31 May 2009

Homesick Comfort Food @ Home

My mom visited us a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't be more excited. Of course I was very very very *very* excited to meet her off the plane in Spokane, but I was also salivating the entire time she was en route since she brought me a Cream Sausage from Jim's Meat Market.

It's not that I hate food in the Pac NW, but their idea of meat is usually not fatty (where the flavor is) and is generally pretty dry and tasteless. Alright, I hate it. With a passion. But when you grow up in the metro area made famous by Upton Sinclair's famous novel about meat production, what can you do? You can't fight city hall, people.

When I was just a wee little brat, my mom used to make cream sausage (otherwise known as breakfast sausage, but we're quite the breakfast-for-dinner family) and fruit dumplings for dinner, complete with melted butter for drizzling and cottage cheese. Whenever I get a cold or the flu, the first thing I think of is that meal, and I have to say, living in the land of tasteless meat, I really suffer through my sickness. I was so psyched that my mom bought a cream sausage to transport for this purpose, and even more psyched that she agreed to show me how to make her awesome fruit dumplings. They're quite simple it turns out, but really, I still think my mom is the greatest cook in the world. Isn't that how moms are supposed to be???

Early on in her trip planning, my mom assumed she would have some difficulties transporting a sausage in her carrying bag (it probably looks suspicious inside a bag) so when she told me the folks at O'Hare International (or was it Midway? I forget) put her sausage through a screening and it came out thawed from frozen, I wasn't surprised. Luckily, the sausage survived her harrowing journey and we were able to consume it after the 70 mile trek back to Pullman from Spokane. I might have melted down if it had spoiled. And then snuck inside her luggage so I could fly back and get another.

So here, ladies and gents, is my mother's famous fruit dumpling recipe for your enjoyment. May the tastiness be with you.

Snooty Snark's Fruit Dumplings
Recipe source: Judy Lynn Clark


1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tbl. butter
2 c. flour, sifted
2 eggs
About 1 can peaches (mine was 13 oz), drained

1. Bring milk, water, salt and butter to a boil. Remove from heat and quickly add flour. Let cool.

2. Add eggs and mix until dough is soft and smooth. Roll thinly with rolling pin on a floured surface.

3. Cut into 2 in. squares and place fruit in the middle. Enclose in dough.

4. Heat a quart of water and slowly place three dumplings at a time in water, removing once they rise to the top. Serve with melted butter for drizzling (and preferably with sausage and cottage cheese for an awesome unhealthy but satisfying meal).

My beautiful mother. She's blushing right now reading this, but she truly is a striking woman. Too bad she wouldn't let me get her face!

Dumpling dough before it was worked through. Looks like spaetzle.

Ready for folding and boiling.

Soooo ready for consumption with melted butter drizzled on top.

Dear Jim's Meat Market, I love you. Will you deliver? Kthxbai.

25 May 2009

Garden Update

While my mom was here, we spent a day planting in my garden. I know I got this from my mother, but I love digging around in the dirt. There's something satisfying about plunging your hands into a pile of dirt and not caring what your nails look like, not caring about the dirt all over your pants and face, and finally, the finished product. The lovely part about spring in my little valley is that everything grows in and over the entire house (that is, while it's still all effortlessly green). It looks like a secret garden, making it feel as if we have no neighbors.

I'll blog the names and specifics of the plants once they pan out, as one never knows what will make it through the dry weather. For now, enjoy the domesticated wild!

The Breakfast Club in Moscow, Idaho

My mom was in town this past week, and since I'm usually chained to my kitchen without her, it was wonderful to be able to eat out a couple of times. Since the popular breakfast place in Pullman is The Old European, I had to suggest The Breakfast Club in Moscow. The Old European tries the fancy breakfast thing, but it's never good and always expensive. Not only that, but on more than one occasion I've witnessed various objects being found in people's food. Like those twisty ties that keep bread sleeves closed. And Band-Aids.

The Breakfast Club in Moscow has always been pretty good quality breakfast, and I'm a sucker for their huckleberry zucchini bread. While their coffee is mediocre at best, the bread never disappoints.

My mom ordered the huckleberry stuffed french toast. She was a big fan of the honey cream inside the french toast, and the huckleberries were very fresh.

Ian ordered the breakfast platter, which included a little baby loaf of the huckleberry zucchini bread. Ian wasn't a fan of their hash browns, complaining they weren't crispy enough (I don't share this opinion).

I ordered the Veggie Benedict, which I've decided is my favorite. I used to order the chicken fried steak because the sausage gravy and the perfectly cooked steak were heavenly, but I can't deny how wonderful the hollandaise sauce is at the Breakfast Club. I usually order the sauce on the side because it's hit or miss, but I was a little too lost in conversation to request this time. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how creamy the hollandaise sauce was, and my eggs were PERFECT, a rarity on the Palouse.

We left the Breakfast Club happy and ready to end up...at the hobby shop, where my mom bought me a plastic chicken with a squeezable egg that comes out of its, ahem, end. We're weird.

The Breakfast Club
501 S. Main St.
Moscow, Idaho 83843
(208) 882-6481