I am reading a hilarious (and useful) book right now: The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection. It was published in 1967 and has recently been reprinted in the Modern Library Food series, chosen by Ruth Reichl. It is both funny* and very thought-provoking. The author, Robert Farrar Capon, is a chef who is also an Anglican priest. The book "speaks not only about cooking, but... what cooking is about." And the last hundred pages are all recipes. He gives instructions about "ferial cooking", the ordinary day-to-day, economical cooking we do, as opposed to "festal cooking". It all fits in nicely with what I have been thinking about lately regarding meat: that it is to be treasured and used wisely.
And here is a clever recipe idea that is not much in fashion any more: dumplings in a soup. They make the soup more hearty and it's easy to mix them up while the soup is coming to the boil. Then they get dropped into the simmering pot and cooked for 10 or 15 minutes in the bubbling soup. The recipe made more dumplings than I had space for in the saucepan, so I cooked the rest in the steamer basket of the rice cooker. The steamed dumplings kept their shape better, but the soup ones were tastier.
adapted from The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection by Robert Farrar Capon
makes about 25 dumplings
1 c (120 g) whole wheat flour
1/2 c (65 g) plain flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 T chopped fresh parsley
3 T butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 c (190 ml) (approximately) milk
Mix together the flours, baking powder, salt, and parsley.
Cut in the butter, as for pastry, and use your hands to make a mixture resembling cornmeal with small pea-sized lumps of butter.
Add the milk--just enough to make a dough that you can shape into balls.
Make the dumplings using damp hands, or just drop by spoonfuls into hot soup.
Boil (or steam) for 10 - 15 minutes.
* One proof of funniness: When describing a certain recipe, Capon says, "Its taste is beautiful.... Its consistency is, admittedly, a little forbidding: It is not unlike a young and tender shoe heel.... If you are any lover of food at all, you will find yourself whittling off little pieces to dissolve on your tongue at odd times of the day."