I thought I’d give it a try again today. I might even do it more than once.
This passage is from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin (1903).
Mrs. Robinson had company only once or twice a year, and was generally much prostrated for several days afterward, the struggle between pride and parsimony being quite too great a strain upon her. It was necessary, in order to maintain her standing in the community, to furnish a good "set out," yet the extravagance of the proceeding goaded her from the first moment she began to stir the marble cake to the moment when the feast appeared upon the table.
The rooster had been boiling steadily over a slow fire since morning, but such was his power of resistance that his shape was as firm and handsome in the pot as on the first moment when he was lowered into it.
"He ain't goin' to give up!" said Alice, peering nervously under the cover, "and he looks like a scarecrow."
"We'll see whether he gives up or not when I take a sharp knife to him," her mother answered; "and as to his looks, a platter full o' gravy makes a sight o' difference with old roosters, and I'll put dumplings round the aidge; they're turrible fillin', though they don't belong with boiled chicken."
The rooster did indeed make an impressive showing, lying in his border of dumplings, and the dish was much complimented when it was borne in by Alice. This was fortunate, as the chorus of admiration ceased abruptly when the ladies began to eat the fowl.
Chicken with Baked Dumplings
From the Washington Women’s Cook Book, published by the Washington Equal Suffrage Association, compiled by Linda Deziah Jennings (1909)
Cut the chicken into pieces and stew until tender, when done put into a deep baking pan. If there is not enough liquor to nearly cover the chicken, add water and thicken to make a nice gravy, having previously seasoned well. Make a rich baking powder biscuit dough, cut out the biscuits and place on top of the chicken. Bake just long enough to cook the biscuits nicely. By many this is much preferred to boiled dumplings.