Dumpling Dreams

by Laura on November 21, 2011

in Thanksgiving, Traditions

It’s Thanksgiving time and thoughts have turned to turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes and pecan pie. Me, I think about all those Thanksgiving foods, but one thing I dream about during Thanksgiving time is my Grandmother’s potato dumplings.

I can almost hear you saying, “Potato dumpling? What’s so wonderful about a dense, whitish – almost gray – lump of dough that is boiled?” Well, to you they may not be the most beautiful side dish around, but to me, I find the beauty in the potato dumpling.

Made of only a few ingredients – potatoes, flour and eggs – let’s face it, they’re pretty much all starch. And when you add the turkey drippings on top, these plump little dumplings turn into starch balls covered in calories. But I try not to think about them in this manner. Instead, I think of how good they taste – especially when sprinkled with a bit of salt. I think of the pot sitting in Grandma’s kitchen, splattering boiling water and small drops of uncooked dumplings over the top of the pot onto the stove. I think of how tasty they are as leftovers (more in that later). Sure, they may not be the most glamorous food around (and they just don’t make for good photos either), but they are a delicious Czech tradition that I often find myself dreaming about this time of year.

I haven’t made potato dumplings in several years, so it’s about time I introduced them to my kids. This Thanksgiving, as I carve out a place for them at the table, my mind will wander to Thanksgivings long ago when Grandma would be bustling around the kitchen with final preparations, scooping these delicious little treats from the pot on the stove and proudly serving them up to the family. And, if by chance my family doesn’t like them, it won’t bother me because I’ll happily enjoy them sliced, then fried, for breakfast the next morning — just they way Grandma used to do. Enjoy!

POTATO DUMPLINGS (KNEDLIKY)

Serves 4-6

  • 2 lbs raw potatoes, peeled
  • 3 cups flour
  • salt to taste
  • 1 or 2 eggs

Grate raw potatoes–drain and squeeze out excess water and starch.  Add salt, egg and flour.  If dough is too stiff, add a few drops of water.  In a pot of boiling, salted water, drop spoonful of mixture (using a wooden spoon) into boiling water and cook for about 20-25 minutes.  Make sure dumplings do not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Remove from water with a skimmer.

These were always served with the Thanksgiving turkey, along with turkey drippings and/or gravy.

Leftovers: Slice leftover dumplings into relatively flat pieces. Place butter or oil in a pan to heat, then add dumpling slices and cook until browned on both sides. Serve sprinkled with a bit of salt to taste.

 

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