Drinking dumplin’s is divine, they say

Published 11:28 pm Tuesday, November 13, 2012

There are certain dishes that live in familial infamy, and judging from the blue Solo cups that danced around the yard Sunday, I’m certain I can now add my chicken-and-dumplin’s to the list.

Thanksgiving came a little early for us this year because of my brother’s unpredictable work schedule.

And according to him, my mother’s usual “one and a half” batches of dressing wasn’t going to be enough. No, sir. His request was for two large pans instead of her usual one large and one small pan. Chicken and dressing is her signature Thanksgiving dish. And I was with him on that request. That dressing is just divine, I tell you.

I probably shouldn’t confess this, but I will. I had planned to cheat where my dumplings were concerned. A birthday party on Saturday in Florala was scheduled to eat up the majority of the day. So instead of driving back to Andalusia and cooking, and then driving back to Florala Sunday to eat, we elected to spend the night with Mom.

Before leaving town, I gathered all the necessary items from the cabinet and freezer – minus the fake dumplings. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten them until the party ended, and we were packing up to leave.

A quick trip to the grocery story and $2 later, I had a bag of all-purpose flour in hand.

If you’ve never rolled your own dumplings, or piecrust for that matter, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing you’ve prepared something delicious for your family to eat. On the other hand, it’s a pain in the backside because nothing makes a mess more than loose flour.

The chicken part of chicken and dumplings aside, one must have four ingredients to make flour dumplings – all purpose flour, oil, cold water, a pinch of salt and a fantastic rolling pin. Mix all that together until a ball of dough forms; pinch off a good portion and get to rolling. Dust the top of the ball and the rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking.

I was always taught it took a sharp knife for perfect dumplings, but thanks to Pinterest, I know better now. The secret – using a pizza cutter. Genius, I tell you! Watch where you put your thumb, though. I had several near mishaps, but thankfully managed to finish the project unscathed, and with possibly the best batch of dumplings ever made in the history of mankind – or womankind, in this case.

I knew it was good when all the cups started disappearing from the kitchen, but were later found about yard with only a few drips of chicken broth left in it.

“Why use a bowl? Like this, you don’t even need a fork?” the girls said.

Who can argue with that logic or the nearly empty stockpot? Not this cook.