The Sweet Smell of Home

A few days ago i was hanging with my mother again showing her how to make gnocchi, and a new recipe for lemon curd tart. We were discussing that gnocchi are the Italian version of dumplings, in fact the word gnocchi sounds much more appealing to me then dumplings, but when translated it just means lumps. Now i don’t know which sounds more appetizing.

Mom and i were talking about how my Grandmother use to make ham and dumplings instead of using chicken, which i think taste better. i would always chose pork over chicken given the opportunity. When i was growing up i thought this was a normal thing. My mother’s family is from central Alabama, so to me, all southern dumplings had ham in it. That was only until i started talking with friends and making this dish on my own. People around me had never heard of ham and dumplings.

I am on a quest to preserve my families recipes, even those that my Grandmother threw out in her old age, because “they weren’t working anymore”. In reality it was her memory that wasn’t working anymore. I wonder how many recipes she threw out in the last years. It’s a good thing i watched my Grandmother make this as a kid. I have taken some liberties with my newly learned knowledge, but it improves the over all out come of the dish. Please enjoy and let me know how it comes out, or if you have any other southern dishes that you need recipes for, i can do some research for you.

Ham and Dumplings
Origin: Russell Ramirez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours
Ethnicity: Southern American
Difficulty: Easy

For Dumplings
● 2 cups flour
● 4 tsp. baking powder
● 1/2 tsp. salt
● 2 tsp. butter
● 3/4 cup milk

For Ham Soup
● 1 left over ham bone
● 1 bay leave
● 2 whole cloves
● 1 sprig thyme
● 1 sprig parsley
● 2 onions, small diced
● 2 carrots, rough chopped
● 2 celery stocks , rough chopped
● 2 tbsp oil

A hearty southern meal

Ham soup-
1) In a heavy bottom pot that’s big enough for the ham bone to fit in, heat oil on medium and add onions, cook till translucent. Add carrots and Celery.
2) Add ham bone and fill to cover with water. Add Spices (tided up in cheese cloth if you have it) and parsley. Simmer for up to 3 hours checking that water levels don’t drop and skimming the foam and fat of the top.
3) when your stock is finished, remove the spices, parsley and ham bone, removing remaining meat from bone and returning it to the stock.

While the stock is cooking you can work on the dumplings.
Dumplings –
1) Combine ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and milk) Drop by teaspoonfuls on top of boiling stew.
2) Cover tightly and cook just until done and you have reached your required thickness.

Make sure to check for Salt and pepper before serving.

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One Response to The Sweet Smell of Home

  1. Leslie Gerb says:

    Michelle makes these…..and I love them….what a great way to keep your gramma’s memory alive. She was a very neat lady.

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