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Kumla…not your ordinary dumpling

My Mother was very adventurous in her rural Iowa kitchen.  She loved to cook traditional Bohemian dishes from my Father’s family; German, Dutch and Norwegian dishes from friends and family.

I don’t know where my Mother discovered Kumla but it is a hearty dish that will warm the cockles of your heart.  A mandatory nap following consumption of Kumla may be appropriate.  It all begins with homemade ham broth.  Potato dumplings are made from raw, grated potatoes and boiled in the broth.  Traditionally, the dumplings are dipped in a dollop of butter.

While I have eaten Kumla for 50+ years, I did not know the history.  After surfing the web, I learned it is a traditional Swedish/Norwegian dish often served during the holidays with butter or with lingonberry.

KUMLA

peeled potatoes, ground with fine grinder
salt
1 egg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
flour

  • Place ham in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer the ham about 2 hours. Remove the ham, and skim any foam off the broth.  I like to cool and the refrigerate the broth overnight and skim off any fat before proceeding.
  • Finely grate or grind potatoes. Sprinkle well with salt and work through potatoes. Let set 5-10 minutes. Press moisture out by placing potato mixture into a sieve to remove the starch. Discard starch.
Kumla–grating the potatoes
  • Add egg and baking powder. Work in all the flour that you can until firm and not sticky.
Kumla–roll into small balls
  • Drop by teaspoon full in boiling ham broth in heavy metal pot. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Test Kumla by cutting one in half.
  • Serve hot. Traditionally we dip dumplings in butter. Even better when they are warmed up!

Perhaps Kumla will become a favorite for your family!  If you are already a Kumla lover, what is your story?

My Roots

Cooking from the heart

Once upon a time, a little girl named Cathy sat in her Mother’s kitchen in rural Iowa, watching her Mother make amazing dinners every night with items from the garden or raised on their farm.  The smell of baking bread, when walking through the door after school, is forever engrained in my memory.  My Mother would tell stories about the food she was preparing and memories of her childhood and my Grandmother’s cooking.

I come from a long line of great cooks who cooked from the heart.  A pinch of this. A pinch of that.  My Mother was one of six children raised in a 5 room home.  Grandma Susie cooked all of her meals over a wood cookstove with all water coming from a water pump.  Just think what she could do with today’s conveniences.

Recipes and sharing of recipes is truly a gift for our families.  It brings us together to create memories and traditions.  Even in the hustle bustle of career and family commitments, this is a tradition I hold dear.

After several years, I compiled a cookbook for my family and close friends including my favorite recipes and short memories of many dishes.  Little did I know that my daughters would cherish these comments. The picture below is the cover of my cookbook and captures daughters Megan and Sarah helping to make a cake when they were little girls.  They loved to be a part of the process, especially when it came to a dessert and licking the bowl.

In addition, I started a family Christmas newsletter several years ago that always included a special recipe.  Friends and family have commented each year about how much they look forward to the newsletter and have adopted recipes shared as some of their favorites.

After retiring last year from a corporate sales leadership position, my daughters encouraged me to take my stories and recipes to the web.  I hope that you will join me on this journey and become an active part of this website and discussion.  What stories can you recall from wonderful aromas and occasions in your family?  What stories and traditions is your family weaving?