It’s Apple Dumpling Time!

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.

4 comments for “It’s Apple Dumpling Time!

  1. October 23, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Ohhh mannn… they look so good! I had one for breakfast on Saturday at Ali and Thad’s. They add milk to theirs; I always drown mine in butter. Yum! There’s just nothing better than an apple dumpling.

  2. Mary
    October 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

    It is so rewarding to help out a community effort. Those pictures make me hungry for an apple dumpling.

  3. October 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

    They look absolutely delicious! Um… I’ve never had an apple dumpling and don’t know what they are. What’s inside (a whole apple?, chopped apple?) How long do you bake them? See, there really is a first time for everything…!

  4. Cathy
    October 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Oh, Rose, you are in for a treat! We keep our apples whole, although I have known others to chop them for quicker cooking. We use an apple that will keep its form, Rome or JonnaGold, I think. Macintosh will collapse. We fill the cavity with a brown sugar, cinnamon mix. You might like to add nuts, too. The syrup is brown sugar and water. We pour the syrup over the pastry-covered apples and bake for about an hour at 375. I am sure you can find excellent recipes online. Amelia slathers a warm dumpling with butter(!), Thad and Ali serve with milk, and there is nothing wrong with dumplings ala mode!

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