Tuesday, March 23, 2010

17. Fruit Dumplings, The End of The Day

 Nutritional, tasty and interesting food choices were and are the backbone of my cooking philosophy.  As my children grew, I tried to find ways to keep them focused on eating things that were good from them. I liked cooking from scratch which helped control what we actually did eat. Sometimes, though, I felt like I was the guard or kitchen policewoman.

 Most of our meals had to include fresh fruit and vegetables and I often baked our bread products. As more and more information has been revealed concerning the danger of one kind of additive or another in commercial-grade food, I know that my family's health had to have been impacted positively by all that 'home-cookin' and sentry duty.

Looking back on my own childhood, I know my mother cooked for us with care; she included healthy food in our school lunches and kept our family snacking to a minimum. My mother imbued in me a great love for all the texture, color and flavor that vegetables and fruit bring to a meal. She made a point of including two vegetables with almost every dinner. I do the same thing! It is a healthy and palette-pleasing way to eat.

Sometimes, though, all a person wants at the end of the day is a plate of something sweet, satisfying and comforting - made by mom. Today's post, Fruit Dumplings, is an old-fashioned dessert from the Mennonite community. It is not overly sweet and the addition of warm milk makes it especially comforting.

Fruit Dumplings

2-3 C chopped fresh fruit. (apples or peaches)
Lemon juice
Biscuit dough

Prepare one recipe for biscuit dough, (recipe below). Roll dough into a large rectangle on floured board. Chop fruit and mix with  with a few squirts of lemon juice. Cover dough rectangle thickly with fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up starting at a long side, like a jelly roll, and cut into 12, 1-inch rings. Place in a greased 9x13 baking pan, three across. Space evenly.

Prepare sauce (ingredients below): Mix sauce ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil; pour sauce over dumplings. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve dumplings individually in dessert bowls and pour 1/4 C warm milk over each dumpling. Serves 12.

1 C sugar, 1 T flour, 1 C cold water

Basic Biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Mix together in a bowl:
2 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Cut in : ¼ C shortening
Add ¾ C milk all at once stirring until soft ball is formed
Turn dough onto floured board, knead lightly 20-25 times. Roll or pat dough ½ “ thick. Cut with floured biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on ungreased baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Serve hot.

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