Tuesday Treats & Titles: Chickasaw Grape Dumplings

This year is fading into the New Year. It’s a time to look back while making plans for the future. There comfort in tradttions and this recipe is an old one handed down generation to generation. Grape dumplings were traditionally made from the wild “possum grapes” that hung from vines on trees throughout the Chickasaw Homeland of Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. This traditional Chickasaw dish continues to be favored by many.

GRAPE DUMPLINGS RECIPE
Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1¼ cups water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
64 ounces grape juice
Sugar to taste

Let’s Make It

Place flour in a bowl. Make a well in center of flour and crack an egg into center. Using your fingers, begin mixing the egg into the flour and add water as you go. Form the dough into a ball and roll out very thin. Cut into 1-inch squares.

In a large pot place grape juice and sugar to taste. Bring to a rolling boil. Drop dumplings into boiling grape juice. Mix 1 Tablespoon cornstarch in 1 cup water. Add to hot grape juice. Cook for a few minutes so it thickens a bit and serve hot.

Kitchen Tip:

There are two different versions I’ve seen. One uses water for the dough. They other uses grape juice. Next time I make them I’ll be trying it with the juice!

Serve warm in a bowl. You can top with whipped cream or ice cream or just eat them plain.

There’s a video of how to make these on Chickasaw-TV. THIS VERSION uses grape juice to make the actual dumplings. You should check out the video just to hear the wonderful reminiscenses by the tribal elder. She’s all kinds of awesome! Since this is a tradtional Chickasaw recipe (though most of the Five Civilized tribes have their own versions), y’all know I got this recipe from Amy Rouse, the heroine of BRIDE’S MOON. Amy’s crush on Joshua Harjo was a deeply-held secret. His crush on her was an even bigger secret. Good thing Harjo’s grandfather Atosi could read between the lines. If you want to read their story–including a road trip, kidnapping and amnesia!–grab a copy of BRIDE’S MOON from your favorite online book seller. It should be wide almost everywhere now. Check out BOOKS2READ for the link to your fave store or click on the cover photos or title to get there.

I have to admit, now I’m hungry for these. I might have to add grape juice to my grocery list and make a batch of these to go with the brisket I’m planning for New Year’s Day. What about y’all? Any ethnic recipes that are traditions in your family?

About Silver James

I like walks on the wild side and coffee. Lots of coffee. Warning: My Muse runs with scissors. Author of several award-winning series--Moonstruck, Nightriders MC, The Penumbra Papers, and Red Dirt Royalty (Harlequin Desire) & other books! Purveyor of magic, mystery, mayhem and romance. Lots and lots of romance.
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