Apple Dumpling- Vintage Recipe

“Apple Dumplings” in olden times were basically a whole apple wrapped in dough and tossed in a kettle of boiling water, or later steamed. Much more recently they have been baked, and more often the apples diced and seasoned within.

In the 1700s in one of his sermons, John Wesley used this dish as an illustration of the alarming advance of luxury in England. In his boyhood, he said, one apple served for the family dumpling but now each child must have his own dumpling and apple!

Since Wesley was one of nearly 20 dozen children, I am a little skeptical that one dumpling really served for the entire family.

I’ve never made them, but from what I’ve read, to make the old fashioned steamed variety, you take a steamer basket, and some small tins or individual jello molds and grease them, fill the kettle half full of water, put in a steamer basket so the tins won’t be in the water, and start the water boiling. Meanwhile, make a light biscuit type dough and roll it out, cutting squares large enough to wrap the apples.

Take a good cooking apple (not a Delicious of any sort), quickly core it, then peel it, and wrap it in a square of dough, place in a tin, and move on to the next apple (they turn brown quickly when exposed to air). If you want more sweetness, set the cored apple on the square of dough and fill the cavity where the core was with sugar and spice lemon juice and rind or any kind of jelly jam or marmalade, or raisins and cinnamon.

Put them in their tins and put these in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until the apples are soft- this is said to take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

One suggested recipe for the dough:
One quart of flour will make from eight to twelve dumplings according to the size of the apples used. With this, sift one level tea spoonful of salt and four of baking powder, or two of cream of tartar and one of soda, or one of soda and use sour milk to mix the dough. For shortening rub in one half cupful or less of butter, lard, or best of all, clarified beef dripping or use an equal quantity of finely chopped suet. Add water or milk to moisten the dough enough to roll it out to about half an inch thick.

Serve with cream and sugar or Molasses Sauce: Cook together one tablespoonful each of flour and butter, smooth, add gradually one cupful of nice molasses, Let it boil a minute, add one tablespoonful of vinegar and enough hot water to make it the right thickness for sauce.

In making dumplings allow one at least for each of the family. Any that are left may be re steamed another day and be as good as when first made.

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Vintage Cake recipes

Loaf Cake: One cupful each of butter, raisins, and milk; two cupfuls of sugar, four cupfuls of flour, four eggs, nutmeg ,one and one half teaspoonfuls of baking powder

Delicious Pound Cake; One cupful of butter, one and one half cupfuls of sugar, five eggs, two scant cupfuls of flour, nutmeg or mace

That is all the direction provided in an 1897 Good Housekeeping

I’d use a bread pan and grease it well, possibly flour it, too, and bake 45 minutes at 350 or 375, keeping an eye on it.

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Mayonnaise free potato salad


Boil or steam small potatoes, and while warm, peel and slice thin.  Chop some parsley and dice an onion and add to the sliced potatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.  Then pour over two or three dessert spoonfuls of oil, or melted butter can be used,  and moisten the whole with vinegar.  Sliced beet and cucumber can be added to the salad, but it must be done before the oil and vinegar are mixed with the potatoes.

From an 1897 Good Housekeeping


Not telling us how many potatoes to those three dessert spoonfuls of oil is quite the omission. Still, an experienced cook can probably eyeball this and make a reasonable estimation.  This could be a good stand-by recipe for families where you can’t eat mayo for some reason (no eggs, whole30,  or no soy and no time to make your own).


Mix in some bacon, ham, or slices of leftover meat for a filling lunch.

You could also use leftover baked potatoes, steamed or roasted sunchokes (jerusalem artichokes).

Add diced celery

Change up the herbs- garlic, curry powder, or some Italian salad dressing.


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NY Attorney General Schneiderman (D) resigns in disgrace after allegations of assault and abuse

Prominent Democrat and self professed ‘champion’ of women, the guy who filed a civil suit againt Harvey Weinstein (claiming he’d never seen anything as despicable as Weinstein’s behaviour)- New York state Attorney General, has resigned 3 hours after the New Yorker came out with a disturbing story about four women who have made very credible allegations of his private behavior, which includes hitting, slapping, choking, beating, and spitting on his girlfriends, threatening to kill them if they tell others about it, and calling one of them his ‘brown slave’ and making her call him master.

One former victim told her friends about it after she ended the abusive relationship. “A number of them advised her to keep the story to herself, arguing that Schneiderman was too valuable a politician for the Democrats to lose. She described this response as heartbreaking. And when Schneiderman heard that she had turned against him, she said, he warned her that politics was a tough and personal business, and that she’d better be careful. She told Selvaratnam that she had taken this as a threat.”

Here are a few interesting tidbits:

New York Senator Gillibrand is on the record as saying that Schneiderman ‘is the only candidate for AG who represents the values of New York women… who unequivocally supports a woman’s right to choose.” Incidentally, her father is lobbist and political fixer Doug Rutnik, who was a lobbyist for NXIVM. (after he quit, Ranier sued him and they settled for 100,000. Gillibrand says she knows nothing about NXIVM’s crimes and abuse, that she’d never even heard of them before the recent arrests. However stories about them have been circulating for years, including before her dad started working for them- Forbes and UPI were calling them a cult and accusing them of being a shady pyramid scheme. Also, Nxivm’s biggest financial supporter, Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman, contributed $2,400 to Gillibrand’s 2010 special-election campaign, records show. And the state AG, Schneiderman, was already investigating NXIVM and the investigation had reached the point that he’d sued them!

You may recall the news about actress Allison Mack and self-help guru or con-artist Keith Ranier, both of NXIVM , being arrested on charges of sex trafficking (Including child trafficking) and slavery.

Samantha Bee said he was the ‘one person who could save us from Trump.’

When Education Sec Betsy DeVos ‘Rolled back Title IX protections,’ or insisted that accusers and the accused both have the right to due process and schools may not revoke due process at will, Schneiderman fought back, claiming “Sexual assault survivors, what happened to you is unconscionable. We have your back and we are fighting for you.”

Politico called him the leader of the Trump Resistance.

After New York’s state Health Department gained a lot of negative publicity for brushing off complaints about NXIVM’s ‘brain studies and the branding, which was done by a licensed medical doctor, Danielle Roberts,’ Schneiderman’s AG office began an investigation, in”early March asking a judge to order Bronfman and Porter to turn over their records related to brain-activity and other human behavioral studies, which had been conducted without any apparent oversight.” March 25, the day before NXIVM was to submit documents to the court, Schneiderman suspended the investigation “due to an ongoing federal criminal probe of the organization.”

Incidentally, Schneiderman is also the guy who sued Trump’s university for fraud. From the New Yorker article:

“His emotional state seemed to worsen after the 2016 Presidential election. He had counted on forging an ambitious partnership with a White House led by Hillary Clinton. Instead, the Presidency had gone to Donald Trump. Earlier, Schneiderman’s office had sued Trump University for civil fraud, and Trump had countersued Schneiderman personally.”

Back in 2013, Trump tweeted that Weiner and Spitzer were both gone, but that Schneiderman was worse. If Trump knew this, so did others. Four former girlfriends over several years, women who were activists for feminist causes, who who socially influential and involved on the left, women with friends in high places in New York politics, knew about it for years. They told their friends. These people knew- I’m not just talking about his victims- I do understand the long process it takes to come to terms with that kind of beating, emotional and physical. I understand the fear and self-doubt, and the shame and all that confusion. But the victims told others. Somehow, Trump knew that Schneiderman was worse than Weiner and Spitzer- and he said so five years ago. But people who also must have known worked for him, promoted him, and kept silent.


More here:

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Good Advice

A lad got into some youthful scrape and came to his grandmother asking her to assist him in getting out again. He ruefully admitted that he had gotten in trouble through ignoring his uncle’s warnings about exactly the situation he found himself in.

Grandmother smiled and said, “Well, your uncle certainly knew what he was talking about. He got in the same trouble when he was about your age. Experience teaches, but who learns? The reality is that what has happened may happen again but far too many of us live as though what has happened may not ever happen again.”

*I read this story in an old magazine, circa late 1800s, but forgot to write the name of the publication down.  This is lightly adapted, some words are from the original, some are mine.

Posted in moralizing, Uncategorized | 2 Responses

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