Saturday, October 22, 2011

sticks and stones... in my soup

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

I'd like to call BS on that for two reasons.  First and foremost, words can hurt a lot.  If you don't believe that, you were never a 7th grade girl.  Second, planks and rocks might break bones, but sticks and stones probably won't even bruise you.  Someone got it backward.

Sticks and stone will probably break your teeth, though, should you find them in your Homey Vegetable Stew with Dumplings (from The 30 Minute Vegan).

If you remember the first time I made this, you'll probably notice the dumplings look a little different from the way they did then.  A little...browner?  A little less cohesive?  Kinda gross-looking, actually?

The recipe calls for Spelt flour, but I was plum out - it's not one of those things I just keep around the house.  I was going to use plain ol' wheat flour, but when I grabbed the bag down from the cupboard, I saw a special little jar hiding behind it - the mesquite flour my sister had ground for us from the pods of the mesquite tree in her backyard!

I pulled it down and measured out 3/4 cup to start making the dumplings, but I noticed there were some pebbly looking spots.  In the interest of evening things out, I put the flour through my sifter.  Good thing, too!  When the flour had drifted dustily down into the bowl to be mixed with soymilk and canola oil, I looked into the sifter to see little bits of sticks and seeds and possibly stones (?) hanging out there.

Considering we don't have dental insurance right now, I'm glad I decided to sift before Mister broke a tooth.

When I set down the bowls, the dumplings smelled a little like gingerbread.  They were sweet and a little mealy, but not in a bad way.  I will probably do this in the future, but I will cut it half-and-half with "normal" flour because the mesquite flour did not hold the dumplings together all that well, and I think they were a little sweet for Mister's tastes.

I thought they provided a great, if not unexpected foil to the very salty-savory broth of the chunkier-than-I-remembered-it stew.  It was just right for this first truly chilly fall day, though.

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