My Oma lived in a beautiful, big old Victoria house. In the backyard was a huge yellow cherry tree who's branches reached past the second story of the house. Now, there were two ways to get into that tree, obviously one was to climb it which was a challenge in itself. The second was to walk out onto the second story balcony off the bathroom, climb over the railing & grab onto a branch. My cousins & I were not a bunch of sissies, so naturally we opted for climbing off the balcony. To this day I am amazed that none of us ever fell & were seriously hurt, oh there were a few times when someone fell or got stuck in the tree & could not get down, but for the most part we just sat on our favorite branches & ate cherries looking like a bunch of monkeys. To us this was a perfect summer day.
No matter what we did at Oma's house we had a blast! There were all kinds of places inside & out to explore. Inside there was a creepy third floor attic (that we were not allowed in) & an even creepier basement (that we were really not allowed in). We went into the attic at night when we were suppose to be asleep, but try as we might we never got up the nerve to go into the basement at night. Down in the basement there was a fruit cellar with dozens of jars filled with a variety of canned fruits & veggies. We pretended it was the laboratory & the jars were filled with body parts. Now your probably wondering where a bunch of little kids got an idea like this...I am not pointing fingers, but Oma's favorite show was the Twilight Zone & we loved to watch it with her. As a matter of fact, she loved watching all horror movies.
I thought my Oma was perfect & that she was magic & could do anything. She was always happy & laughing. She also never locked her doors which could be kind of scary especially if you just finished watching Alfred Hitchcock presents & it was time for bed! But I adored spending the night at her house.
I remember spending hours watching & helping her in the kitchen, she was amazing. She would take a handful of simple ingredients & create the most delicious dishes. She never used a recipe so you had to watch as she added a little of this, a pinch of that & maybe just a touch more sugar, she always knew what to add & when it was perfect. My favorite were her plum dumplings.
My Oma died when I was 10 years old, in the spring just as the cherry tree was starting to bloom. That was a long time ago, but I can still see her laughing with an apron tied around her waist, elbow deep in dough, doing what she loved. I still miss her every day. Over the years I have tried to make plum dumplings as good as my Oma's & I finally realized that there is one ingredient missing......Oma's love.

this is as close as I can come to Oma's plum dumplings......

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes ( about 5 medium potatoes)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
approximately 2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 small purple plums
1/2 stick butter, melted

Peel & cut the potatoes into chunks.
Boil until tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the 1 tsp cinnamon with the 1/2 cup sugar.
Set aside.

Cut open the plums & remove the pit.

Replace the pit with a cube of sugar & a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Set aside!

When the potatoes are done, pass them through a ricer & let cool.
Put on a large pot of water (with a little salt) to boil.
Add the eggs & salt to the cooled potatoes & mix well. Work in enough flour to make a firm, smooth dough.

Tear off a hunk of the dough & form it into a flat cake large enough the encase the entire plum, place the plum in the center of the dough & bring up all sides, taking care to seal all the seams (you may need to wet your fingertips).

When all of the plums are done, drop them into the boiling water, about 4 or 5 at a time. The dumplings will float to the surface, but continue to cook them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon to a warm plate.

Continue until all dumplings are cooked.

Melt & brown the butter to serve over the dumplings with the cinnamon sugar.

I also like to fry the dumplings in the browned butter.

Thanks Oma!


  1. Anonymous10/28/2009

    what a great story, Monica! Thanks for sharing.



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