Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Recipe To Remember My Mother

January 3, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

Still cold here in Bowie, but at least the sun is out, so it's a bit more energy in the air today. I normally have no problem with winter, but this year I am so over it already. I want Spring!

Well, in the meantime, I'll share another experiment in the kitchen during my break.

Once when I was a child, my mother made German Potato Dumplings. Just once. I have no idea why she never made them again, and that's not important. What's important is that I never forgot them. I remember watching her cook the potatoes, then peel and grate them while they were still warm, adding other ingredients, shaping the dumplings, and dropping them into hot chicken broth to cook. I don't remember the taste at all, but I remember that I loved them. I always wanted mom to make them again.

But I never had them again growing up, and I never thought to learn how to make them myself as an adult.

Until last week.

I had gotten a bunch of Taste Of Home Cookbooks while helping folks declutter a few weeks ago. I like these books, they always have a lot of good recipes that use basic ingredients, and they are simple and easy to make. Well, I was browsing through one of the Mom's Best Meals editions, and I came across the recipe for German Potato Dumplings. I stared at the page for a bit, then decided it was time for me to move on from that memory that was always a little sad, and to see if I could make a new memory for myself and my family.

Hold my poodle, I'm goin' in!

I checked my pantry, and I had everything I needed. I weighed out 4 pounds of russet potatoes, scrubbed and put in a pot with water to cover. I brought them to a boil, then covered the pot and lowered the heat to cook for 30 minutes.


While they cooked, I pulled a chunk of homemade bread from the freezer and quickly thawed it in the microwave. Anytime I have leftover bread that I may not be able to use up quickly, I freeze it for bread crumbs, dressing, or even croutons at a later date.


I tore it into smaller pieces and whizzed it about in the food processor. I measured out what was needed for the dumplings, then stored the rest in a bag to return to the freezer.


When the potatoes were done, I drained them and put them in the fridge for about an hour so they would be cool enough to handle. Then I peeled and grated them into a bowl. I have seen a few recipes where you just mash them, but I recall mom grating them, so I went with my memory.



I added in the flour, seasonings, bread crumbs and eggs. Then I used my hands to mix it all together, adding a little flour when it got too sticky. And let me tell y'all something, I usually mix with my left hand so I can take a picture with my right, but I forgot this time. I got the photo, but wow, using my left hand to click the shutter on the right side of the camera was a trick worthy of an acrobat!



Once the dough was ready, I put a pot of salted water on to boil. Using my trusty ice cream scoop (I love that thing for measuring our portions for cooking--I use it more for that than ice cream!), I scooped up dough into my hand, then shaped it into round dumpling balls. I rolled the balls in flour, shaking off the excess, and placed them on a plate by the pot of boiling water.






I lowered each dumpling into the boiling water using a slotted spoon. I cooked six at a time, to make certain they weren't crowded. They sank, but would rise again as they cooked. Once they were at the surface, I let them go about another minute, then pulled out and placed them into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. It pretty much filled it up.



I didn't feel like making a gravy to go over them, but I did want a decadent addition. So I melted a stick of butter and poured it s-l-o-w-l-y over the dumplings, making certain every one of those little spheres of potatoey (Is that a word? It should be!) goodness got a coating of butter. I then sprinkled a bit of paprika over the top to give them some color.



Since presentation is just as important as taste, I placed three dumplings into one of my red bowls for our lunch. Don't they look delicious?


And let me tell you--they tasted wonderful. Obie enjoyed them just as much as I did. Later in the evening, I made a meatloaf for supper, letting the leftover dumplings heat along with it in the oven, and served it all with a thick gravy. Even the Redneck was impressed! Oh yeah, they have joined the ranks of recipes that will be a standard dish at our table.

I confess, I didn't do everything I remembered mom doing--I didn't shape the dough around bread dressing like she did. I didn't use broth to cook them in. I may try all that another time, but this first  time out I am pleased with the results. I achieved my goal, which was to try something I had been putting off for almost 5 decades. I recreated a fond memory of my mom, who has been gone for around 40 years, and I began a new memory for my family. Seriously, my life ROCKS!

Okay, for those of y'all who want to try this recipe, here's the link to the Taste Of Home recipe site;


Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018





4 comments:

  1. I 've never had potato dumplings but they look so good. Isn't it funny how we can remember something so special even though it only happened once. I made split pea soup once and my family turned their noses up at it. I thought it tasted great, but it was pretty gross looking. My son sent me a message and said he was making split pea soup and asked if I had ever had any. LOL His kids wouldn't eat it either, but he loved it!

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    1. That's funny! I was given a bag of split peas, and they are in my freezer. I know that as a child I ate Campbell's Split Pea soup and liked it, but I have never made it myself. I will have to do a search for recipes. I know the Redneck won't touch it, but Obie is pretty flexible on most foods, so it should make a good lunch.

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  2. Wow, I love this idea as we get potatoes either free or cheap here. We Swedes make lefsa which is a potato bread.

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    1. Ooooh, I always wanted to learn to make that! Recipe please!

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