Friday, October 31, 2008

Charleston Cuisine: A Heavy Dinner

Here's a line from Louis Osteen's recipe for herbed dumplings: "Add the chilled butter, working it into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but smaller than a lima bean."

That's a line that makes me fawn over a cookbook. The dumplings themselves were mediocre, but maybe that's the nature of dumplings.

In Marilynne Robinson's new novel, Home, there's a passage about dumplings that I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to find so I'm going to quote it:

"The dumplings were tacky on the outside and doughy on the inside, but that might just be how they are, she thought. How they have always been. Her father said, 'Excellent,' and ate one.

Jack said, 'There's really nothing like a good dumpling.'

'Except a bad one,' she said.

He laughed. 'True, they are pretty similar.'"

Here's a picture of my wicked-ugly rendition of Osteen's dumpling-like herb dumplings:

My father-in-law, David, arrived for a visit yesterday and the rains started for real. I made a huge dinner. In addition to dumplings:

-Osteen's short ribs. Usually you serve short ribs straight out of the braising pot, but Osteen has you remove them from the sauce, let them dry a bit, then top with a puree of braised onions and egg yolks. Broil until crusty. Fabulous. 

-Stewed apples. See top photo. Painfully sweet, but kind of great. Reminded me of something. I lay in bed later trying to figure out what it was, and finally got it: the apple cobbler that came in fried chicken TV dinners circa 1978.

-Butterscotch pudding. Rich.

David asked to be in the blog. I guess he wants to be famous. So here he is.

4 comments:

  1. i can't comment because i was not included in the blog at all so i am not going to be mean.

    ReplyDelete
  2. this is david. i want to be famous. therefore, i am asking each reader to get two new readers AND to ask each of the new readers to get one more.w/ such an expanded readership my goal will be attained. thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i just posted one of my favorite posts on facebook, so with the wonders of social networking, your wish may come true very quickly! i hope you're ready.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Melvil Dewey10/31/08, 12:53 PM

    I hope your father-in-law got enough to eat. Good thing he wasn't there on the duck confit night--he might have started to eat the new sheetrock in your addition.

    ReplyDelete