Sunday, December 7, 2008

Be my dumpling

"Three is a magic number
ya it is, it's a magic number
Somewhere in that ancient mystic trinity
You'll get three
As a magic number
The past, the present, the future,
Faith, and hope, and charity,
the heart, the brain, the body,
will give you three,
it's a magic number"

--Three is a Magic Number, Blind Melon

I went on a journey today, a-wandering through the snowy woods. I tread lightly in elk skin moccasins strapped to snowshoes, listening for the tap and crunch of mallet onto steel and steel into hardwood. Blue sky above. Blinding white below. Into soft powder, steadily, my heart fluttering like the last remaining leaf.

At last, I saw you, a patch of red flannel on the far side of the old fence line, amber syrup flowing into your pail. I took a long, slow look, breathed you in. A hawk cried out as I neared. You turned, looked up, closed your eyes, breathed in the wingbeat. Your lips, icy and hot, find my weakness. Our breath rises.

I take your empty thermos and trade it for a full one. The coffee is good, you say. Good and hot and perfect. Just what a man needs to make it 'round the next bend. Back at the sugar house I stuff the black metal full of heavy oak and stoke the pot belly to glowing. I press my hands into the dough and roll it smooth and thin and soft as skin.

My knife slips deep as I core sweet apples, fill them with maple sugar and butter, wrap them in a sweet pastry blanket. Three pastry leaves top each one, the ancient mystic trinity. Faith, hope, and charity. I whisper you home, 'round the bend, back through the snowy woods, back to me.

Apple dumplings

I had so much fun making these apple dumplings today. Whether it's bread dough or pastry, I love the feel and texture of dough -- especially rolling it out, kneading it, and cutting out shapes. As I was cutting out the leaves and using my knife to make little veins down the center, I realized I was automatically cutting three and that I had made six apple dumplings. I took a photo -- they came out just as I'd hoped. Before I knew it, I was singing "Three is a Magic Number" and off on a mind journey through the woods as I mixed the maple syrup, sugar and butter and cinnamon. This recipe is from The Pie and Pastry Bible, one of the greatest cookbooks of all time. This recipe is so good that I can't find one to include here that is anything close. In fact, author Rose Beranbaum has an amazing cooking blog. Oh wow. Seville Oranges. Well, off on another journey!


Neve Black said...

Are you sure you won't marry me? Home cooking. Home baking. Fun, cute, creative, a writer! And need I mention plenty of ooh, la, la?


Nice post. :-)

p.s. Spam word is splions. I'm feeling splionic b/c Kirsten won't marry me. haha.

Kirsten Monroe said...

Hi Neve,

You made my day, you!

I wish I could beam you a dumpling. They were tasty -- hot with whipped cream. Mmmm.

How about we just run off to Paris or Brazil -- eat and play and take bubble baths :)Then when my godawful snoring gets to you, you can send me home!