Written by Cathy
We’ve been writing a lot about what we like about fall. Well, I shared in another autumn pleasure last Thursday. It was apple dumpling time!
I am fortunate to have been adopted by the community where I taught for many years. Our little library has as its annual fundraiser, an apple dumpling sale. So it is that on this beautiful autumn day about 20 volunteers gathered in the community center to assemble these delicious autumnal delights. Before sunrise, some volunteers had started mixing dough. A few men manned the apple peelers. There were volunteers who cooked the syrup and others who measured out the sugar mixture that would fill the apples.
My job? I was one of the dough rollers. Manned with my trusty old rolling pin, I dug right in and with the rest of my cohorts, we put our shoulders to the task.
The beauty of community efforts is just that–it is communal in every sense of the word. Over the pressing of pastry or the simmering of syrup, we share stories about our families, our concerns, our joys. The kitchen was filled with the soft murmur of conversations punctuated with laughter or teasing calls to keep up. The background music was the songs of our youth, Connie Francis crooning “Where the Boys Are” or the Platters “Only You”
(of course, I was only a baby when these were popular!). Not infrequently, we would sing along with a favorite tune. At midday, we sat together to enjoy a hearty lunch prepared by a few generous friends.
Henry Ford would be pleased with the productivity of our assembly line. By mid-afternoon, we had reached our goal–about 700 dumplings were waiting their turn in the ovens.
I’m just a tiny cog in the smooth running machinery of this tight community group. Most have known each other for years. They have worked so long together that everyone just falls into step. But newcomers are always welcomed and made to feel indispensable. That is what I feel when I work with these dedicated folks.
Oh, and the dumplings are delicious.
Apple Dumpling Dough Recipe:
4 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/3 c shortening
1 c milk
Combine in blender or food processor just until dough forms a ball.
Our next project–Opera Fudge. If you haven’t tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s an old-fashioned, butter-rich, creamy filling hand-dipped in dark chocolate. I’m getting ready.