My Grandma (dad’s mom) died when I was six. I don’t remember much of her, just bits and pieces. I don’t honestly know how much I remember and how much has been told to me through the years. The lines are rather blurry. The one thing I do have of hers is the apple dumpling recipe she used to make all the time. It is so sad when recipes like this get lost in time – just this week I purchased an estate lot of handwritten recipes off eBay. Someone’s kids probably didn’t want them and sent them to auction – maybe I will find some good ones. If not, just the idea of someone hand writing these recipes is amazing… just like the recipe notebooks Grandma used to have.
What made me think about writing this post was one year at Christmas, I remember her and grandpa had come to our house. I remember it was night because I had my nightgown on. I had this doll named Elizabeth that I carried everywhere. One of my gifts was a brand new dress for baby Elizabeth… and it matched the exact dress grandma had on. Now that I am older, I know that she used to sew all her clothes and probably had fabric left to make the dress. But, back then I thought it was so amazingly awesome that my doll had a dress that matched grandma’s. I remember it was blue with small yellow flowers on it. Heck, it’s probably still ON Elizabeth at my mom’s house.
There are several memories that stick out in my head. One of the biggest is baking pies. I am not sure why we were– if it was near a holiday or what. I just remember spending the entire day with her in the kitchen making pie crust. I can’t even remember what kind of pies they were. We had leftover crust, so she let me make a little pie in one of those pot pie foil pans for my Aunt Cathy. I remember we left it out on the counter for her because she wasn’t going to be home until late and that I was extremely concerned she wouldn’t see it. Aunt Cathy, do you remember?
I remember going to the local meat market with her to buy beef for beef and noodles. My grandma was very short– I don’t remember exactly how tall. I just remember she drove this brown Chevette and could barely see over the wheel. I would ride in the front seat with her to the meat place. (Back then, we didn’t wear seat belts.) We would get there and she would know the butcher by name. They would talk and I would walk around and look at the meat in the cases. She would buy her beef and then we would head home to make beef and noodles. With real noodles… that she made. She made her dumplings from scratch too.
Grandma used to drink coffee all the time. She would always give me graham crackers for snack. ALWAYS the kind with the cinnamon sugar, not the plain kind. She would pour my pop in a coffee cup and we would sit at the kitchen table with one of those oil cloth tablecloths and dunk our graham crackers in our “coffee.”
I remember her sitting at the same table writing down recipes in these little notebooks. She would store them in the cupboard by the hallway. Every recipe she had was in these little books. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of these.
Grandma and Pop used to square dance. I remember all her pretty dresses and puffy slips she wore hanging in her closet.
When my brother was born– right before grandma died– she used to call him Boss Hog because he was a chunky baby. She would always say she was going to get him a white suit and cowboy hat. I don’t know if she ever did.
These handful of memories are what I have of my grandma. I also have an apple dumpling recipe that everyone swears to me my grandma made. The funny thing is, I never remember her making them. I remember my grandpa making them… out of the red notebook. So, she must have.
So, I am going to share it with the world… or at least my readers.
Memories of Grandma & THE Apple Dumpling Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 apples peeled and cored, sliced
- 1-1/2 cups sugar syrup
- 1-1/2 cups water syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg syrup
- Combine crust ingredients together to form dough.
- Roll out with rolling pin.
- Cut dough into four equal portions.
- Place 1 apple (sliced) in the center of each dough piece.
- Pull dough around apple and press dough to seal.
- Place the four apple dumplings in a small baking dish.
- Bring sugar, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg to boil.
- Pour syrup over dumplings and bake for 35 minutes at 375ºF.
- Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
There you have it… THE apple dumpling recipe.