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November 15, 2005

Cherokee Nation Grape Dumplings

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This traditional recipe was originally made with gathered wild grapes called possum grapes. Today’s Indian cooks now often make it with Welch’s Grape Juice.
The John Howard Payne Papers documents interviews with Cherokee elders and their knowledge of the traditional ways in 1835. The papers describe a grape dessert, made around the year of 1800, by boiling wild grapes, mashing them and then adding corn meal to make a thick consistency.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
2 teaspoons sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 tbsp shortening 
1/2 cup grape juice 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and shortening. Add juice and mix into
stiff dough. Roll dough very thin on floured board and cut into strips
1/2-inch wide (or roll dough in hands and break off pea-sized bits). Drop into
boiling grape juice and cook for 10 – 12 minutes.

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