Who knew that a simple dish of dumplings would lead to my friends pleading to be invited to a private cooking lesson featuring dumplings? According to a popular dictionary, dumplings are small lumps of dough cooked by steaming, boiling or frying usually eaten with meat in soup. Of course my definition of a dumpling; savory or sweet deliciousness wrapped by another important layer of yumminess; is no where technical correct in culinary nor laymen terms.
As a child I associated dumplings with chicken or peaches; yes opposite food groups. To explain, my mother would make chicken and dumplings sometimes for dinner when I was younger. As you know my palate was "unrefined" thus I refused to eat those meals and decidedly went to bed hungry. From a child's view the sight of lumps which accompanied meat was not my idea of a meal. For those who may think I hurt my mother's feelings by being stubborn and refusing to eat are wrong. The mottoes of "try it once," " no dessert if your meal isn't eaten" and "eat what is cooked or don't eat at all" were the leading mantras at the dining table.
However, once dumplings were presented with baked peaches, nutmeg, and sugar I hurriedly pulled up my chair to the dining room table. That gooey lump of dough surrounded by spiced peaches became a dessert which I dared not resist. Mercifully, my mom did not prepare chicken and dumplings on those nights or I would have had a melt down somewhere under the dining room table. Now all grown up I make Peachy Dumplings, a quick rendition of my childhood dessert. Often, when I'm in town an unnamed friend's father will mention he has cans of peaches waiting for me in the pantry.