Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GRATE (11/19/15)
- TITLE: What Making Potato Dumplings Taught Me
By Michol Tanner
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
One of my favorites was her potato dumplings. Years after she died, I asked several relatives if they had her recipe. No one had any idea how she made those mouthwatering dumplings that, after being boiled, were tossed into a pan of sautéed bacon and onions, and fried until lightly golden brown. Unfortunately, when Grandma died, her recipes died with her.
As for the dumplings, all I could remember was her grating potatoes and mixing in some flour. I had no idea what measurements to use, how to season them, or how long to boil them; the bacon and onions- that part was easy!
Determined to find a similar recipe, I went to the internet. My search turned up a number of possibilities that I thought might just do the trick, though I was skeptical that any of them would live up to the ones my grandmother used to make.
As I began to read the recipes, my memories took me back to her kitchen. I sat on a barstool at an island, which held a cooktop stove. A large pot of water was near boiling; preparing to receive the dumplings. I could smell the bacon crisping as it spit and sputtered, the grease softening the onions to a nice translucency. Though I easily could have, I didn’t sneak a bite of the bacon; that was not allowed. Besides, I just knew that Grandma had eyes in the back of her head, and I would be caught red handed!
Standing with her back to me, she grated the potatoes. I watched as she added flour and formed the dough into small, egg shaped mounds. Soon the water was boiling and she was dropping the dumplings into the pot. Down they sunk only to reemerge a few minutes later. She then tenderly lifted them out of the water and allowed them to drain in a colander. My mouth watering, I knew that soon the dumplings would be added to the frying pan, and then onto a plate for me to enjoy.
Finding a recipe that seemed to fit my memories, I left Grandma’s kitchen and returned to my own. I set out to prepare those delicious dumplings, hoping that my family would enjoy them just as much as I had. I grated potatoes until my hands ached. Next, I added in the flour and attempted to form them just as my grandmother had. Satisfied that I had it right, I dropped them into the boiling water. Wouldn’t you know it- they fell apart!
I got busy adding more flour to the remaining batter. This time, the dumplings held together. While I waited for them to float to the top, I snuck a bite of the bacon. Feeling naughty, I waited ever so anxiously for the dumplings to finish. Cooked and drained, I was finally able to toss them with the bacon and onion mixture. I made sure to coat each dumpling and fry them to a perfect golden brown. I could hardly wait to take a bite. I just knew they were going to taste like I remembered.
Boy was I wrong! Except for the flavor of the bacon and onions, my dumplings were otherwise very bland. To make matters worse, they were chewy too. I took another bite just to make sure; nope, nothing like Grandma’s dumplings.
Grandma, why did I let myself be put off by your perfectionism? I could have learned so much from you!
Oh well, one thing I did learn was her perfectionism, so I will just keep making them until I get it right. As I washed the dishes and wiped down my counters, Provers 19:20 came to mind; “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction that you may be wise in the time to come.”
Bible reference is from the Amplified Bible (AMP)
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