/2 cups mixed frozen vegetables


  • Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in the herbs. Cover and refrigerate until needed later.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time while continuing to whisk. When all the stock/gravy is added, season with the thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the turkey and frozen vegetables.
  • Return the filling to a simmer, and transfer to a large baking dish or dutch oven with a lid.
  • Whisk the buttermilk and egg together, then add it to the refrigerated dry mixture for the dumplings. Stir together until evenly moistened.
  • Scoop the batter on top of the simmering liquid, leaving space between the dumplings Place the lid on top and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.