I grew up in a family of six: Daddy and Mommie, older brother and two older sisters. (We got two more brothers after Mommie passed away, and Daddy married Nana.)
Mommie was a working woman. She taught Special Education at Loma Linda Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas. But our family still had home cooked meals almost every day. In fact, going out to eat was reserved for special occassions. As we girls got older, we shared the dinner cooking duties. For this, I am eternally grateful. All of us know our way around a kitchen!
Mommie made up many recipes. She used whatever was on sale, in the kitchen cabinets or in the backyard garden. All of her creations were tasty. One thing that I remember about childhood was that homemade desserts were rare. Oh sure, we had the occassional cake made from a mix. Even more rarely, we had a homemade Sweet Potato Pie or Pound Cake. But we all knew we'd hit the jackpot when Mommie made Raisin Dumplings!
I know, I know.... you are all wondering, "What the heck are Raisin Dumplings?" So, to answer your question,
Made from humble ingredients, these tender and tasty morsels made us feel loved. (And we WERE loved!)For some strange reason, I am the only daughter that actually knows how to make these. I think that they are actually quite easy to make. (I do cheat with refrigerated pie crust dough for the dumplings, though)
My Daddy and brother in law prefer them warm and served with vanilla icecream. My oldest brother and sister prefer them after cooled and chilled in the fridge. As for me.... I like them any way I can get them. Although, I admit that I rarely eat more than a spoonful as they are very rich and delightfully sweet.
I made these for Daddy and Nana last week during their visit. They were happy. So was my brother in law. He's hooked, too.
I hope you will try this recipe. Let me know what you think!
Raisin Dumplings (adapted from Dorothy's Raisin Dumplings)
1 15 oz. Box Raisins
4-6 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1 stick butter (no margarine)
1 pkg. refrigerator pie crusts, in pieces
1/4 c. heavy cream
Measure first 8 ingredients into a heavy bottomed sauce pan, using enough water to cover the raisins by two inches.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occassionally until raisins are plump and tender.
Return mixture to a gentle boil. Drop crust pieces in slowly, stirring gently. Cook until mushiness leaves dough, and mixture thickens.
Remove from heat. Stir in heavy cream. (Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools)
Allow to cool until just warm. Serve in bowls with a good vanilla icecream.