Tag Archives: Apple Dumplings

Pumpkin Bread and Other Things I LOVE About Fall

I think there are many reasons I love fall. The reprieve from the intense heat of summer. The colors. The hint of fun and joyful family time to come. Things seem to slow down or have the illusion of slowing down, anyway. So many things that make it a favorite time of year.

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Pumpkins. Pumkins, pumkins, pumpkins.

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Crisp Apples. Apple Crisp. Apple Dumplings. Apple Pie. Homemade Applesauce.

Our home, decorated in the rich and vibrant colors of the season. Warm and inviting.

Gardening and potting flowers. I know, only in Arizona. Our reward for surviving the summer.

Carving Pumpkins. Halloween Parties. Trick-or-Treating. Marshmallow Ghost Peeps. Ninja Turtles, Skeletons, Zom-Bees and Zombies.

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Thanksgiving right around the corner.

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And Pumpkin Bread. Not just any pumpkin bread, the best pumpkin bread ever.

E.V.E.R.

Well we think so anyway.

Here is the recipe, originally posted last fall …

Real Good” Pumpkin Bread.

One of my very first posts in fact. And while a few things have changed since then, like the fact that I don’t eat sugar or much wheat anymore, it is still one of my favorite things to make as a treat for the rest of my family or a gift for someone special.

I have found some pretty tasty gluten and sugar free pumpkin recipes but there is really no substitute. Thankfully, I still enjoy the incredible aroma that fills the house with each loaf.

Okay, and a little taste once in a while.

Okay, and I ate a mini-Baby Ruth or two out of the kid’s Halloween Candy. Mostly sugar and gluten free. Mostly.

Happy fall, everyone!

Now go make some Pumpkin Bread!

And watch out for Zom-Bees.

They love Pumpkin Bread you know.

 

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Grandma Ibby’s Apple Dumplings

My Grandma Ibby, age 22 circa 1942.

My Grandma Ibby, age 22 circa 1942.

Apple dumplings are traditionally a wedge of apple sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and wrapped in a biscuit type dough which is then baked in a rich simple syrup that does magical things in the oven. My grandmother’s dumplings are unique in that the apples are diced and the dough is rolled up and sliced in cinnamon roll fashion. I truly can think of no way to describe to you how special these perfect apple dumplings are. You simply have to try them and judge for yourself. When you have regained your faculties and are once again able to communicate, I would love to know how you liked them.

Grandma Ibby’s Apple Dumplings

Dumpling Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk or Half and Half
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Table Salt
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon

Dumpling Syrup

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter

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Directions

Dice apples into small pieces so they are easy to roll up in the dough. Toss with 1 tsp. Cinnamon and set aside.

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In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and milk and whisk until well blended and smooth. Add in the baking soda and salt and mix well. Sift together and add the baking powder, flour and sugar.

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Mix until combined and dough just starts to come together, do not over work the dough. Dough will be sticky. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into a rectangular shape about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

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Cover with the cinnamon apples.

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Carefully roll like you would for a jelly roll or cinnamon rolls. Flour your hands and be gentle with the delicate dough.

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Cut into 1 inch slices and place in a buttered baking dish.

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I ended up with 11 but probably should have gotten 12. Oh well, bigger dumplings.

Dumpling Syrup …

Combine the granulated and brown sugars and 2 tablespoons of flour and to the mixture, add 1 cup of boiling water and 2 tablespoons of butter, diced.

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Mix until sugar is dissolved and butter has melted.

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Pour syrup over dumplings.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until dumplings are golden brown and bubbly.

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When serving, be sure to drizzle a little syrup from the baking dish over each dumpling.

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Amazing is one of the most over used descriptive words in the writing world.

These apple dumplings are A – M – A – Z – I – N – G!

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It is okay to lick the plate. I won’t tell.

Preserving Family Memories, Stories and Recipes

I come from women I am proud of. Women whom I love dearly and are such a part of who I am. And the women who came before them; women that I never knew personally but feel a love for and a connection with through the memories that have been shared, the wonderful stories I have heard and the incredible food I have eaten all my life.

Not perfect women but strong, loving and faithful women none the less. Women who worked hard and never quit. Women who found joy and made the most of what they had, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Many, the wives and daughters of farmers and loggers in the Pacific Northwest. Women who pulled meals together everyday to feed countless crews that worked hard and needed to eat hearty; maybe that is why I love to feed people, it is in my DNA. Sturdy French peasant stock as my husband likes to joke. He may be teasing me but in truth, he is right; not entirely French peasant but adding the whole mix of heritage would be too complicated.

I come from mothers and grandmothers who’s cooking and baking filled their kitchens with warm and welcoming scents. Scents that have become synonymous with home and nurture. Scents that linger still, swirling through the memories of their children and the recollections that have been passed down; generation to generation.

I am truly thankful to know where I come from, who I come from. And I am blessed to have heard so many stories of an earlier time and to have countless photos and recipes to go along with those stories. At this point in my life, it has become very important to me to remember the women who came before by preserving their stories and recipes for my family, for my children and for the children to come. And if I can share them with others who enjoy stories of food and family and a good recipe or two, all the better.

Many of these recipes and stories will come from the life of my Grandma Ibby (short for Elizabeth), my mother’s mother; the wife of a Gyppo Logger on the Yak River at Hell Roaring Creek above Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho. That, however, is only part of her story, only a part of who she was; but that is where I will start.

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My grandmother raised four children in many a harsh and remote location and she cooked incredible meals, for a lot of people, with no electricity and no running water. Propane fueled the stove she used and powered the refrigerator and once a week my grandfather would fire up the generator so she could run her mixer and bake. Water had to be hauled in daily to fill two galvanized tubs, bucket by bucket from a creek about a quarter mile away.

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My mom (in the back) uncles and aunt, circa 1954

Very early, every weekday morning, my grandmother arose to prepare breakfast for her family and a 6 man logging crew and to lay out meats, cheeses, bread, sides, fruit, and homemade cookies, brownies and treats for the lunches the crews would pack to take to the job site. When the men returned in the evening, they would be welcomed by the hot meal my grandmother had ready and waiting for them.

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Grandma Ibby, circa 1956

These meals are before my time and are the childhood memories of my mother. Even so, I can picture the bounty of them placed along the long wooden table of the cookshack. I can picture the comfort they brought as a hardworking logging crew began to unwind over a meal that certainly nourished more than their hungry stomachs and weary bodies.

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My grandfather on his Skagit loader, circa 1957.

My mom is back for a visit and has brought with her a wooden recipe box containing many of my Grandmother’s recipe cards. In her handwriting. I lost my grandmother in 1986, when I was just 15. To me, that box is filled with treasure.

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The process of compiling stories, photos and recipes for this family cookbook has been shared with my mom and has made for some very special moments. With each recipe card we pulled from that plain brown box, came a story and a connection to the past. The shared history of mother and daughter.

 “Oooh, here is grandma’s gingerbread recipe. I remember coming home from school to a house permeated with the smell of that gingerbread. The house was big and open but not fancy; it was warm and it seemed as if that smell lingered in every corner. I could hardly wait for that piece of gingerbread dolloped with whipped cream.”

And then the hunt for the apple dumpling recipe.

“Oh, we have to find her apple dumpling recipe, you have to include those! The first time I ever had these apple dumplings was when we lived in Lincoln, Montana; I was about six or seven (which would have been about 1951-’52). I remember grandma struggling with the dough a little bit when she rolled them, but she made them for us anyway because they were delicious and we loved them.”

We did find the recipe, and made them this weekend. There is not one left. I am still trying to stop dreaming about them.

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Just the other day, as my mom and I continued to talk over these recipes and the memories they contain, she casually mentioned to me “you know, I have a box with your great-grandmother LeFebre’s recipes in it. Do you want that one too?”

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My great-grandmother May LeFebre, circa 1958

Yes. A thousand times, yes!

“Yes, mom. I would like to have that one too.”

Please visit again tomorrow for my Grandma Ibby’s Apple Dumpling Recipe. These dumplings are unlike any apple dumpling you may have had before and something you have to try for yourself because I really can’t begin to describe to you how incredible they are and I can’t wait to share them with you.