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Name: Rylee
Location: Madcity, Wisconsin, United States

WisconsinVoices.com is a blog that chronicles the people, places, and things I find interesting all around me. I write about home improvements, gardening, orchids, dogs, recipes, family and other good stuff. Stop by for visit!

May 4, 2008

Family Recipes: Potato Dumplings

Pictured above are my paternal great grandparents Joseph Woefel and Mary Fisher on their wedding day in the early 1900s in Sauk County, WI. Joseph and Mary lived on about 200 acres of beautiful land that included hills, springs and farm land north of Reedsburg, WI.

The recipe that was handed down from this branch of my family is called potato dumplings. What makes this dumpling different than most German dumplings is a couple of things. One, is the use of bread as the main ingredient with potatoes as the moisture. The second difference, is that these dumplings are eaten with "sour" gravy. The best gravy comes from cooking both beef and pork roasts together. From this, some of the gravy is set aside to sour. The souring agent is simply vinegar. There is no wrong amount, it's how sour you like your gravy. I first learned how to make them in my Grandma Helen's kitchen. Pictured above are the ingredients: raw potatoes, an egg, salt and pepper, a little flour and day old bread torn into small pieces. Shred the potatoes on the fine grate, set aside. Into the bread, add the egg, salt, pepper and a little bit of flour. Mix that up and then add the shredded potatoes. Next, form balls from the mixture. The size of the dumplings is purely preference. The dumpling mixture should have a moist feeling and be able to stick together well. Ultimately, the dumplings are purely by feel. You just know when they are the right consistency. Below are the six dumplings I made. To prepare them for dinner, bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the dumplings and let cook in the water for about 10 minutes. A fork should go in and out quite easily. These began to float when they had completed cooking. I simply turned the fire off and let them sit while the rest of the meal was prepared. The last and most important step is the sour gravy. Tonight I used one cup of the finished gravy and add to it a 1/8 c. of vinegar, As I've eaten these for years, I like a lot of vinegar. If you want to try this - go easy on the vinegar. Remember it's easier to add more vinegar than it is to take a way. The finished dumpling. You can see that it is mostly bread with just bits of potato within. These dumplings turned out great. I've learned not to mess with a family classic, One year, I tried putting fresh herbs and minced onion, they were not what I expected....and I have yet to hear the last of that major fiasco in the family As a little kid, I didn't like dumplings and wouldn't eat them. One Thanksgiving, my Grandpa told me "You're not a Wedekind unless you like potato dumplings!" Well, that got me going and I soon began eating dumplings with the best of them....

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