Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mrs. Wilbur Heckman's Dumplings

The following recipe is one I copied out of the Anita, Iowa, Centennial Cookbook.  This is a very old-fashioned recipe with a very old-fashioned flavor.  It is too warm for soup, and we have used all of our home-grown potatoes, so I made them the "artificial potatoes" way in the lower half of the recipe.

This is the way the recipe appeared in the cookbook:

Grandma (Mrs. Wilbur) Heckman's Dumplings
(Copied just as she wrote it to her granddaughter)

I used one egg and 1/2 cup of milk, a pinch of salt, about a cup of flour with one teaspoon baking powder, stir good, have your soup broth deep enough to an inch or more above other ingredients and boiling.  Now drop by teaspoonful but have your spoon dipped first in hot broth.  Place lid on for five minutes, or until they look done, or porous on top.  But, don't peek at them until 5 minutes are up.  When we were short of potatoes in the spring, I would feed the family by doubling the recipe, have several inches of salted water boiling and drop by tablespoons in water, let cook, then take those out onto a platter and drop more in.  I would have butter browning with bread crumbs and onions and cover each layer of dumplings with that.

Mighty good!  The boys (she had seven sons) called them artificial potatoes--easy and filling.

Vesta Bailey Duensing

Here is what the dumpling batter looks like when it is all mixed up.  I put perhaps an extra tablespoon of flour in them.

I browned onions and bread crumbs in butter just like she suggested.  If I make these again, I'm going to forego the bread crumbs. They were unnecessary and added kind of a sandy texture to the outside of the dumplings.

I couldn't take a photograph and spoon the dumplings into the boiling water, so you'll have to settle for a picture of what they looked like when I removed the lid after the five minutes of boiling time had elapsed.

I scooped them into a frying pan of hot browned butter and then added the browned onions and bread crumbs.

Once again, Marjorie the Margin Gem is 
desperately in need of a bath!  Poor girl.  She's
always getting her picture snapped when she's
not at her best.

The dumplings were faintly like boiled potatoes, and they certainly weren't bad.  I ate them with a lettuce and cabbage salad and hamburgers that I had canned last summer on the Hayes-Custer.

In these days of heightened awareness about carbohydrate consumption, I don't suppose these will enjoy renewed popularity.  However, back in the day when farming involved constant physical labor, you can see where these little balls of energy would be welcome on the noon dinner plate if the potato bin was empty.

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