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Mrs. Jensen’s Apple Dumplings

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I’ve never been to Utah and Mrs. Jensen isn’t really making me want to go.  In theory, I was really looking forward to this recipe from Clementine Paddleford’s The Great American Cookbook.

I mean, really, how much more all-American can you get than apples and dumplings.

Apples, butter, sugar, lemon juice, and water.

I just think that maybe some vanilla or cinnamon might be in order.

As for the dumplings, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, and half-and-half.  You can’t really beat that.

I do love the transformative nature, though.

I think I would have been more pleased with them if the dumplings had browned a little and the sauce had gotten a bit more syrupy.  Fortunately, everything does taste better with whipped cream.

A word or two about my gold dishes:  Growing up this was our china.  Every holiday these came out of the hutch.  And by hutch I mean shelves in the kitchen that I think my brother made in IA.  For you young’uns, that’s Industrial Arts.

Ten or so years ago I beat out my four eldest siblings for the honor of claiming these family heirlooms.  It went something like this:  Mon, nobody else wants them, can you come pick them up.  At the time I think my mom lived in Maine and I was in Ohio.   Maybe I was in Pennsylvania.  I can’t quite remember, but somehow half of them ended up at my cousin’s house in Massachusetts.  Said cousin then moved from Lynn to Danvers and it took a few years for me to get them from her attic.  I’ve had the complete set for at least four or five years, but my mother continues to ask me at least once a year if I ever bothered to gather them up.  Trust me, my cousin was not trying to retain them.  She doesn’t cook and she has told me on more than one occasion, while laughing out loud, that they are the ugliest dishes ever and she can’t imagine why I would want to drag them all over the eastern seaboard.

Sorry, I jumped a little ahead.  As a child, I vaguely remember the arrival of these beauties.   In my head, they arrived over time, and that translated into green stamps or the completer set you pick up at the grocery store.  They have a ’76 on them, so I couldn’t make up their age if I tried.  I finally asked my mom last week where the heck they came from.  She assured me it was not the gas station or the local IGA.  Apparently, the father of my friend Michael from down the street used to work at Federal Glass.  My mom used to babysit him and that’s how his parents paid her, hence the piecemeal delivery.

I Googled Federal Glass and found my pattern.  It turns out that it is called Madrid Amber, which sounds so much nicer than gold dishes.  A few pieces have met their demise over time, but for the most part I have 12 settings, including candlesticks and a few serving pieces, along with the creamer and sugar bowl.  Not all of the pieces are high-priced, but the dinner plates are going for $139 at the moment.

That’s right.  I immediately texted my cousin to inform her of my family fortune, to which she replied:  I still think they are ugly.  Oddly, she said the babysitting story made them more interesting.  Of course that may have been sarcasm, that sort of runs in the family.

Also, you should know, even though I didn’t love this dessert, Jake had seconds.

Eat Well and Savor.




About Monica

A court reporter who likes to cook, and travel, and go to the spa, and read, and spoil her dog.

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