Happy New Year!
Roast pork, ham and sausage are certain to be on many menus today as favorite main entree meats for first day of the new year feasts.
It's an age-old Eastern European food tradition, and one that is carefully planned each year for the purpose of assuring good luck in the new year since pork offers a symbolism embraced for centuries.
In addition to sauerkraut, dumplings are a perfect accompaniment for pork.
In the past, I've included recipes for potato dumplings, which were also included in my second (yellow cover) cookbook "More From the Farm" (2007 Pediment Press $29.95). And in 2009, I published a favorite recipe for liver dumplings, which was also showcased in my last (red cover) cookbook "Further From the Farm" (2010 Pediment Press $29.95).
But somehow, along the way, during the past 12 years I've written this From the Farm column, I've never printed a recipe for traditional bread dumplings.
So today is the day to welcome 2014 with a delicious and easy 50-plus year-old recipe that has been served at many special family events from weddings and anniversaries to birthdays and holidays. Sure, there might be a few steps during the preparation of these dumplings, but the final result is well worth the process.
The Scamerhorns, our wonderful farm family friends from down the road, are spending today's New Year's Day with us for a shared dinner of recipe specialties.
And on Christmas Day, Joann Scamerhorn shared some of these yummy dumplings with us to enjoy. These dumplings are a favorite of my older brother Tom, especially when they are bathed in pork gravy. Joann said her father, whom we all called "Grandpa Wojdula," also used to say he "could make an entire meal" from just eating a plate of these dumplings.
Joann said the recipe was given to her family decades ago from a Polish woman who was a very successful caterer in Chicago. Now, this recipe is sure to continue on as a favorite with new generations in the future as a part of readers' recipe files throughout our Region.
A blessed, happy and healthy 2014 to Times readers and their families!
Bohemian-Style Bread Dumplings
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick biscuit mix, such as Bisquick
4 slices white bread, cubed
DIRECTIONS: Blend eggs and milk. Add flour, biscuit mix, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Add bread cubes. Blend well; turn dough onto a floured surface. Shape dough into a log approximately 16 inches long. Cut log into 4 pieces. Brush any excess flour from dough pieces. Drop dough pieces into boiling salted water and cook 15-20 minutes, turning often. Remove dough pieces one at a time. Immediately upon removal from water, cut each cooked piece into slices approximately 1- to 1-1/2 inches thick. Place each slice onto a cooling rack. Dumplings may be kept warm to serve immediately. To do this, keep dumplings warm using a steamer or in a colander suspended over boiling water. The dumplings freeze well. To freeze, cool slices completely and place into a freezer-safe container. To layer dumplings to fit into the container, place waxed paper or parchment between each layer. To reheat frozen dumplings, remove from freezer and place desired amount of slices on a cookie sheet. Thaw completely. Reheat in a steamer or colander suspended over boiling water until heated through. Dumplings can also be reheated in a microwave, but they lose some of their fluffy texture. Makes approximately 20 dumpling slices.